You need superfine sugar for this recipe, but if you can’t find store bought kind you can make your own by food processing regular granulated sugar by pulsing for 30 seconds. I guess you could try confectioners’ sugar, but that maybe too fine for these cookies and you won’t get a cookie that melts in your mouth as with superfine sugar.
If you decide to bake with more than one baking sheet of cookies, be sure to turn cookie sheets from front to back and switching from top to bottom racks halfway through the baking process – this is for even baking as more than one rack of cookies tends to block heat.
Oh yes, if you wait too long while shaping your cookies, the butter starts to soften further and they start falling apart when you form them. Work fast, maybe putting them into the fridge before you handle them will give you more handling time. Try other kinds of shapes for fun! ^_^
- 2 cups whole pecans, chopped fine
- 2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
- 1/3 cup superfine sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar for rolling cooled cookies
- Food processor with a steel blade
- Electric stand mixer with paddle attachment
- Baking sheets
Adjust oven to middle rack if you are baking with one sheet at a time; with two sheets, adjust racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix 1 cup chopped nuts, flour, and salt in medium bowl; set aside.
In workbowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process remaining chopped nuts until the texture of coarse cornmeal, 10 to 15 seconds (do not overprocess); stir into flour mixture and set aside. (To finely grind chopped nuts by hand, roll them between two large sheets plastic wrap with rolling pin, applying moderate pressure, until broken down to coarse cornmeal-like texture).
In bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed or by hand, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 1 1/2 minutes with an electric mixer or 4 minutes by hand; beat in vanilla. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula; add flour mixture and beat at low speed until dough just begins to come together but still looks scrappy, about 15 seconds. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl again with rubber spatula; continue beating at low speed until dough is cohesive, 6 to 9 seconds longer. Do not overbeat.
Working with about one tablespoon dough at a time, roll and shape cookies into balls, crescents, rings, or cigar shapes as desired. Bake until tops are pale golden and bottoms are just beginning to brown baking, 17 to 19 minutes.
Cool cookies on sheets about 2 minutes; remove with metal spatula to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Working with three or four cookies at a time, roll cookies in confectioners’ sugar to coat them thoroughly. Gently shake off excess. (They can be stored in an airtight container up to 5 days.)
Before serving, roll cookies in confectioners’ sugar a second time to ensure a thick coating, and tap off excess.