Slice and bake cookies are cookies where the dough is prepared in advance and chilled until you’re ready to bake. The cookies are simply sliced off the log of dough and go straight into the oven. These types of cookie doughs are wonderful because they can be made well in advance, and you don’t need to bake the whole batch at once, since you can simply slice off as many pieces as you want to serve (or eat yourself) at a time.
This slice and bake is a butter pecan cookie. The dough is basically a shortbread dough, with a lot of butter and no leavening. It turns out cookies that are slightly crisp, very buttery and almost seem to melt in your mouth. The cookies actually taste like browned butter, since they are very buttery and have a really rich nuttiness from the toasted pecans that are mixed into the dough. They’re very simple, but very flavorful.
These cookies good on their own and are especially good with tea or coffee, but if you want to get creative, you can find some other uses for them. For instance, they make good ice cream sandwiches (with butter pecan ice cream, naturally) and you can dip them in white, milk or dark chocolate if you’re looking to dress them up a little bit.
Butter Pecan Slice and Bake Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped
In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Mix in vanilla extract, flour and salt, mixing just until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in pecans to evenly distribute.
Form dough into a ball and place on a sheet of wax paper. Using your hands, shape the dough into a log about 2 inches across or a little less. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about 2 hours, or in the freezer until you’re ready to use it (it will last a couple of weeks).
Preheat oven to 350F.
Slice dough into slices that are no more than 1/4-inch thick, allowing the dough to soften slightly before slicing if you are using frozen dough. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cookies will not spread very much, so you don’t need to leave too much room between them.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned around the edges.
Cool on sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 3 dozen.