Caramel Pecan Shortbread


As we get closer to Christmas, I enjoy spending more time in my kitchen, preparing tasty treats for my family and friends.  I especially like to make cookies, because they are easy to share while keeping some for myself!  Growing up, I often helped my mom prepare plates of treats to take to people.  We’d spend days making fudge, brownies, cookies and other candies, so that there would be a variety of treats for everyone.  Although we never participated in a formal cookie exchange, we enjoyed sharing our favorite holiday goodies with everyone.

One of my new favorite treats to make around Christmastime is Caramel Pecan Shortbread.  They take a while to make, but I think they’re worth it!

Caramel Pecan Shortbread

Caramel Pecan Shortbread Recipe

24 Servings  Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 15 min./batch + cooling

Ingredients
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
FILLING:
28 caramels
6 tablespoons evaporated milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
ICING:
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons evaporated milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pecan halves

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in milk and vanilla. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut into 2-in. x 1-in. strips. Place 1 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 325° for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  • For filling, combine caramels and milk in a large saucepan. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until caramels are melted and smooth. Remove from the heat; stir in the butter, sugar and pecans. Cool for 5 minutes. Spread 1 teaspoon over each cookie.
  • For icing, in a microwave-safe bowl, melt chips and milk; stir until smooth. Stir in the butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Cool for 5 minutes.
  • Spread 1 teaspoon icing on each cookie; top each with a pecan half. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 4 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (2 each) equals 260 calories, 14 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 23 mg cholesterol, 136

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