Pecan-Brown Sugar Shortbread

My hand mixer broke, really broke, as in one of the beaters had a piece come loose. I looked to see if I could just buy a replacement beater but no dice. And so in my laziness, I have learned to live without it.

In the case of this shortbread recipe, the original which comes from Dorie Greenspan, calls for creaming the butter and sugar (usually done with a mixer). Given my success (and preference) for making shortbread using a food processor, I modified her recipe to accommodate my mixer-less existence.

Another unintentional modification was due to my forgetting to take my pecans out of the toaster oven so my version has pecan chunks in it, which I say I prefer to the completely pulverized and smooth original version. A happy accident indeed!

Yields about 32 2″x2″ cookies


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/8 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 stick or 4 oz. of cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup pecans, lightly chopped and lightly toasted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a rimless baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put all dry ingredients into a food processor and lightly pulse to mix.

Add butter and pulse until until the crumbs begin to stick and become the texture of wet sand.

Add pecans and pulse a few more times.

Do not overprocess.

Roll dough out onto the parchment paper to about 1/2″ in thickness and prick with a fork. Use a pizza roller to cut into squares.

Bake for about 18-20 minutes. Remove and cool on wire rack.