Scrumptious for Christmas, but equally delightful any season of the year, these Pecan Cookies are easy to make, perfect for freezing and a wonderful accompaniment to tea or as an afternoon pick-me-up!
November is the height of the U.S. pecan harvesting season. With more than $445 million in exports to primarily Canada and the U.K. for shelled pecans and Hong Kong for in-shell pecans, Georgia leads the nation in pecan production and harvesting… by far.
Since November is Pecan Month — enjoy a little history with your pecans:
• Early settlers exchanged pecans for trinkets and tools.
• Thomas Jefferson planted pecan trees around Monticello.
• By 1871, several large pecan groves had been planted in most of the southeastern United States, including Georgia.
• Georgia’s commercial pecan production began during the late 1800s.
• By 1948, Georgia’s pecan production reached 40 million pounds.
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
35 pecan halves
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.
Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture, a bit at a time, until thoroughly blended. Stir in the chopped pecans.
Shape the dough into an even cylinder approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly butter it.
Remove the plastic wrap and cut the dough into slices approximately 1/4 inch thick. Place the slices on the baking sheet (leave room for them to spread) and lightly press a pecan half into the center of each. Bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Let cool.