My spouse’s favorite holiday treats are pecan shortbread cookies, so I figured out how to make them gluten and dairy-free so that I can enjoy them too. The ingredients are simple and they are pretty easy to make. I did the whole thing in my food processor. I found out that no matter how many you make, you always want more because they disappear so fast.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15-18 minutes
Chill Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 43 minutes
1 cup PECANS - finely chopped 1 cup VEGAN BUTTER (at room temperature: soft but not melted) - I use Earth Balance sticks 1/2 cup POWDERED SUGAR 1 teaspoon VANILLA EXTRACT 2-1/4 cups GLUTEN-FREE ALL PURPOSE FLOUR (with Xanthan Gum) or add 1/2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum if your flour doesn't include it 1/4 teaspoon SALT More POWDERED SUGAR for rolling
- PRE-HEAT oven to 400 degrees F
- PREPARE a baking tray with parchment paper
- ADD the PECANS to a food processor (sharp blade) and grind until they are a coarse powder
- ADD the BUTTER, SALT, SUGAR, and VANILLA EXTRACT to the food processor (dough blade) and combine by pulsing until the dough starts to hold together. Try not to overprocess the dough. (You can do this all in a large bowl but you will need to cream the butter and sugar together)
- SCOOP the batter into 1-inch balls using a tablespoon or cookie scoop* onto the prepared baking tray. Leave 1-inch between balls. (You can roll the balls by hand but try not to make them too big.) *I love my 1-inch cookie scoop.
- FREEZE the tray for at least 5 minutes.
- BAKE: 15-18 minutes (check often – they should be lightly golden)
- REMOVE from the oven to COOL for 3-5 minutes but LEAVE THE OVEN ON.
- PLACE about 1/3 cup more POWDERED SUGAR in a bowl
- ROLL the balls in the sugar gently while they are still warm. They are very fragile at this point so handle them with care.
- PLACE the cookie balls back on the tray after they are sugared.
- RETURN the tray to the oven for 3 minutes to set the sugar.
- COOL on the tray for 5 minutes
- ROLL the balls again in more POWDERED SUGAR before carefully moving them to a cooling rack.
- STORE in an air-tight container.