Caramel Pecan Cookies
These might seem a little involved to make but they are worth it.
Basic Butter Cookies for Crust:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a standing mixer (preferably fitted with paddle attachment) or 6 minutes with a hand held mixer.
- Beat in egg and vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low, then add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
- Grease a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan, then line with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both ends, and grease foil.
- Press dough evenly onto bottom of baking pan, using plastic wrap on top to prevent dough from sticking to your fingers.
- Chill until firm, about 20 minutes.
While crust chills, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake crust until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
- Cool in pan on a rack 20 minutes. (Leave oven on.)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into bits
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups pecans (1/2 pound), toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped
- Cook sugar in a 2 1/2 to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt.
- Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar is melted to a deep golden caramel. Tilt pan and carefully pour in cream (caramel will harden and steam vigorously).
- Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until caramel is dissolved.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla, salt, and pecans.
- Immediately spread topping over cooled crust and bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes.
- Cool completely in pan on rack, about 2 hours.
- Run a heavy knife under hot water, then wipe dry and cut confection into 2-inch triangles, diamonds, or squares.
- Caramel pecan cookies keep, layered between sheets of waxed paper or parchment, in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week.