Toffee pecan shortbread cookies

These cookies are the perfect size and shape for an afternoon tea. Or, if you are already holiday planning, they would also make a great holiday cookie for a cookie swap.

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    These toffee pecan shortbread cookies make a perfect afternoon tea cookie.
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Cute tea cookie right here! That pretty much sums up what I think of this cookie. I left out the suggested, optional chocolate from the original blog and prefer it as a purist, non-chocolate dessert. It has the texture of shortbread which is why I was okay with the pecans in the cookie. If it had been a chewy cookie like any one of the big, fat chocolate chip cookies I love, nuts would be a no-go. But in these, they were perfect because they not only added a nice crunch to go with the toffee, but they also added great flavor, also complemented by both the toffee and the shortbread cookie itself.

The dough was easy to work with and shape. The cookies didn't spread much so shape in the form and thickness in which you want to eat and serve them. I went with small, thick discs which I consider the perfect "tea cookie." Not that I drink tea but if I did and was at a tea party, these are the cookies I would expect.

Incidentally, since we're getting to that time of the year, these would also make good holiday cookies because of their relatively small size. You can bring them to cookie swaps, put them in goodie bags and gift baskets and bring them to parties. If you want the chocolate aspect, add mini chocolate chips to the dough and/or dip half the cookie in your favorite melted milk or dark chocolate.

Recommended: 11 delicious scone recipes

Toffee pecan shortbread cookies
From Baking and Boys

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pecans, finely chopped and every so slightly toasted
3/4 cup English toffee bits, such as Heath
1 ounce good quality chocolate, melted (optional) or add mini chocolate chips to the dough

1. Cream the butter and powdered sugar together until smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Beat in the vanilla, then add the flour and salt just until combined.  Stir in the pecans, toffee (and chocolate chips, if adding). 

2. Form into small, thick discs, cover and chill or freeze several hours or overnight.

3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

4. Evenly space discs on baking sheets; they don't spread much so you don't need a lot of space between cookies.

5. Bake until the edges are just starting to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack. If dipping in melted chocolate, dip half of each cookie in melted chocolate and let set.

Related post on The Pastry Chef's Baking: Butter Toffee Crunch Shortbread

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