Walnuts may be substituted for pecans in these soft, rich, and chewy cookies.
Yield: makes about 5 dozen
FOR THE CRUST:
- 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- 10 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 6 tbsp. vegetable shortening
- 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
FOR THE TOPPING:
- 1⁄2 lb. unsalted butter
- 1⁄2 cup honey
- 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1⁄4 cups light brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 4 cups chopped pecans
- For the crust, combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and mix well. Beat butter and shortening together with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla, then reduce speed and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
- Gather dough into a ball, flatten slightly, then, using your fingers, press into a buttered nonstick baking sheet about 10 1⁄2″ x 15 1⁄2″ x 1⁄2″ (sometimes called a jelly roll pan). Refrigerate dough overnight or place in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Prick crust all over, then bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- To make the topping, combine butter, honey, and white and brown sugars in a saucepan. Simmer, stirring constantly, over medium heat until sugars melt and mixture darkens and foams, 5 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in cream, and stir in pecans.
- Spread filling evenly over crust with a rubber spatula and bake until topping is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and cool completely on a wire rack, then cut into 1 1⁄2″ squares or diamonds to serve.