Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pecan Sandies

 Snow days always remind me of being in elementary school. My friends and I would cross our fingers, do our snow dances, put on our pajamas inside out, and perform any other elaborate tricks we had heard about. The next morning, we usually found ourselves back in science class, but just the excitement was worth it.
  Snow days always meant sledding, which involved getting cold and wet in the park. Ultimately, one of our moms would usually end up making us hot chocolate and cookies. These are the perfect snow day cookie - they remind me of those Keebler pecan cookies, but more buttery and flavorful. The powdered sugar dusting the tops only adds to the most delicious little-kid throwback.
 Pecan Sandies

1 3/4 cups plus 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour (250 grams) 
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans (80 grams) 
4 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature (170 grams) 
3/4 cup plus 1 3/4 teaspoons confectioners' sugar (90 grams) 
Additional confectioners' sugar for dusting

 Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F (convection) or 350°F (standard). Line two sheet pans with Silpats or parchment paper.
Toss the flour and pecans together in a medium bowl.
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium-low speed until smooth. Add the 90 grams/3/4 cup plus 1 3/4 teaspoons confectioners' sugar and mix for about 2 minutes, until fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, until just combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any dry ingredients that have settled there.
Divide the dough into 30-gram / 1 1/2-tablespoon portions, roll into balls, and arrange on the sheet pans, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between them. Press the cookies into 2-inch disks.
Bake until pale golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes if using a convection oven, 22 to 25 minutes if using a standard oven, reversing the positions of the pans halfway through.
Set the pans on a cooling rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.
Dust with confectioners' sugar.

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