I love the way that one recipe can serendipitously inspire another. Having spent the majority of last week waxing lyrical about Rosa’s rich buttery almond shortbread, an acquaintance enquired if I had ever made Pecan Sandies, reminiscent of her American childhood. Crisp, light and crumbly, an addictive combination of butter, vanilla and ground roasted pecan.
Truth be told I had never heard of, let alone tasted a Pecan Sandie. They just don’t seem to be part of the Australian culinary landscape, at least not in my particular corner of the world. I do, however, love pecans and my family have never met a cookie they didn’t like. Not one to shy away from a challenge, here is my version of a Pecan Sandie, a cross between Rosa’s Shortbread and an Old-Fashioned Slice and Bake Biscuit. Unbelievably delicious and utterly addictive. Thank-you Stacey for introducing me to my latest melt in the mouth baking obsession.
1 cup pecans
1 cup (250g) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons demerara (raw) sugar
PLACE pecans in a heavy based fry pan and dry roast over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, about 3 minutes. To avoid the nuts burning from the residual heat of the pan, transfer pecans to a paper towel lined plate. Allow to cool before grinding in a food processor.
PLACE softened butter, sugar, vanilla and salt into a large mixing bowl and beat until white and creamy, at least 10 minutes.
STIR in ground pecans, plain flour and baking powder, mixing until just combined.
SHAPE the biscuit dough into a 25cm log, wrap in glad wrap or baking paper and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. If not intending to bake biscuits within 2 days, wrap in foil and freeze.
When Ready To Bake
PREHEAT oven to 170 C. Line two oven trays with non stick baking paper. Use a sharp knife to cut the log into 1cm slices and place 3cm apart on greased oven trays. Sprinkle over demerara sugar.
BAKE for 15 minutes until biscuits are a pale golden colour. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.