Ah, thanks Grandma, I knew you wouldn't steer me wrong. When I called and asked her for one of her favorite cookie recipes, she revealed these soft, toasty, addictive little pecan morsels.
I know I've gone on and on about how glorious life is here in Berkeley, CA. I have said on more than one occasion how the food, air and wine feel and taste just a bit more pure than in New York. But, there are two paramount culinary delicacies that I cannot get on this side of the world - the first is truly authentic Italian food, and the second, more importantly, is my grandmother's cooking. The days of running across the street for one of her comforting specialties are far behind me, but luckily I can quell at least some of my nostalgia by recreating her best meals here in California.
I will admit, I thought granny was slightly off her rocker when she told me this cookie recipe had no eggs, baking soda or baking powder. But as usual, I was wrong to misjudge the matriarchal head of my family, as these cookies were buttery smooth, with a substantial, yet not overpowering, smoky crunch. The quality of the butter is super important in this recipe, because it plays a starring role in the end result. And don't leave out the icing sugar–the dash of snowy sweetness looks great and adds character.
Ingredients for Grandma's Toasted Pecan Butter Cookies
3 1/2 ounces of pecan halves, toasted in the oven or on a hot skillet. Cut each half into 2 or 3 pieces.
8 ounces unsalted, organic European style butter
1 cup confectioners sugar, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour.
Preheat oven to 325F
Cream butter and sugar with a heavy-duty mixer until pale and fluffy, and with the mixer running, add vanilla and salt. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour, beating until just incorporated.
Stir in pecans until distributed evenly throughout the dough. Refrigerate until firm - about an hour.
Drop 1 tablespoon scoops of dough onto a baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are of cookies are lightly golden. This should take about 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Dust with confectionery sugar, just before serving.
Try not to eat the whole batch in one sitting.
This recipe is part of the Grandma's Recipes food blog event at The Spiced Life.