Butter, sugar, toasted pecans and chocolate. What's not to like? This recipe creates DECADENT, melt-in-your-mouth pecan shortbread cookies. I fixed a batch last night. By this morning...they were gone.
I suggest using a Kitchenaid (or other brand) stand mixer with a paddle attachment as this is a VERY stiff dough -- I don't suggest mixing it by hand ...either your hand will wear out or the wooden spoon will break.
Cream together sugar and butter--just until combined.
Add extracts and stir into butter/sugar mixture.
In separate bowl, whisk flour and salt together.
Add flour/salt mix to butter/sugar mix, a little at a time.
Add chopped pecans to dough and THOROUGHLY incorporate them. (I chopped them by hand).
Place reserved 1/2 cup of pecans in separate bowl.
Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. By hand, roll each piece into a log (about 2-3 inches in diameter). Wrap each log, snugly, with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
Remove plastic wrap from dough log and slice into 3/8-inch - 1/2-inch thick slices.
Place sliced dough onto UNGREASED parchment-paper lined cookie sheet about 1/2 inch apart.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until edges are golden brown and center is cooked but NOT browned (see photo above).
After baking, gently transfer to cooling rack (they're VERY fragile at this stage), and cool completely. Once cooled, they are quite sturdy.
In microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate morsels (in 30-second increments, stirring after each increment)
Spread reserved, chopped pecans (or, if desired, sliced almonds) onto cookie sheet and return to oven for 5-10 min. until toasted. Watch them carefully so they don't burn. Then, place them in a bowl.
Coat cooled cookies 1/2-way with melted chocolate (front, back, and sides)--scraping off excess.
Roll chocolate-dipped cookies in toasted pecan pieces. Alternately, you can use sliced almonds, or crushed toffee pieces (Heath or Skor bars)...or, leave them plain or just dipped in chocolate if you like. When coated, return cookies to cooling rack to set.
Chill chocolate-dipped cookies for 20-30 min. in fridge to set chocolate before serving.
Store in airtight container (if you have any left).