I don’t eat a lot of cookies, but I do like shortbread cookies. In fact, we often keep a pack of Keebler Pecan Sandies in our pantry (sometimes Cashew Sandies). They are great with some ice cream when you want to relax while watching a movie. I like my cookies simple, firm and a little bit sweet.
I recently checked out Rick Bayless’ Fiesta at Rick’s cookbook from our local public library and I came across this recipe. In English, he calls them “Pecan ‘Sandy’ Shortbread Cookies.” Store-bought is good, but I had to try homemade. And they are simple, firm and a little bit sweet!
Polvorones de Nuez
6 ounces (about 1 3/4 cups) pecans halves
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 3/4 sticks (22 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Powdered sugar for coating the finished cookies, if desired
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toast the pecans in a single layer for about 10 minutes. Remove the pecans from the oven and let them cool. Reduce the heat of the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the cooled pecans into a food processor and pulse them until they are finely ground.
Add the pecans to a bowl along with the flour, salt and cinnamon and mix with your hand to combine.
With a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until it is “fluffy” (using the paddle beater, if you can).
Add the vanilla extract and the dry mixture. Mix on low speed until well blended.
Option 1: Roll the dough into small balls (1 tablespoon) and place them on a baking sheet. Leave 2 inches between each cookie. I like to flatten them a bit, but you can keep them round. Bake them for 18 – 20 minutes or until they are lightly brown. When they are done, transfer them to a cool rack or plate. When they are cool, roll each cookie in powdered sugar to coat all sides.
Option 2: Divide the dough in half. Using a large piece of plastic wrap, roll each half into a log (about a 2 inch diameter) and wrap, twisting both ends. Place in the freezer for a couple of hours. When ready, unwrap the cookie dough and slice it into 1/4 – 1/3 inch rounds and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes (depending on the thickness) or until lightly brown. Place on a cooling rack or plate. Once they are cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Either way, they are ready to serve and enjoy.