I decided to turn the remaining dough into these mouth-wateringly-rich cookies. Trust me when I say, "They're as good as they look". Who needs to go to a fancy-schmancy bakery??? These are as good as they get!
Torrey's Mouth-Watering-Chocolate-Dipped Pecan Shortbread
Yield: a ton (3-4 dozen depending on diameter of dough log)
- 3/4 lb. (3 sticks) regular, salted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups chopped pecans (reserve 1/2 cup for dipping)
- 12-oz bag semi-sweet chocolate morsels (for dipping)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds (OPTIONAL)
- 1/2 cup crushed toffee candy (like Heath bars)-- OPTIONAL
I suggest using a Kitchenaid (or other brand) stand mixer with a paddle attachment as this is a VERY stiff dough -- I don't suggest mixing it by hand ...either your hand will wear out or the wooden spoon will break.
- Cream together sugar and butter--just until combined.
- Add extracts and stir into butter/sugar mixture.
- In separate bowl, whisk flour and salt together.
- Add flour/salt mix to butter/sugar mix, a little at a time.
- Add 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (I chopped them by hand) to dough and THOROUGHLY incorporate them.
- Place reserved 1/2 cup of pecans in separate bowl and set aside.
- Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. By hand, roll each piece into a log (about 2-3 inches in diameter). Wrap each log, snugly, with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
- Remove plastic wrap from dough log and slice into 3/8-inch - 1/2-inch thick slices.
- Place sliced dough onto UNGREASED parchment paper-lined cookie sheet (or foil-lined) about 1/2 inch apart.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until edges are golden brown and center is cooked but NOT browned (see photo above).
- After baking, gently transfer to cooling rack (they're very fragile at this stage), and cool completely. Once cooled, they're sturdy.
- In microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate morsels.
- Spread reserved, chopped pecans onto cookie sheet and return to oven for 5-10 min. until toasted. Watch them carefully so they don't burn. Then, place them back in the bowl.
- Coat cooled cookies 1/2-way with melted chocolate (front, back, and sides)--scraping off excess.
- Immediately roll chocolate-dipped cookies in toasted pecan pieces. Alternately, you can use sliced almonds, or crushed toffee pieces (or leave them plain chocolate if you like) and return cookies to cooling rack.
- Chill chocolate-dipped cookies for 20-30 min. in fridge to set chocolate.
- Store in tightly-sealed container (if you have any left).