Pecan Sandies

This recipe is adapted from Food and Wine magazine; I made a couple of changes, the biggest one being the baking time. Sometimes I wonder if anyone tried out the recipe over there at F&W prior to publication because the 30 minute baking time they suggest seems absurd.  Conveniently, you can freeze the cookie dough logs and thaw them in the fridge the night before you want to bake them. This allows you to have freshly baked cookies at your leisure during the busy holiday season.

2 sticks (8oz.) unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 t salt
1 t vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
sugar for sprinkling

With the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar, salt for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping once or twice.  Add the vanilla and then the flour on low speed and mix just until the dough comes together. Add the pecans and mix on low speed only until incorporated. Divide the dough in half and form into 2 inch diameter logs. This sounds easier than it is; I have found that because I don’t want to over handle the dough, I’ve wound up with air holes in the logs. So the lesson is that you do need to compact the dough enough that there aren’t gaps but at the same time, you don’t want to manhandle the stuff. Leave the logs in the fridge overnight; at this point, you can either bake the cookies or freeze the logs (or some combo of both).

Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Slice the log with a sharp knife into 1/4″ slices; I then dip one side of the unbaked cookie in a bowl of sugar (rather than sprinkling sugar over them on the cookie sheet) and lay them on a parchment lined baking sheet. I bake these for 17 or 18 minutes; depending on your oven you may have to go a little longer. They should be lightly browned.

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