Brown butter pecan shortbread

Sat, Sep 25, 2021, 05:00

  • Serves: 10
  • Cooking Time: 60 mins
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Fusion


  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 110g caster sugar (plus 1-2 tbsp for sprinkling)
  • 225g plain flour
  • 110g cornflour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 75g pecan nuts, roughly chopped


1 Make the browned butter or beurre noisette by placing the butter in a medium to large saucepan. The butter will foam up when hot so make sure your saucepan is about three times the volume of your butter.

2 Place the saucepan over a low to medium heat to melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, continue to cook for three to five minutes until the butter starts to foam up, taking care as it is very hot.

3 Remove the saucepan from the heat and swirl the saucepan. The melted butter at the base of the pan should be a dark golden brown. If the butter is still yellow or very light brown, put the saucepan back on the heat for another 30 seconds. Once the butter is dark golden and smells fragrant and nutty, remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

4 Pour the hot butter through a sieve into a clean bowl and set aside to cool for another 10-15 minutes.

5 Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, or 150 if using a fan oven. Line a 20 x 20cm square baking tin with parchment paper. You could also use a round cake tin.

6 Put the sugar into a large bowl, then pour over the butter, leaving any milk solids in the bottom of the bowl and mix well. Sift the flour, cornflour and salt in a separate bowl, then add to the butter and sugar mixture. Add the chopped pecan nuts, and gently bring the mixture together to a soft dough.

7 Spread the dough evenly into the baking tin and press down using a spatula or palette knife.

8 If using a square baking tin, gently score the dough into 10 fingers. If using a round cake tin, score the dough into wedges.

9 Bake the shortbread for 50-55 minutes until just firm. The biscuits will be a very pale golden. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the reserved caster sugar.

10 Cut the biscuits into fingers or wedges and leave to cool. Once baked, the shortbread will keep for up to three days in an airtight container, or can be frozen for up to a month.