Toasted Pecan Shortbread with Spiked Toffee Sauce

by Julie Ruble on November 18, 2013 · 12 comments

Toasted Pecan Shortbread with Spiked Toffee Sauce

Toasted Pecan Shortbread with Spiked Toffee Sauce

Recipe by: Adapted from Ina Garten
Yield: around 20 shortbread cookies

The butteriest! These buttery shortbread cookies boast toasty pecans throughout, and the buttery rum-spiked toffee is the perfect complement. You’re gonna love these.

Cookie Ingredients:
3/4 pound (1 1/2 cups) unsalted Plugrá butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans*

Toffee Ingredients:
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup Plugrá butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup dark rum

*To toast pecans: spread pecans on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for around 6-7 minutes, tossing occasionally, until fragrant. Chop while still warm.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. In a separate, large bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar together for 1-2 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Pulverize the toasted pecans in a food processor for a few pulses (or crush by hand) until very fine, and then stir into the dough by hand. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, form into a thick rectangle, and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and cover three baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle of 1/2-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 1-inch by 3-inch rectangles and place these on a cookie sheet (position them 2 inches apart because they will spread slightly). Bake the cookies for around 20 minutes, rotating and switching positions of baking sheets once partway through baking. Remove the cookies when they’re just slightly colored on the edges and let them cool completely on their baking sheets.

To make the toffee sauce, bring the brown sugar, butter, heavy whipping cream, and rum to a boil in a heavy saucepan over high heat, whisking frequently. Once the mixture boils, turn the heat down slightly to medium-high heat and whisk constantly for 8 minutes, until the mixture is thickened. Pour the mixture into a serving bowl. Serve it smeared on cooled shortbread cookies. Store any extra cookies and toffee sauce in airtight containers, heating up the toffee sauce in the microwave to refresh as needed.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar November 18, 2013 at 3:36 pm

That sauce is seriously fabulous. Love these bars!


vanillasugarblog November 18, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Oh gosh eating these two with a hot espresso sounds heavenly!
I made some cc cookies once with the Plugra butter–man what a decadent difference.


Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen November 18, 2013 at 8:20 pm

I loved watching bat kid too, it was so amazing. And this shortbread looks delish!! Dipping shortbread in toffee sauce sounds amazing!!


Kate Helmer November 19, 2013 at 4:39 am

This looks amazing and can’t wait to try it but wondering which butter to use in UK. I would normally use an unsalted butter such as President. I don’t think we have Plugra butter here!


Julie Ruble November 19, 2013 at 10:50 am

Hi Kate, any butter will work if you can’t find the Plugra. Look for one with a low moisture content if you can; makes the shortbread crisper.


Dina November 19, 2013 at 11:23 am

they look yummy!


Coco in the Kitchen November 19, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Well, there goes my waist!
It’s ok – I need my winter fat, anyway. ;)


Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe November 19, 2013 at 2:50 pm

What a beautiful example of a community coming together! And the cookies look wonderful.


Nancy November 25, 2013 at 10:30 am

Couldn’t wait to try, so I went straight to kitchen to make these! The cookies were great, but it was the sauce that I was so excited about. However, mine turned into hard toffee as I spread it on the cookie. And the sauce in my glass dish turned solid so quickly. What did I do wrong? I really wanted it to be a big hit for a party, but now I don’t think I will take it.


Julie Ruble November 25, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Hey Nancy, it turned hard? That’s surprising to me! The sauce doesn’t stay liquid, it kind of crusts on the top and turned into a creamy/putty texture that I spoon over the cookies (or dip them in) — as pictured piled up in the first photo above. If left long enough, it will solidify, but you just reheat gently and stir to turn it into the sauce again. If it turned hard like candy, it seems like it got too hot or wasn’t whisked constantly.


Nancy December 8, 2013 at 11:58 am

I think I didn’t take into consideration that I cut the toffee recipe to 1/4 (I was just testing before making full amount). So cooking for 8 min was probably much too long for such a small amount. Although I wonder if med-high heat is still too hot for the full amount? The cookies were fantastic anyway! Thanks for sharing!


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