Pecan Shortbread

I miss fall.  I know it’s quickly coming, but our days of 100 degree weather aren’t encouraging me of its swift arrival.  I love everything about fall.  I love the colors that all the foliage turns, I love the holidays, I love the crisp air, I love the trips to Apple Hill, I love the clothes, I love the Harvest sent candles that Yankee puts out, and I love, love, love the food.  I must be subconsciously trying to usher in Autumn, as I’ve found myself baking with a lot of cinnamon and pecans lately.

This past weekend, we had a BBQ and served grilled peaches with vanilla ice cream for dessert.  I thought these would be a nice addition.  Once the weather gets cooler, they’ll be wonderful with tea or coco.  *

3/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups small diced pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter/sugar mixture. Add the pecans and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut into 2 1/2-inch squares with a plain or fluted cutter (or cut into any shape you like). Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature and serve.

(From the Barefoot Contessa’s original cookbook)

*Not a nut fan?  Try out these amazing shortbread cookies here.