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Makes about 5 dozen small cookies

I used to roll these cookies out between sheets of waxed or parchment paper, then cut them with a cute 1-inch cutter, whose tall cylinder with a handle on top always reminded me of a wishing well. I often give the well up, though, for simple slice-and-bake cookies — but if you have time, roll these cookies out, half a batch at a time, to 1/4-inch thick and cut with a small round cutter. They definitely look better (it’s hard to get a truly round cookie with the slice-and-bake method), and they’re still pretty quick. If you like, dip these cookies halfway in melted chocolate to glaze them.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour, preferably bleached

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

In a mixing bowl, cream butter until soft. Add brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Slowly add flour on low speed, mixing well, and mix in pecans. Divide dough in half and form and roll each half into a 1-inch tall log. Wrap in plastic; chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Slice logs into 1/4-inch discs and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets (fairly close together is OK; these won’t spread). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned, and cool on wire racks.

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