Pecan Shortbread Slices are one of those cookies you can make long in advance. They are rolled into a log, well wrapped, and can be refrigerated or frozen until you feel like baking. They are packed with toasted pecans and prepared with good cocoa and mini chocolate chips for extra chocolatey flavour.
I used to think that shortbread was shortbread, but little did I know years ago that they are many variations and flavours of shortbread. These Pecan Shortbread Slices are nutty and chocolatey, but I have many other shortbread recipes here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen for you to discover as well.
The most common shortbreads are rolled and cut with cookie cutters and then decorated with royal icing. I’m not good with decorating cookies and cakes, so I take a simpler route. For instance, Stamped Shortbread Cookies are beautiful and no decorating skills are needed at all! Then there’s my Whipped Shortbread recipe. You don’t need to roll those at all. In fact, they’re so good that they are one of my most popular Christmas recipes.
Of course, we can’t forget about flavoured shortbreads too. I love these Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies and I can’t get enough of these Chocolate Drizzled Espresso Shortbread. Did you know there’s also shortbread recipes that allow you to stuff them with candied fruits and cherries? Oh, yes, Dear Reader! I have just the recipe to prove it right here! Now, finally, I’m showing you a different type. And, to be honest, in terms of ease, I think these just might be my favourite type to prepare!
LORD BYRON’S 24 COOKIES OF CHRISTMAS – VOLUME 4
Now that the introduction to my Pecan Shortbread Slices is out of the way, I have to ask, is this your first day joining me for my annual 24 Cookies of Christmas countdown? Can you believe this is my fourth consecutive year of sharing my 24 Cookies of Christmas advent with you? It wasn’t easy to bring this series back for the fourth year. The first three years consisted of 24 cookie recipes each, for a total of 72 recipes. I had to get really creative this year in hopes of posting 24 more Christmas cookie recipes.
You might be asking yourself, how many Christmas cookie recipes could one possibly have or need? Well, I say you can never have too much of a good thing. And, I love having lots of choices. Who wants to bake the same holiday cookies year after year? I surely don’t!
I do have some classics that I make every year. I’m not a huge lover of sweets, but John.e loves sugar and so does McKenna. So, every year I re-make their favourites and I love to add new cookies to my ever-growing list of holiday recipes. Life is about choices, and I love to have lots to choose from! Now, who’s ready to talk more about these Pecan Shortbread Slices?
MORE CHRISTMAS CONFECTIONS!
Maybe you don’t care much for cookies. Or, maybe you’re impatient and can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s recipe will be! If either one of those applies to you, I have a remedy. Last year, I published a series called Lord Byron’s 12 Biscotti of Christmas. The year before that, I published a series called Lord Byron’s 12 Bundt Cakes of Christmas. And, just a few days ago, I finished this year’s mini series call Lord Byron’s 12 Truffles of Christmas. You can click on the image below and see the entire series on one page! Don’t worry, you won’t lose this page. It will open up a new page so that you can easily get back to these cookies!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE THESE COOKIES:
- Butter – I’m using salted butter. If you use unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt when you add in the flour. It is imperative that your butter is softened.
- Sugar – These cookies are not super sweet, despite there being 1/2 cup of sugar present.
- Pecans – You will need chopped pecans that are toasted. The toasting part adds so much nutty flavour.
- Chocolate Chips – Try to use mini chocolate chips so that you can get a cleaner cut when slicing the chilled logs.
- Flour – I always use all-purpose flour, unless otherwise stated. I have not tested this recipe with other flour alternatives.
- Cocoa Powder – Cocoa powder is an unsweetened chocolate product which adds deep chocolate flavor to desserts and beverages. Use a good quality cocoa powder, not the kind we used to stir into milk as kids!
- Sanding Sugar – Coarse sugar, sometimes referred to as sanding sugar, is used sometimes for decorative purposes. It is sometimes called pearl sugar or coarse baking sugar.
TIPS & TRICKS: Buying already chopped pecans are most often much cheaper than buying whole pecans. Manufacturers oftentimes separate the broken pecans from the whole pecans and further chop them in order to sell them. When comparing weight and cost, the chopped pecans usually cost much less!
SANDING VS GRANULATED SUGAR
I use coarse sanding sugar quite often in my recipes, and I hope it hasn’t been too difficult for you to find. Sanding sugar is sometimes referred to as baking sugar, and there are some substitutes. You can use other sugars – which are basically the same, but named something differently – there’s pearl sugar and coarse sugar. You cannot, however, use granulated sugar. Let me explain why.
Whereas an individual granule of sanding sugar is large and hard, a single granule of granulated sugar is quite small. Sanding sugar will hold up to the heat in your oven without melting; granulated sugar will not. If you cannot find sanding sugar, then I’m afraid this recipe is not for you.
You can find sanding sugar online, but it’s expensive in comparison to what you can find at a baking supply store. I buy most of my sanding sugar at Bulk Barn. They have just about every colour you will need!
The first thing you should do it to toast your nuts. How do you do that? It’s very simple! To be perfectly honest, this applies to any nuts or seeds, not just the nuts in this recipe. If you are not familiar with toasted nuts, then please try it just once. You will probably never revert to using nuts in your cooking or baking again without toasting them first!
I have tried using non-stick frying pans for toasting, but nothing works as well as a stainless steel pan. You could use a cast iron pan, but since they get very hot and retain heat so well, it’s easier to burn the nuts. See the frying pan in this picture? That’s the exact one that I use all the time. I’m not suggesting you run out and buy this same cookware set, but I want you to see the pan – remember, do not use non-stick if possible. You’ll get better results will plain stainless steel.
So, unlike most cooking where you’re required to preheat first, you don’t want to apply that same rule to toasting nuts. Add the nuts to a cold pan. Place the pan on the burner and turn the heat on – no higher than medium and probably even less if using a gas burner.
Keep the nuts moving about. I use a rubber spatula. Once you start to smell that warm and toasty aromatic smell, pay close attention. The nuts will take on a darker colour. Don’t let them get too dark. Once you’re satisfied, immediately remove them from the hot pan and transfer them to a dinner plate where they can be spread out to cool.
MORE CHRISTMAS COOKIE RECIPES!
Did you know that I’ve been posting a 24 Cookies of Christmas series for a few years now? There are over 100 Christmas cookie recipes that you can find right here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen! To make it easier to find, I have created a page for each series. Just click on the image below and you’ll find the full series for that volume all one page!
HOW TO MAKE PECAN SHORTBREAD SLICES:
I love to make these cookies, not only because they are easy, but they’re also fun to make. Why is it that rolling cookie dough into a log is so satisfying? I think it stems from a love of playing with food when I was a kid! And, as you know, I love to use sanding sugar, so that’s always a bonus. Making these could not be easier. Let me tell you how to do it!
In a mixing bowl, use a hand-held mixer to beat together the butter and sugar. Beat for 3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Next, add the flour and cocoa powder. If you used unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt now too. With your beater on a low setting, beat the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture until well combined. Finally, add in the toasted and cooled pecans, along with the chocolate chips. Use a wooden spoon to mix the nuts and chocolate into the cookie batter.
Finally, turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper. Form the dough into a long log, about 18 inches in length. Once formed, sprinkle the sanding sugar over the log, rolling the log gently so that the sugar sticks to the dough. Roll the log in the parchment paper and then into plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 3-5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Next, prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a silicone liner or with parchment paper and set it aside.
Remove the plastic wrap and parchment paper from the cookie log. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 1/4 inch slices. Lay the slices onto the prepared baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom edge of the cookies have browned. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Remove and transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
STORING, PACKAGING, & FREEZING
When it comes to most cookies, they taste best at room temperature, but they don’t hold up well to being left out on your countertop for long periods of time. Cookies will stay fresh in a cookie jar or food-safe container with a lid for 3-5 days if left to sit on your kitchen countertop. You can store them in a food-safe container in your fridge. When you want one, two, or half a dozen, take them out of the container and place them in a single layer on a plate. Let them sit at room temperature for 5 minutes and they’re ready!
If you plan to freeze your Pecan Shortbread Slices, you certainly can! Once they are completely cooled, pile them into a clean, food-safe container. The container must be freezer friendly! You’ll want to ensure a very tight fitting lid too. I use these quite often when freezing baked goods. I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container before pushing the lid on. This helps to create a better seal. The goal is to keep all of that freshness locked in!
You can freeze these cookies for up to three months. If you plan to give previously frozen cookies as a gift, I would lay them out onto a wire cooling rack to thaw completely. Once thawed, pile into cellophane bags and tie with a ribbon, or stack in a cookie tin/box.
If I have not answered all of your questions in the text above, don’t hesitate to reach out to me! You can contact me by sending me a message in the comments section further down the page. I will try my best to answer as soon as possible! You might reach me even faster by following me on Facebook and sending me a private message. Scroll down to follow me and never miss another recipe!
Finally, as I stated previously, every day I will be posting a new recipe. If you miss one, don’t fret. You can find my entire collection of Christmas Recipes right here! There are over 100 Christmas recipes and counting. There’s something for everyone! Cheers!
Pecan Shortbread Slices
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup sanding sugar
- In a mixing bowl, use a hand-held mixer to beat together the butter and sugar. Beat for 3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Next, add the flour and cocoa powder. If you used unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt now too. With your beater on a low setting, beat the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture until well combined.
- Finally, add in the toasted and cooled pecans, along with the chocolate chips. Use a wooden spoon to mix the nuts and chocolate into the cookie batter.
- Finally, turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper. Form the dough into a long log, about 18 inches in length.
- Once formed, sprinkle the sanding sugar over the log, rolling the log gently so that the sugar sticks to the dough. Roll the log in the parchment paper and then into plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Next, prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a silicone liner or with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Remove the plastic wrap and parchment paper from the cookie log. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 1/4 inch slices.
- Lay the slices onto the prepared baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom edge of the cookies have browned. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Remove and transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.