Iced Chocolate Shortbread Cookies with Candied Pecans

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I found a recipe for shortbread cookies, but they had a bunch of chile ingredients in them to make them super spicy and honestly that’s just not my thing.  I like spicy foods and I like sweet foods, but I’m just not a big fan of mixing sweet and savory in the same dish.  Just not my thing.  Maybe someday I’ll come up with something that I like that mixes sweet and savory.

This ain’t it.

These are just good, solid shortbread cookies with a couple interesting toppings on them that push them from good to “wow, these are pretty cool”.  Let me know what you think!

Ingredients

Cookies

·        1 ½ cup flour

·        1/3 cup sweetened cocoa powder

·        ¼ t cinnamon

·        ½ t salt

·        ½ cup butter, softened to room temperature

·        1 t vanilla

·        ½ cup vegetable oil (not olive)

·        ¾ cup powdered sugar

Pecan Topping

·        1 T dark brown sugar

·        1 t salt (in this case, if you have it, use the chunkier sea salt)

·        1 T butter, softened to room temperature

·        ½ t powdered sugar

·        36 or so pecan halves (depends on how many cookies you make – 36 is about right, but you want 1 pecan half for each cookie)

Icing

·        2 T butter

·        ½ cup dark brown sugar

·        ½ cup milk

·        1 t vanilla

·        1 ¼ cup powdered sugar  

Directions

We’ll make the cookies first.  Combine the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl and whisk until well combined.  Set aside.

In a larger bowl, put in the butter and mix it with a hand mixer until it’s whipped up a bit and fluffy.  Next, add in the vanilla and oil and beat that until everything is well blended – say about 3 minutes.  Then, add in the powdered sugar and beat that.

Finally, take the flour mixture from the first bowl and add it to the butter mixture.  Mix that with your hand mixer (on low to minimize the dry ingredients flying everywhere) until that’s well blended.

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Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for about a half hour.  Go do something fun while you’re waiting.  Or…start making the pecans (see below).

After you’re done doing whatever you think is fun for a half hour, take the dough out of the fridge and roll it into 36 balls.  Put them on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, a couple inches apart (they’ll spread a bit when they cook).

 

Using the side of a knife or the bottom of a water glass, flatten each ball to maybe a quarter inch high and then bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes or until they start to get golden brown on the bottoms.  Let them rest on the baking sheet for a couple minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.  Put either a newspaper or wax paper underneath the rack because you’re going to pour icing on the cookies and that will make cleanup much easier.

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Now for the pecans, which are pretty easy.  Take the 36 pecans and put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake them at 325 for 10 minutes until they’re toasted and then remove them from the oven.  Combine the brown sugar, sea salt, butter and powdered sugar in a bowl and mix well.  Then, add the warm pecans to that mixture and mix gently with a wooden spoon until they are all coated.

Finally, for the icing.  Put the 2T butter into a small saucepan and melt over a low heat.  Add in the brown sugar, milk and vanilla and stir continually until the sugar all melts.  Once the sugar is melted, turn the heat up and bring the mixture to a boil.  Once it gets there, turn the temperature back down to a simmer and let the mixture simmer for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The mixture will get a little thicker.

After three minutes take the pan off the heat and let the mixture cool until it’s almost room temperature (it doesn’t have to get all the way there).  Once it’s cooled add in the vanilla and powdered sugar and whisk until everything is well combined.IMG_7528

Spread the icing over each cookie and top each one with one of your spiced pecans.  And enjoy!

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