sexta-feira, 12 de dezembro de 2008

pecan shortbread cookies

Shortbread is a type of biscuit (cookie) which is traditionally made from one part white sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour. It is so named because of its crumbly texture, from an old meaning of the word short. The cause of this texture is its high fat content, provided by the butter. The related word "shortening" refers to any fat that may be added to produce a short (crumbly) texture. The recipe asks for 3 sticks of butter, but hey, it's the holidays...

Shortbread is not to be confused with shortcake, which is similar to shortbread but made using vegetable fat instead of butter, giving it a different texture. By coincidence, it is now understood that the short or crumbly texture is a result of the fact that the fat inhibits the formation of long protein (gluten) strands.

Though it's now a year-round favorite, this tender-crisp, butter-rich cookie was once associated mainly with Christmas. The classic way to make shortbread is to press the dough into a shallow earthenware mold that is decoratively carved. After baking, the large round cookie is turned out of the mold and cut into wedges. Today, more often then not, the cookies are formed into simple squares or rounds.

pecan shortbread cookies

  • 3 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups small-diced pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and the sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. in a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter and sugar mixture. Add the pecans and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough 1/2 inch thick and cut into 2 1/2 inch squares or rounds with a plain or fluted cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. I always do a test with just one cookie to find the precise timing.
Allow to cool to room temperature and serve. Makes 20 to 24 cookies.

Um comentário:

  1. Those cookies were perfect for my Holiday Cookie Swap. Thank You!

    I'm having a Winter Party with friends right after NYE. Would love to use some hearty dinner that I could reference from your amazing blog.