I though I would share my delight in having my recipe win a cookie contest in Cooks Country magazine. The recipe is in the January 08 publication and can only be viewed on the web if you are a Cooks Country web member. I would like to share my version of the recipe and my picture of cookies with everyone here. There are very easy to put together in a food processor and are great to give as Holiday goodie gifts. Enjoy!
Pecan Toffee Chocolate Chip Shortbread Stars
1 Cup Chopped Pecans
1/4 Cup English Toffee Bits, Health Bits
2 Tablespoons Almond Paste
1 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1/4 Cup Cornstarch
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter, COLD ( 1 1/2 sticks) cut into 12 pieces
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Mini-chocolate Chips, semi-sweet
Topping: Turbinado Sugar or red or green colored sugars
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 4 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Arrange 2 racks in the middle of the oven.
2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, add the pecans, toffee chips and almond paste and PROCESS until the mixture is coarsely ground.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, cornstarch and salt. Add to the bowl of the processor and pulse a few times just to blend all the ingredients.
4. Add the butter and vanilla on top of the flour mixture and pulse a few times to cut in the butter. Process the mixture until it starts to form a soft ball of dough. Do not over-process or the mixture will be too soft.
5. Add the chocolate chips and pulse only 1 or 2 times to combine. If the dough is too soft, refrigerate for 30 minutes until firm.
6. See the HELPFUL TIPS above. Transfer the mixture to a lightly floured surface and roll 1/4” thick. Use a 3” size star shaped cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Re-flour the surface, gather up the dough and re-roll the scraps and cut out additional cookies. Use flour on your hands and the rolling pin to ease working with the dough.
7. Use a floured bench scraper to place 8 cookies onto each cookie sheet. Sprinkle each cookie with turbinado sugar and cinnamon sugar. Use colored sugars for festive looking cookies.
8. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown around the edges. Let cool 10 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Notes: SHORTBREAD TIPS: The dough must be cold enough to roll: refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling. If the dough is a bit too soft, try rolling the dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper. For an extra pretty cookie edge, dip the cutter in sugar or colored sugar before cutting each cookie. To keep the perfect cookie shape, refrigerate the cookies ON the cookie sheets for 15 minutes before baking. This also keeps the cookies from spreading while baking Bake the cookies until JUST golden brown around the edges so they are crisp and the dough stays intact. Cool at least 15 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet. If you undercook these cookies, they will fall apart and taste too doughy. Shortbread cookies store well for about a week in an airtight cookie jar, but they probably will NOT last for more than 1 day. Try using European or extra creamy butter made by Land O Lakes. Mexican or Bourbon vanilla will intensify the flavor of this cookie. These key ingredients will make a huge difference in the taste of these cookies.