Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Makes about 30
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups pecan halves
  • ½ cup sanding sugar
  1. In a large bowl, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla with a mixer at medium-high speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined.
  2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and divide in half. Shape each half into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to ¼-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch fluted round cutter, cut dough, and place on prepared pans, gently rerolling scraps to use all dough. Dot center of each cookie with water, and top with a pecan half. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  5. Bake until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Kitchen Tip: These cookies can be prepared through step 4 and frozen on baking sheets until firm; transfer to a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag, and freeze for up to 2 months. Bake from frozen as directed.
Recipe by Paula Deen Magazine at