Pecan Shortbread Cookies

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1 ½ cups flour

¼ cup cornstarch

¼ teaspoon salt

pinch of ground clove

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup finely ground pecans

confectioners' sugar (optional)


1. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt and clove.

2. Using a mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer to scrape down the sides. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Add the pecans and mix just until combined.

3. Place the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap. Cover with another sheet of plastic and shape into a square. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll the dough between the plastic to 1/4-inch thick, and into a 9 1/2 x 11-inch rectangle. Refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours, or up to 2 days.

4. Position two oven racks so they divide the oven into thirds. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Discard the plastic sheets from the dough. Trim the edges to form a 9 x 10.5/2-inch rectangle, then cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares. Place the squares on the baking sheets, then, with a fork, pierce each cookie twice all the way through. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 9 minutes. If desired, dust the cookies with confectioners' sugar while still hot. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Bon Appetit!

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