Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Brown butter and cream cheese pecan sandies


I'm not sure what prompts some of these combinations in my mind, other than odd cravings and the ingredients I have on hand when the mood strikes. If you like pecan sandies, or a shortbread cookie, give it a whirl. I don't think you will be disappointed. A rich, almost creamy texture, and an excellent, yet subtle flavor profile.


Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter
1 cup pecans
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whole pecans for topping cookies

Directions:

In a shallow pan, set your butter to melting over medium heat. Whisking occasionally, cook butter until milk solids begin to brown and turn golden. The darker the milk solids get, the more nutty flavor your cookies will impart. Remove from heat, and allow to cool completely and re-solidify. Do not chill.

When butter has re-solidified, heat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread pecans on a baking sheet, and place in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool, and coarse chop the pecans. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine flour and salt.  Set aside.

To the bowl of your stand mixer, add the re-solidified browned butter, softened cream cheese and sugars. With the paddle attachment, beat on speed 6 for 2-3 minutes until well creamed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add nuts, and combine on speed two. With mixer running, add dry ingredients. Continue beating until just combined.

Using a small scoop, drop half rounds onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. With your thumb, press an indentation on the top of each cookie to flatten slightly. Top with a pecan.


Bake in the preheated oven for 12-16 minutes, or until edges begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oven, cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool further. Serve slightly warm with ice cold milk.


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