Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pecan Shortbread Cookies~


Get out your rolling pins and cookie cutters, here is the other award-winning cookie recipe that I promised to share with you from our newspaper's Christmas cookie contest.  This cookie won first place in the "Cut Out" category and took second place overall.  Shortbread has been one of my favorite kinds of cookies for many years and I loved the idea of a shortbread with pecans.

The heart shape also appealed to me since it is also used extensively in Danish Christmas decorating.  


The original recipe had white and dark chocolate drizzles but I stuck with my fave - dark chocolate.  These are delicious even plain without the chocolate drizzle. This recipe also called for cornstarch, which many shortbread recipes do,  but I substituted rice flour, which I use in my regular shortbread recipe. You can find rice flour in the Bob's Red Mill section of the baking aisle.


Help yourself to a very, Merry Christmas!

Pecan Shortbread Hearts

Adapted from the Cutout Winner of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Cookie Contest 2011
Printable Recipe

1 cup flour
2-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (I used rice flour instead)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup very finely chopped pecans (I used my mini food processor to chop them)
Powdered sugar or 2 ounces each dark chocolate and white chocolate for drizzling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Into medium bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch or rice flour, and salt.

In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar and vanilla. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture and mix until the dough begins to gather together. Mix in nuts - do not over mix.

Gather dough into a ball and place on a sheet of waxed paper. Flatten dough with a rolling pin between 2 sheets of waxed paper to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Remove top piece of waxed paper and cut out dough with a 1-3/4 inch heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Place hearts on a parchment or silicone mat-lined baking sheet about 1/2 inches apart. Bake until form to the touch and just beginning to color on the edges, about 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Sprinkle cooled cookies with powdered sugar or pipe melted chocolate decoratively across cookies or just enjoy plain.

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I'll be joining Michael Lee West for Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum

58 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. These are adorable, along with your Chef Nutcracker! I'm going to try and squeeze these in before Christmas. Did you make your fantastic linzers this year?

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  3. Adorable..the cookies and the post..you make me want to bake another batch of shortbread..Love your nutcracker:)
    I see a cutie in a frame in the background.

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  4. The cookies are very pretty, and of course the heart-shape would go over very well with my Great Dane at Christmas time....it's the prevailing theme here.

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  5. ooh, these look rich. and I love how you're serving them up! perfect! wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a healthful new year Susan.

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  6. I am always looking for different ways to present shortbread over the holidays!Have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends.

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  7. The cookies look beautiful and sound great! I saved the recipe. Also lovin' your cute nutcracker:@)

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  8. A very pretty cookie that sounds delicious! Award winning, as you said :) and obviously recommended by Chef Nutcracker!

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  9. All-time favorite cookie--ever! Thanks for the new recipe and the fun new way to form the cookies. I can tell by reading the recipe that it will be my new go-to recipe for this type of cookie.

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  10. Thanks for sharing this adorable recipe Susan!Pretty cookies...A warm hug...

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  11. Isn't wax paper the way to go? So easy.

    Love that this recipe was a winner in it's category. I hope to get the time to make some before Christmas day. Thanks for sharing, and have a blessed holiday.

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  12. Beautiful cookies! I adore your kitchen-themed nutcracker!

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  13. Another winning cookie recipe from you! Love it!

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  14. I love your Server :) I can see why those cookies are award winning, they look amazing!

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  15. I love shortbread! And your pretty heart cookies are so cute! Yum!

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  16. Beautiful cookies. I love shortbread, especially at this time of year.

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  17. Yum - like a good short bread and with pecans even better,
    The nutcracker is so cute.
    Hope you had a great weekend.

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  18. German Gingerbread cookies, heart shaped are so perfect to look at, but not my favorite to eat. You have created the perfect replacement, just as pretty and much tastier! Thanks Susan.

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  19. I can almost feel the crumbly texture of these cookies. These are such beautiful cookies. Will file for Valentine's day. Merry Christmas!

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  20. There is nothing as good as a buttery shortbread cookie, except for one drizzled with dark chocolate, Susan! Yours look fanrtastic! I love your kitchen nutcracker.

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  21. Your cookies looks wonderful! I love shortbread too, and shortbread cookies sounds so good! Thanks for sharing! And your little Mr.Chef is so cute! Wish you a lovely week!

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  22. Your shortbread hearts look & sound delicious! I love them offered up by your adorable Baker Nutcracker :) Wishing you & your family a Merry and Delicious Christmas!

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  23. Your chef is adorable! These are shortbread cookies that are really interesting; I also go for the dark chocolate;so tasty as well as healthy.
    Rita

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  24. This is one of my favorite cookies especially with the chocolate addition.

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  25. Those are adorable, Susan! Criss-crossing the chocolate on top is the perfect touch. This contest must have been loaded with good recipes!

    Your baker nutcracker is divine!

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  26. There's nothing quite like a simply delicious shortbread cookie! I love that these use pecans. And that chocolate drizzle! Super yummy.

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  27. WHoever invented shortbread should get a huge reward... I love its buttery goodness for the holidays. Adding pecans to the mix would make it even better. I think so good infact, I would skip the chocolate too!

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  28. It wouldn't be Christmas without buttery shortbread cookies on the cookie tray. Pecans are a delicious addition. Love your Chef Nutcracker, Susan. That is one very large nutcracker or two very small heart shaped cookies...LOL. Happiest holiday best wishes to you and your family.

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  29. Oh they are so pretty. I wonder if I could use a cookie press to make them...hmmm... (I never do well to cut out cookies.) Shortbread cookies are some of my favorites as well. What's NOT to love? Thanks for the recipe.

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  30. Thank you, all! No, Barb, I haven't made them yet and I'm running out of time :)

    Yes, Monique, you spotted Mr. Mack!

    Cathy, the cookies are only about 2-1/2 inches tall to give you a perspective on the size of the nutcracker ;)

    Vee, I doubt these would work well in a cookie press since they're just a little bit crumbly. The waxed paper really helps, though.

    Thanks again, for all of your kind comments!

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  31. First i love cookies and with the holidays here that gives me an excuse to eat more. Love the dark choc as well! Richard

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  32. I love the added pecan in those shortbread hearts. Nice substitute of cornstarch. I would probably go for the rice flour too.

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  33. My daughter was just telling me tonight that she is in the mood to bake (does not happen often!) but wanted a recipe that did not have too much sugar unlike the chocolate chip recipes. This is a perfect suggestion and I will pass it on to her. I wish you a wonderful Christmas holiday with your family and loved ones.

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  34. OMG! I love your chef nutcracker. My husband was just telling me the other day that with all of the decorating I do that I don't have a nutcracker. No, I don't, but I sure want this one! I love it that he's holding some of your cookies. Too cute!

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  35. Oh your nutcracker is adorable!

    And I have to agree with you - putting pecans in shortbread cookies seems like an absolutely winning idea

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  36. they look so cute! I love the chocolate drizzle

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  37. What pretty cookies! I'm running behind-I'm not done shopping or baking. If I have time I'd like to try these. If not before, I'll make them after Christmas!
    -Lynn

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  38. What beautiful little cookies! I love shortbread pecan cookies.

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  39. These look wonderful. I just made dough today for dark chocolate shortbread from the blog "the view from the great island" . These would complement them very well. Do you know if I could use arrowroot powder in place of the cornstarch?

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  40. Linda, if you can't find the rice flour that I used instead of the cornstarch, I've read that you can use arrowroot powder, potato flour or even quick-cooking (instant) tapioca.

    Thank you for your comments, everyone!

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  41. I've tried shortbread cookies some 20 years ago when i visited Scotland and I've been loving them ever since. Your recipe looks equally delicious Susan!

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  42. Congrats! These cookies deserved that first place award, Susan! They look deliciously gorgeous. I wish you a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year with lots of love! Best Wishes xxx

    BTW, I love that cute little Chef !

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  43. Your recipes always look so delicious. I'm sure that visitors to your house must look forward to the treats you bake. Thanks for sharing all these great recipes year round and best wishes for a wonderful Christmas!

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  44. Dark chocolate, pecans, shortbread - what's not to love? Although the chocolate crosshatch totally steals the show here - so simple but beautiful.

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  45. Susan, I love the presentation of the nutcracker holding the tray of cookies! They do sound delicious!

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  46. What a lovely presentation Susan. You always make everything look so pretty.

    Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and your family.
    Sam

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  47. Pecan cookies are my husband favorite ones, but have to confess that I still yet have to make them...love the chocolate drizzles.
    Susan, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your loved ones :-)

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  48. Fantastic! I love the addition of cornstarch or rice flour. The heart shape is so pretty too. Your wonderful chef nutcracker is great, sharing the cookies with everyone. Have a wonderful Christmas.

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  49. I'm looking for a good shortbread recipe. Thank you for sharing this one. It looks delicious! Pat

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  50. Wouldn't these be great for Valentine's day, too? And how stinkin' cute is that nutcracker with his tray??!! I WANT ONE JUST LIKE HIM!


    Wishing you & yours a very Blessed & Merry CHRISTmas!

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  51. LOVE those cookies - so festive and pretty, and they sound delicious!!

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  52. These look so good! Pecan shortbreads are hubby's favorite- I'm saving this one to make for him. :)

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  53. Adorable presentation, they look delicious!
    Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family, Susan!

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  54. I love shortbread but with pecans, even better!! the drizzle adds such a festive touch!!

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