Shortbread is one of the simple joys of the baking world. Usually, there are just a handful of ingredients. The effort is minimal. And, the simple flavors are just right.
Of course, throw some pecans into something, and I’m definitely on board. So, with those few ingredients and very little time, I had this shortbread in the oven. My kitchen was filled with the delightful aroma of buttery cookies and toasted pecans.
The top of this shortbread is sprinkled with coarse sugar to give it that little sparkle. It really helps dress up a simple baked good. If you don’t have coarse sugar or sanding sugar, you can certainly use regular granulated sugar. It might not have the same aesthetic appeal, but it will still add that extra sweetness.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon chopped pecans, divided
- 2-3 teaspoons coarse sugar (may substitute granulated sugar)
Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides.
Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add vanilla and combine. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour, beating until well-mixed. Stir in 1/4 cup pecans. Mixture will be crumbly.
Press dough into bottom of prepared pan. Sprinkle top with 1 tablespoon pecans and coarse sugar.
Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Using foil, lift shortbread out of pan. Cut into bars.
Recipe adapted from Land O Lakes.