I love football. In fact, football and I have a passionate romance that lasts about 5 or 6 months, and then goes into hibernation shortly after the new year. After the Super Bowl, I go into a mild depression until the local triple A baseball team starts playing, which is usually enough to get me through the spring and summer months. So when September rolls around, I am all about doing nothing but watching endless hours of pigskin on Sundays. You can imagine how much this thrills my husband. He is a lucky man, indeed. So this Sunday was glorious day in my house. The best day all week, even! I didn’t get out of my PJs all day long and I only did two things: watch football and bake a batch of cookies.
About half way through the 3 p.m. games, my butt usually starts getting numb and I wander to the kitchen to stretch my legs and whip up something yummy for the night game. (Did I mention how good my hubby has it?) Yesterday I decided to try out a lighter version of shortbread courtesy of, who else, Cooking Light. These cookies turned out really well and are just the right size to satiate those occasional sweet cravings that pop up between endless bowls of chips and salsa that are always on hand during football season. Plus, with the turbinado sugar topping, they really remind me of those pretzel shaped cookies that come in the blue cookie tins you see all over the place at Christmas time. And you can’t beat those, in my book.
So the next time you’re looking for a slightly sweet treat that isn’t too hard to make, give these a try.
Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons finely chopped pecans, toasted
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup ice water
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through salt), stirring well with a whisk. Place butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 1 minute). Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed. (Mixture will appear crumbly.) Sprinkle ice water over flour mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Shape the dough into 2 (6-inch-long) logs; wrap each log in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour or until very firm.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap dough; cut each log into 16 slices using a serrated knife. Place dough circles 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle tops evenly with turbinado sugar, gently pressing into dough. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from baking sheets; cool on a wire rack.
Yield 32 cookies