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Ina Garten's Pecan Shortbread
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makes about 24 cookies

This is another variation we invented for Eli Zabar's wonderful shortbread cookie. You can use any nuts and flavorings you like to give these a different taste.

Technique tip: To give pecans extra flavor, roast them on a baking sheet at 350 F for 8 minutes before dicing. If the dough is crumbly, add a teaspoon of warm water.

Ingredients

    • 3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
    • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1½ cups small-diced pecans

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined.

3. Add the vanilla and almond extracts.

4. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture.

5. Add the pecans and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.

6. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

7. Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut into 1½-inch squares with a plain or fluted cutter (or cut into any shape you like).

8. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet.

9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown.

10. Allow to cool to room temperature and serve.

Recipe courtesy of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. Copyright © 1999 by Ina Garten. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

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