We don’t know a lot of people in the LA area, so we don’t entertain much. However, when we do get the chance to meet people, it’s always nice to have them then over for a meal or tea and snacks. Last Monday, hubby’s colleague and family came over for dinner. Since it was a quickly planned meet up, we decided to serve a variety of kebobs with various fixings from Heidar Baba, an Iranian restaurant close to home, and make desssert at home. Along with pound cake, I decided to make Ina Garten’s Pecan Sandies from her cookbook Barefoot Contessa FoolProof. The cookies are a variation on the traditional shortbread cookie, with ground pecans and demerara sugar in the cookie batter. My adapted recipe uses brown sugar instead of demerara sugar because I didn’t have any on hand. Truthfully, I forgot to pick it up from the grocery store. :o)
1 cup pecan halves
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsps vanilla extract
24 large pecan pieces or pecan halves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Toast 1 cup of pecan halves on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, until toasted. Set aside to cool.
Grind cooled pecans and 1/4 cup flour in a food processor until the nuts are finely ground. Put ground nuts in a bowl and add remaining flour (1 3/4 cups), salt and baking powder. Stir to combine.
Cream butter and sugar with a mixer for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla extract and flour. Mix until dough is just combined.
Using a 1 1/3″ cookie scoop, scoop out the batter and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet with some space between each cookie. Press a pecan piece or half halfway down into the cookie. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cookies turn golden brown around the edges. Cool for 5 minutes on sheet before transferring to cooking rack.