Shhhhh! Lean in really close and be prepared to learn a secret from the Baker at Law kitchen.
Whispering--On average, I usually only take two bites of the desserts I prepare. One bite to taste the flavor and test the texture of the edges and a second bite to test the texture of the center.
That’s it. Then I take pictures of the desserts, package them up, take a few more pictures, and then distribute the desserts to happy partakers. Out of the cookie, for example, that I had two bites, I put the leftovers in a Ziploc bag and leave it on the counter. Usually, in about a week or so, the tester gets thrown away.
I really do not eat much of what I bake. I had a friend try to explain this concept to her niece and she seemed completely perplexed by it. I am sure in the mind of a kid, if food tastes good you eat it. But, that is not how my mind works, generally. I eat to live, and although I do enjoy food, I bake to love.
I enjoy baking immensely, but let’s face it, if I ate everything I baked I would be unhealthy, unfit, and two TBS of butter away from a heart attack. That is not a life I want to lead. I bake purely because I like to do it. I love to share it with people who enjoy it. And I try and spread the wealthy around—no giving too many sticks of butter to one person.
With all that being said, these cookies are one of the few things I baked that I literally had to get out of the house as I ate three cookies the night I made them. They ARE that good. These cookies are simple in theory: pecans, butter, sugar, flour, eggs, and vanilla. Yet, sometimes a magical mix of minimal ingredients allows each to shine and yields perfect results.
These cookies are subtly sweet, rich, and buttery. Toasting the pecans is a must! With so few ingredients, each one has to be used to its highest potential. I made these cookies in two ways. I divided the batter in half. With one-half, I formed a log and refrigerated it for 24 hours. I then sliced the cookies from the log and baked. The other half of the batter I used immediately, using a 1 TBS capacity cookie scope. Both cookies came out just as well. I baked the log-sliced cookies a little longer than the scope cookies.
So bake these and share the love!
Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from Dessert Magazine
3 sticks Butter, room temperature
1 cup White Sugar
1 large Egg, room temperature
1 TBS (yes TBS) Vanilla Extract
1 TBS Water, room temperature
4 cups All-purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
2 1/2 cup Pecans, chopped and toasted
1. Preheat oven to 325F.
2. Cream together butter and sugar.
3. Add egg, vanilla, and water, one at a time.
4. Mix baking soda, flour, and salt in a separate bowl before mixing into butter mixture.
5. Add pecans and mix in completely.
6. Use 1 TBS cookie scope to portion evenly sized cookies. Slightly flatten. Cookies will spread very little.
7. Or form dough into a cookie log. Wrap in plastic and place in the fridge. Once cookies are cold all the way through, slice them to your desired thickness.
8. Bake cookies 15-17 minutes if using the cookie scope method, or 17-20 minutes if using the sliced log method. Cookies are done with the edges are just beginning to brown.