November 7, 2009

Pecan Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle

This week I finally caved to my shortbread craving and made some delicious cookies! I decided to incorporate the pecans from Costco and super awesome baker's chocolate from Bi Rite Market we have in our pantry. The dough comes from an episode of Barefoot Contessa in which Ina made these shortbread finger cookies. This is her recipe for the dough, with the slight revision of using salted butter* instead of unsalted, and so leaving out the salt that was called for:

3/4 pound salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. Add flour. Mix 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.

I ended up refrigerating the dough overnight (in order to go drinking!), and so the next day the dough was a bit harder to work than I would have liked. I rolled it into 1 inch balls and pressed them down into 1/2 inch thick disks with a pecan half in the center of each. Due to the temperature of the dough, the outsides of the balls warmed much more quickly than the insides, and led to some (very minor) issues during baking. If/when I do this again, I will roll and press the balls before refrigeration, then refrigerate at least 30 mins before baking.

I baked the cookies at 350° for (I think) 12 minutes. (Sorry for the inexact time, I pulled them out when they smelled done and forgot to note the timer). Then cooled them for what ended up being about 4 hours - I got distracted. Probably the minimum cooling time would be 30 mins.

After cooling, I melted a few ounces of baker's chocolate in the oven and drizzled it over the cooled cookies.

Final result? "F**king amazing!" (A direct quote from Sondra, my good friend and taste tester).

*I am actually anti-salted butter, but this is what we have in the house. Until we've used up the Costo quantity that we bought (in error) months ago, this is what we have to work with.

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