Pecan Shortbread Diamonds

If you like pecan pie, you will love these. If you don’t like pecan pie because you find it too cloyingly sweet, you will love these.
November 01, 2013

About this recipe

These are the probably the most decadent-tasting cookie of any I’ve ever made — super rich, but not overly sweet. Seek out fresh local nuts — you will be amazed at how much better the flavor is when you use current-crop nuts in any dish. This makes about 3 dozen large bar cookies, but I recommend cutting them into smaller pieces so you don’t go into a diabetic coma!

Instructions

Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking pan with foil, leaving 1-inch overhang on all sides. Butter the foil, bottom of the pan and the sides. Using a food processor, pulse the fl our, powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt a few times to blend. Add the butter and process until mixture begins to clump together. Move the mixture to a work surface and press together so there are no dry crumbs left. Press the dough evenly onto bottom of the foil-lined pan and prick all over with a fork.
  2. Bake the crust until just set and light golden, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside while you prepare the fi lling. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

Pecan Topping

  1. Stir brown sugar, corn syrup and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils; boil 1 minute. Add pecans and cream; boil until mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Pour hot topping over warm crust.
  2. Bake nut-topped crust until caramel darkens and bubbles thickly, about 20 minutes. Transfer pan to rack. Cool completely in pan (topping will harden).
  3. Lift foil out of pan onto cutting board. Using heavy sharp knife, cut into 1½- by 1-inch diamonds. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Store between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container at room temperature.)

Ingredients

For the Crust
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
For The Pecan Topping
  • 1¼ cups (packed) brown sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup (or use ⅓ cup corn syrup and enough maple syrup to make ½ cup)
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped pecans (about 14½ ounces)
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
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