Pecans and brown sugar make this shortbread rich.
This shortbread is made with brown sugar instead of the usual confectioner’s sugar and is much more flavorful than the buttery-but-bland shortbread you might be familiar with.
Bake it and serve as-is, or use it as a base for bar cookies topped with fillings. If you’re going to use the shortbread as a base for bar cookies, assemble the ingredients and press into the pan called for in the cookie recipe instead.
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup pecan pieces
Preheat oven to 350°
Spray a 9-inch by 9-inch Pyrex baking pan with no-stick spray and set aside.
Put the brown sugar and 2 Tbsp. of the flour in the work bowl of your food processor.
Pulse 10-12 times to break down any lumps in the brown sugar.
Add the butter and the rest flour and pulse until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is mostly incorporated.
Add the pecan pieces.
Pulse until the nuts are broken up and blended into the dough.
If you are going to use this recipe as the base for a filled bar cookie, stop here and return to the cookie recipe for instructions on the pan to use and how to bake.
If you’re making shortbread, press the crumbly dough into the prepared 9-inch by 9-inch Pyrex baking pan.
Bake 18-20 minutes until just golden. Dough will be very soft to the touch, but will firm as it cools.
When cool, cut into 12-16 bars and serve.
- For a nut-free version, use an additional 1 Tbsp. butter and eliminate the nuts.
- Choose pecan pieces rather than whole nuts to save money. Trader Joe’s carries a good selection of high quality, current-crop nuts at fair prices.
- This shortbread makes a great cookie base for butternut squash cookie bars and can be used as a crust for spiced holiday cheesecakes, such as those made with apple or squash. Learn how to prepare butternut squash for use in baked goods here.