These little lovelies are another recipe that was inspired by Tim Hortons. They sell boxes of maple shortbread with some kind of nut (I can’t remember if it’s walnut or pecan); the cookies are good, but the idea has the potential to be great, which is why I wanted to try my hand at a homemade version.
Like so many homemade goodies, these cookies trumped the store-bought version. They’re the perfect treat with a glass of milk or cup of tea.
Yields about 2 dozen cookies
1/2 cup shelled pecans
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
3/4 cup granulated maple sugar*
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
Cook the pecans in a small, dry skillet over medium heat until toasted and fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Cool completely, then chop.
Preheat oven to 325F; line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.
In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter and the maple sugar in a large bowl, then cream in the egg and vanilla. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour, cornstarch, and salt, then mix in the pecans. Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes, then scoop the dough out with a 1 tablespoon measure and roll it into balls; arrange on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
Put the white sugar in a shallow bowl. Grease the bottom of a glass with butter (from the remaining 1 tablespoon butter) and dip it in the sugar; flatten each ball of dough slightly, re-greasing and re-sugaring as necessary.
Bake until the cookies are light golden on the bottom, about 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the trays once halfway through; cool completely on the trays before removing.
*If you can’t find granulated maple sugar, you can substitute 3/4 cup brown sugar (lightly packed) plus 1 teaspoon maple-flavored extract.