Maple Pecan Shortbread cookies are rich and buttery, with the complex sweetness of maple and nutty crunch from pecans.
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 walnuts or pecans); 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.
- ½ cup shelled pecans
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
- ¾ cup granulated maple sugar (see Note)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ 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, and then chop.
- Preheat the oven to 325F; line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.
- In a large bowl, cream together ½ cup butter and the maple sugar in a large bowl, and then cream in the egg and vanilla. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour, cornstarch, and salt, and then mix in the pecans.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 10 minutes. Scoop the dough out with a 1 tablespoon measure and roll it into balls; arrange the balls of dough 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; use it to 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.