Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pecan-Brown Sugar Shortbread

Lately I’ve been nut obsessed.  I’ve been trying to perfect a recipe to rival *Megan's candied pecans and ruined another batch of nuts in the process.  To restore my nut karma I made a batch of pecan-brown sugar shortbread.  This dish was on the menu for last week’s food Friday as a grand finale to our curry shrimp and potato soup.  We ran into a few problems and had to tweak the recipe when the first batch emerged from the oven a sticky, greasy bubbly mess.   Our second effort was much better:

Ellos weekend 358h

If you like rich squeak-against-your-teeth shortbread this recipe is for you.  The buttery crumb melts in your mouth leaving bits of pecan behind to roll around on your tongue until you’re ready for that last satisfying crunch.  Brown sugar adds a nice richness that ties the butter and pecans together like an old fashioned praline.  Toast the pecans for an extra burst of nuttiness and serve with poached  or caramelized pears, a great way to end a harvest feast.

Pecan-Brown Sugar Shortbread

Adapted From: Lee Bailey’s Soup Meals

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup finely chopped pecans

2 ¼ cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter well a 9 inch round cake pan.

Beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.

Combine the pecans and flour. Add them to the butter-brown sugar mixture in four portions mixing well after each addition.

Pat the mixture into the pan and pierce the top with the tines of a fork. Bake until slightly browned and puffy, about 30 minutes.

Carefully cut into wedges before allowing to cool.

Makes 16 wedges

*Megan’s Pecans are in the bulk section at T&C and Central the perfect combo of sweet and crunchy.  They’re wonderful on seasonal greens with crumbles of blue cheese and a walnut sherry vinaigrette.

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