These yummy pastries are definitely in my top three of all time favorite cookies. They're made with real butter, they contain pecans and the dough is kept in the freezer until they're ready to bake. I almost always have a few rolls in the freezer during the holidays so I can pop a batch in the oven when company shows up.
My dad claims that my grandma made these, but I don't remember them. Of course, I was still a picky eater back in the day, so maybe I just turned my nose up at them. I found the recipe in The Christmas Cookie Book, one of my favorite cookbooks for this time of year.
These are great cookies for shipping because they're not crumbly. They're just wonderfully buttery and dense and rich.
Butterscotch Pecan Icebox Cookies
- 2 1/2 Cups Cake Flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 C chopped pecans
- 1 3/4 stick unsalted butter
- 1 Cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pecans in a bowl and set aside. In a small, heavy saucepan (preferably not a dark colored pan-you need to see the butter activity) over moderately low heat, melt the butter and simmer it slowly until it is a deep golden yellow and the sediment at the bottom has browned very slightly.
If the sediment has burned, strain it through a cheesecloth lined sieve into a glass measuring cup. (Mine was perfectly browned, but I created a mock-up for you to see)
Combine the butter and brown sugar well in a mixing bowl.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Remove the rolls from the freezer, place on cutting board and slice discs 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. (I prefer mine a little thicker.) Arrange the cookies on a parchment covered cookie sheet one inch apart. Spreading won't be an issue with these.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes on a center rack, just until the edges of the cookie are golden brown. Cool and store in airtight containers for up to a week, freeze for up to two months. They're always impressive for spontaneous cookies, and they're lovely with morning coffee or a tall glass of milk.
One of the reasons I love these cookies so much is that my kids don't particularly like them. Of course, this can mean only one thing. All the more for me!