Butter Pecan Shortbread is a classic buttery shortbread loaded up with crunchy pecans ~ it might just be the ultimate Fall dessert ~ yum!
Seasonal cooking isn’t all about produce — there are seasons in baking, too, and this time of year I love returning to shortbread. Shortbread reaches back almost before the concept of ‘dessert’ was born, when you blend together the butter, flour, and sugar with your hands, you’re taking part in a centuries old process. Shortbread is real food. Have a warm square for breakfast with your coffee, take a piece or two to work, make a batch as an offering to a neighbor, or bring a pan to the book group. It’ll be good practice for all those holiday gifts you’re going to need to make before you know it.
For today’s Butter Pecan Shortbread I took things a little bit beyond the basic formula. Loads of fresh pecans (cracked from the shell, if possible!) and a touch of almond extract give it that distinctive ‘butter pecan’ profile.
We don’t think of nuts as having a season because they’re available to us all year long. But pecans and other nuts are harvested in the fall, and that’s why we see them in the shells in the stores now, and why they are a part of so many holiday traditions. I highly recommend buying the nuts in the shells, you will really taste the difference, they’re crunchier, and have lots more flavor. If you don’t have a nutcracker you can use a small hammer to crack them.
The list of shortbread recipes on my blog keeps growing and growing! If you love citrus, try my Lemon Sugar Shortbread, it’s made with a special lemon infused sugar. For another nutty recipe, check out my Pistachio Shortbread Cookies.
- 2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 5 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cup pecans, rough chopped, some left whole
- Set the oven to 350F
- Lightly spray a 9x9 square baking dish.
- Whisk the melted butter with the sugar in a large mixing bowl. Make sure to work out any lumps in the sugar.
- Blend in the extract, and then stir in the flours, cornstarch, and nuts. Stir just until everything is combined and the nuts are evenly distributed. Don't over mix the dough.
- Pat the dough into the pan with your hands, nudging it out so it fills the pan and is all even. You don't want a mound of dough in the middle, you want to flatten it out from side to side, evenly. If you like you can sink a few extra pecan halves into the top of the dough for a pretty look.
- Bake for about 25 minutes. The top will still look pale, but the dough will be just beginning to turn golden around the edges.
- Cool on a rack for about 15 minutes before cutting into squares.
- If you’d like to remove the shortbread for neater cutting like I did, you can line your pan with parchment, leaving the ends long on two sides so you can lift it out of the pan after it has cooled. Don’t try to lift it out while it is still warm, the shortbread may crack.
- You can use vanilla extract in place of the almond extract, or use them both.
- Did you know you can buy butter pecan flavor extract? You can find it HERE.