Do you need another cookie recipe? I have stumbled on a new favorite and would love to share it with you. This time it happened by first making a failed batch of an old stand by, and I’m not sorry. Here’s the story.
My sweet baby sister celebrated another birthday this month (Gen’s birth story according to me can be found right here) and I really wanted to send her some shortbread to nibble while she pretended we were having either coffee or Earl Gray tea or whatever she fancies. She lives way out west and has built a beautiful life there. I miss her so much, but anyway. xoxo
Shortbread. Though I make this all the time, for some reason the batch that day was overly dry and crumbly. It fell apart even before it was slipped into the oven, then after cooking it became even more fragile. There was no way that shipping it to Los Angeles would yield anything resembling a cookie. The birthday girl would wind up stirring crumbs into her tea and maybe walk away feeling quite unloved. Like a sad kangaroo.
Clearly the old stand by recipe needed more moisture or less dry stuff or something.
I started by knocking off 1/4 cup of the called-for flour. And browning the butter because I have the biggest kitchen crush right now on Joy. And let’s add pecans because our Grandma Stubbs always gave us Pecan Sandies and even though they were store-bought they were so good. Grandma made us feel loved, so surely this would do the trick for Gen’s birthday, right?
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
pinch sea salt
1 stick butter
1/2 cup pecans (chopped is nice)
dash or two cinnamon
Cook the stick of butter in a small skillet, allowing it to get frothy and golden brown. Stir in the pecans and cook them with a dash or two of cinnamon then remove from heat before the butter burns.
Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
Pour the browned butter and pecans into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. (Since there are no eggs in shortbread, I see no need to let the butter cool.) The mixture will be somewhat dense but also on the dry side, not sticky like normal cookie dough.
Form it into a ball and smash it flat onto a baking sheet, massaging it gently into a circle. (No need to grease or line the sheet. The butter in the recipe is plenty.)
Score the shaped dough with a serrated knife, but don’t cut quite to the bottom. You just need to perforate it. Finger-crimp the edges if you want to.
Bake at 350 degrees for ten or twelve minutes. Allow to cool.
Trace the perforate lines again with your knife, separating the cookies. Cool some more.
Eat exactly one cookie to make sure it’s delish (it will be) then package the rest of them sweetly and ship to your nearly perfect baby sister.
Okay, not nearly. She is totally perfect.
I hope you try this! It’s a quick and simple fix for when you’re craving shortbread. Excellent for tea time or with a late night glass of ice cold milk. Even better for baby sisters who amaze you with their fortitude, independence, and loving nature.
Happy Birthday Month Gen!
And Happy Baking Friends!