Brown Butter Pecan Sandies
Pecan sandies were definitely not a cookie I appreciated as a kid. Despite being surrounded by an abundance of them, pecans were not something I fully appreciated until I was a little older and no longer living in Texas where they are plentiful and cheap compared to Seattle. But with a large box arriving from Texas a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to make some cookies with authentic Texas pecans, toasted until rich and fragrant. Pecan sandies seemed like a good option.
Some friends were cleaning out their house and offered us an old queen sized bed frame of theirs, so they dropped it off at our house last weekend. Since they were being so nice to just give us a bed frame, I wanted to send them home with a thank you treat (plus one of Dustin's coworkers complained it had been too long since the last time he brought in cookies). We made the dough up on Saturday, let it sit in the fridge until Sunday and then baked them up fresh right before the bed was dropped off, so they'd be pretty fresh for Dustin to take to work the next morning.
It's been a long time since I've made shortbread, and I know the dough is supposed to be pretty crumbly, but I think my dough might have been a little to dry...
I followed the ratio of ingredients from Southern Living (I mean you think Southern Living would know how to make pecan sandies, right?) and I used browned butter that I returned back to a solidified state, and I let the dough sit in the fridge overnight in discs, hoping it would be easy to cut the cookies into some cute Valentine's Day shapes. That was very much not the case. There was no way this dough could be rolled into a log or cut with cookie cutters. Instead I just grabbed chunks of dough and pushed them together to form cookies. They were still incredibly crumbly and barely held together, both before and after baking. They needed some gentle love when it came to handling. So perhaps use a bit less flour than suggested? I assumed after refrigerating the dough, it would hold together better. It doesn't.
However these cookies taste fabulous (probably helped by the addition of brown butter), and there are definite perks to crumbly cookies. Like if you let the cookies cool on a wire rack with a clean cutting board underneath, you can eat up all of the bits and pieces of butter and pecan (and there will be lots), and still save room for a whole cookie because all you previously consumed were tiny pieces, and tiny pieces can't have very many calories, can they?