Monday, May 30, 2016

Buttery Pecan Press-in Shortbread

There are four things about this recipe that you should get really excited about:
1. Buttery - oh yes it is.
2. Pecan - a hell of a nut.
3. Press-in - this means easy!
4. Shortbread.

You need less than 10 minutes prep before this gets in the oven.

You need only one mixing bowl.

You need just 5 ingredients.

You need your hands, but a food processor will work too if you don't mind a bit more clean-up.

The reward for making this is an aroma that takes over your senses. Butter and pecans were meant to be together because when they are, all the butteryness is elevated. Flavour is all over the place!

It's rich, crisp, tender and so easy to eat. I love it when a recipe can be just like this - truly simple and damn delicious.

Rubbing the butter all in between the flour leaves no chance for gluten to take over. All of the flour is coated in fat so you will have a very short bite. Tenderness prevails!

For clean slices, you can first score the dough where you would like to slice it (in triangles or squares) and then bake until just lightly golden around the edges and still pale everywhere else. This will make a softer, more moist shortbread.

I like to bake it dark, until the edges are nicely browned and it is golden all over. This will produce very crisp and tender shortbread, and then I just break it up into shards.

Dipping in melted chocolate is optional... But really, is it? 
Think about that.

I hope you are tempted to make and bake!


Buttery Pecan Press-in Shortbread
makes about 12 pieces

1 cup (142g) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (55g) packed light brown sugar
¼ cup (35g) ground roasted pecans
¼ tsp salt
6 tbsp (84g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
150g dark chocolate, melted, for dipping

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang at each end.

Combine flour, brown sugar, ground pecans and salt in a large bowl and blend evenly. Add the cold butter and rub it in with your fingertips until well dispersed and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Alternatively you can combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, pulse to blend first and then add butter and pulse until mixture forms crumbs.

Tip the mixture into prepared pan and press down firmly all over with your fingertips to form an even layer.

Bake until golden, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. When cooled, cut or break into shards and dip in melted chocolate.

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