Pecan Shortbread Cookies


These delicious cookies are loaded with vanilla flavor because the dough is mixed with an entire vanilla bean as well as vanilla extract. Before baking, the outside of each cookie is coated with turbinado sugar which provides sparkle and crunch.

I have made them several times and love them. 🙂  I find that cookies that contain confectioners’ sugar are more delicate than those with granulated sugar- wonderful. Before refrigerating the dough “log”, I wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in a recycled wrapping paper tube to help maintain the round shape. This recipe was adapted from The Craft of Baking, via Food and Wine, contributed by Karen Demasco (a “staff-favorite” recipe). They would be wonderful holiday cookies.

  • Yield: Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies
  • 3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons demerara or turbinado sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the chopped pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 6 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, vanilla extract and salt at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour in 3 batches, beating at low speed until just incorporated. Discard the vanilla bean. Stir in the pecans.
  3. Transfer the dough to a work surface and roll into a 1 1/2-inch-thick log. Wrap the log in plastic or parchment paper and refrigerate for about 1 hour, until chilled. IMG_5159
  4. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the turbinado sugar on a platter. Brush the log with the egg yolk and roll in the sugar. Slice the log into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Transfer the rounds to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart.
  5. Bake the shortbread cookies for about 13 to 15 minutes (on convection), until the edges are golden; rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let stand until cooled completely, about 30 minutes, before serving.

Make ahead: The cookie dough can be frozen for up to 1 month.


One Year Ago: 

About Josette@thebrookcook

I live in Stony Brook, New York on Long Island. I love garlic and baking. My hobby (and love) is to try new recipes. My favorite recipe resources include The New York Times, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, and Martha Stewart Living. Enjoy!

6 responses to “Pecan Shortbread Cookies

  1. I love the log method as opposed to rolling and cutting, something I just won’t do for cookies. Great recipe!

    • Thanks! I have spent a lot of my life rolling and cutting- too many cute shapes! 🙂 I do LOVE log cookies though– such a huge time saver. They are pretty too because the outside edges can be decorated.

  2. Yumm!! I wish I had seen this post during Christmas! My bad 😦

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