(originally from a 1970's Family Circle magazine)
For the shortbread base:
1/3 cup (5 1/3 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened (I use Land 'o Lakes)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour (I use Heckers)
For the pecan topping:
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
Make the shortbread base:
Place the rack in the center of the oven, and preheat it to 375 degrees. Butter or spray with cooking oil an 8" x 8" square pan, (I like a glass pyrex one). Cut out a 12 " x 12" square piece of parchment, and cut 3 " diagonal slits into each corner. Fit the parchment into the pan, (You may have to tweak it a little to fit). Set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the egg, combine, and then stir in the flour. You can knead the dough a few times to get the flour incorporated.
Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 13-15 minutes, until the dough is slightly puffed no longer shiny. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the temperature down to 350 degrees.
Make the pecan topping:
In a small heavy bottomed saucepan, add the butter, 2 sugars and honey. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil, and continue to boil for 2 1/2 minutes more.
Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the heavy cream. Be careful, because the mixture will bubble up. Return the pot to the heat and boil for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans, completely coating them. Immediately pour the mixture over the shortbread base. You can gently nudge the pecans around to more evenly redistribute them if you like. Bake for exactly 25 minutes. The topping will not be quite set, but will set up as it cools. Cool completely. Cut into diamond shapes. I cut diagonal lines 1 " apart and then vertical lines 1" apart to create the diamond shape. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Makes about 64 small cookies. YUM!
1. Make sure to butter or spray the pan with cooking spray before you line it with the parchment and then again after.
2. Don't over-bake the shortbread crust. It will still have time to bake more with the topping.
3. With the pan still slightly warm, you can gently lift the cookies out of the pan, parchment and all and place them directly onto a cutting board. Just let them COOL COMPLETELY before cutting them into cookies.
4. I like to cut off about 1/2" around all 4 edges first, so that all the cookies look uniform.