Lemon Pecan Shortbread

Happy New Year! 

Okay, this is the last thing I’m going to say on the subject of cookies for the immediate future, and I wouldn’t even be discussing this, except I just ate two lemon pecan cookies and, even though they are a twelfth night old, my goodness they are DELICIOUS!  In fact, I have to say I can’t imagine anything more perfect than a tumble of these gems and a good cup of tea. Unprepossessing in appearance perhaps, but so fresh and lemony, so explosively good….well, suffice it to say, I may survive January just knowing where these darlings are stowed.  Honestly, if you have it in you to bake one more cookie, or if it snows, or if you just want to make something, anything–make these.  And a touch of Jane Austen wouldn’t hurt either, now that I think about it.

Lemon Pecan Shortbread

Makes about 5 dozen cookies 

1 ½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup finely ground pecans

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

3 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar

Cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar together until pale yellow.  Add flour, pecans, salt, vanilla and lemon zest to the butter mixture.  Mix thoroughly.  Gather dough into 2 balls, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Working with first ball of dough, roll on a lightly floured surface until dough is ½ thick.

Using a 1 ½ or 2 inch cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place an inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  Sprinkle with some granulated sugar and bake for approximately 15 minutes until they only just show the merest suggestion of  color.  Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.  Repeat process with the re-rolled scraps and then the second ball of dough.

 Store between sheets of waxed paper in a tin.  They last, obviously, for up to two weeks.

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