Shortbread, it seems to me, is one of those cookies that everyone likes. It is basically a sugar cookie, but generally a little crisper and with less ingredients. Remember my Brown Sugar Shortbread? Three ingredients. Flour, sugar, butter. That is pretty much all shortbread is. This recipe has a few more ingredients but it needs them to keep the texture of the cookie when adding a liquid like maple syrup.
I have been making this recipe for several years and one of the reasons it is so nice is the convenience. Shortbread, made with softened butter, needs to be firm enough to slice into rounds. Hence the overnight chill time. This makes it and ideal recipe to make when expecting company. I did this myself this past week. I mixed up the dough the day before and keep it in the fridge for several days until ready to bake. Then, you will not only have freshly made cookies for your guests, but it will make your house smell like a bakery. Talk about a warm welcome!!
Also, I don't mean to panic you, but the holidays are right around the corner. Add this quick cookie to your Thanksgiving or Christmas cookie list and it will become an instant tradition.
One Year Ago: Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
Maple Pecan Shortbread
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Don't forget this has to chill overnight, so plan ahead.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine:
1 c (2 sticks) room temperature butter
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c pure maple syrup
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt
When smooth and combined, add:
2 1/4 c flour
1/2 c cake flour
When thoroughly mixed, stir in 3/4 c pecan halves, chopped finely. Scrape the dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper and shape into a log, about 2 inches in diameter. Roll carefully until smooth and round and place in the fridge to chill overnight. Sometimes, if I can't get it perfectly round, I let it chill for a half hour and then roll it again to smooth it out. Dough can be made to this point up to five days ahead of time. When ready to bake, slice with a thin sharp knife in 1/4 inch thick slices and place on a parchment lined sheet pan. This recipe seems to consistently give me two dozen cookies-or exactly 2 sheet pans full. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, rotating 180 degrees, halfway through cooking. The cookies should be just barely browned at the edges. Let cool on the pan for at least 5 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack. Cookies will continue to crisp as they cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.