No, it isn’t pie season, but that isn’t going to stop me from indulging in some delicious pecan flavoured treats. This cookie has got it all, a flakey butter crust, that snaps in the mouth, but even better is the salty peanut butter pecan topping that has been caramelized in brown butter & sugar.
If the idea of making a pie is daunting, this cookie is the perfect entry as it helps you master the basic components of a pie: 1) crust; 2) filling. So gather your ingredients and bake these cookies!
Tips to Make a Shortbread Crust
Cold Butter: While most recipes call for softened, room temperature butter, for making crusts and pastry having cold butter is essential. As the food processor mixes all the ingredients together the tiny butter pieces get coated in flour giving that flaky, crumbly crust.
Sifted Flour: I get it, sifting the flour can seem like an unimportant step since the food processor will break down big clumps of flour; however, that extra attention to detail will give a finer crumb to be coated in butter, again yielding a better crust.
Freezing Pre-Bake: As the dough is being handled and pressed into the pan, your body heat can melt the butter, so those 5 minutes in the freezer pre-bake will refreeze the fat. If warm dough is baked, the fat in the butter will melt into a greasy puddle giving a hard, tough dough. YIKES.
How to Store Peanut Butter Pecan ShortBread
To prevent yourself from eating all of these babies in one go, you can store them in an airtight container using the following methods:
At room temperature: keeps for 4 days.
In the fridge: keeps for one week
In the freezer: Keeps for 3 months. To eat let them defrost at room temperature for 1 hour
Peanut Butter Pecan Short Bread
for the shortbread crust
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted Butter cold, cut into 1 inch cubes
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 medium egg room temperature, lightly whisked
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour sifted
- ½ tsp salt
for the peanut butter pecan topping
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter cut into 1 inch cubes
- ½ cup brown sugar (light or medium)
- ⅓ cup honey
- 2 tbsp peanut butter smooth
- 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups pecans roughly chopped
for the shortbread crust
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9" x 9" pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a food processor, fitted with the blade attachment, place the sifted flour, granulated sugar, egg, vanilla extract, and salt.
- Pulse 3-4 times to incorporate the ingredients, then add the cubed butter. Continue to pulse until the mixture ressembles course sand with pea sized clumps of butter. (the mixture may be slightly dry).
- Transfer the dough into the prepared pan, and press firmly into the pan with your fingers to get an even layer.
- Freeze for 5 minutes.
- Bake the crust in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.
- Let the crust cool completely in the pan. Leave the oven on.
assemble and bake
- Pour the pecan mixture over the cooled crust using the spatula to get an even layer.
- Bake for 20 minutes. or until the pecan mixture is bubbling and a caramel colour.
- Cool completely before removing from the pan by lifting the parchment paper. Drizzle with extra peanut butter and using a sharp knife cut into 2-inch squares.
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