Published: 5-12-2010, 07:00

Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies


cups all-purpose flour
teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
cup packed light brown sugar
large egg
teaspoon pure vanilla extract
About 36 pecan halves

Whip up a batch of these cookies when guests are suddenly coming over for dinner. They’re easy to assemble and quick to bake, and they have a lovely butterscotchy flavor. Serve the rounds with bowls of vanilla or butter pecan ice cream.

PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
WHISK together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
USING an electric mixer, beat the butter in a large bowl until creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. With the beaters on low speed, mix in the flour mixture until fully combined.
DROP the dough by level tablespoonfuls onto the prepared sheet, arranging about 2 inches apart. Press a pecan into the center of each cookie. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. (The shorter time yields a more tender cookie; with the longer time they’re crispier.) Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool.
STORE in an airtight container for up to 3 days, but these cookies are best the day they’re baked.