Most baking books include a recipe for pecan sandies, sometimes called sand tarts, a lovely shortbread-type cookie made with chopped pecans. Because I love to experiment with flavors, I wondered what would happen when a pecan sandie met a maple cinnamon shortbread. The end result is absolutely delicious, something I know I’ll make again.
I used maple sugar in this recipe, and you can likely buy at Whole Foods and from many retailers online. I typically buy mine from High Country Creamery & Market in Granstville, Maryland, just a short trip from Deep Creek. The market features local maple sugar and maple syrup, and I pick up a package whenever we visit. If you don’t have maple sugar, you can use regular and just add a bit more maple flavoring to make up for the taste.
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup maple sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon maple extract/flavoring
- 2 1/3 cups flour
- 1 cup pecans, toasted, cooled, and finely chopped
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, salt, maple sugar, and maple extract until fluffy. Add flour and mix to combine, then stir in pecans.
Using a two-inch cookie scoop, scoop dough and roll into balls. Place about 2 inches apart on baking sheets; you should have 10 cookies per sheet. Flatten slightly with your hand.
Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the baking sheet and bake for another 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes on the baking sheets, then place on a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. Makes 20.