This shortbread recipe is a perfect union between sweet and salty. Caramel and pecans will always make a good pair but crumbly shortbread is the perfect vessel for them.
Plus, if your inner 7-year old is alive and well, as mine is, you will love drizzling caramel over these cookies. Even if the table, and all of your dishcloths, will drip with pecan-dotted caramel afterwards. Luckily, you won’t care as you will be in the throes of a sugar rush. Once you have calmed down and cleaned up, serve these with a hot cup of tea.
Caramel Pecan Shortbread Cookies(2 dozen cookies)
Adapted from Shortbread Recipe from Food Network Canada
Preheat oven to 350F. Heat a fry pan on medium low and add the pecans. Toast gently, tossing regularly until fragrant. This should take about about 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Place two thirds of the pecans into a ziploc bag and crush with the back of a pot. Keep the remaining third for garnish.
Beat butter until nice and fluffy then beat in icing sugar and then cornstarch. Stir in flour and salt, followed by 1/4 cup of the crushed pecans. Drop tablespoon-sized mounds onto a cookie sheet. Roll each mound into a ball. If desired press a pecan onto the top of the cookies. Bake for 18 minutes, rotating trays halfway through cooking. Transfer to a rack and let cool.
Once cookies have cooled for at least 15 minutes you can start the caramel drizzle. In a small saucepan combine the toffees and the cream. Turn the heat on to medium low and melt them together, stirring regularly. Once it is uniform and bubbly you are ready to drizzle. Put cookies on a rack for drizzling. I recommend setting this rack on top of a paper line sheet for easy cleanup. Now drizzle away, be careful the caramel will set quickly and be harder to deal with. You can always reheat as necessary. Top drizzle with extra pecan crumbs if desired.