The mellow and warm comforting flavour of brown butter works beautifully with pecans in this easy melt ’n’ mix shortbread.
- 250 g (9 oz) butter, chopped
- 335 g (12 oz/2¼ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 80 g (2¾ oz/½ cup) dextrose
- 50 g (1¾ oz/¹⁄³ cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
- 90 g (3 oz/¾ cup) coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F (fan-forced). Grease an 18 cm x 28 cm (7 in x 11 in) slice tin and line the base and two long sides with a piece of non-stick baking paper, extending the paper about 4 cm (1½ in) above the sides of the tin to assist with the removal of the cooked shortbread.
Heat the butter in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter melts and the milk solids (the little specks that separate from the liquid portion of the butter) become a nut-brown colour and give off a delicious nutty aroma. Swirl the pan so you can see the colour of the solids through the foam. Remove from the heat and immediately dunk the base of the pan in a sink of cold water to stop the cooking process.
Mix the flour, dextrose and cornflour in a bowl until combined. Add the melted butter, pecans and vanilla bean paste and mix well.
Press the mixture into the prepared tin, smooth over with a spatula and bake for 25–30 minutes or until lightly browned and firm to touch. Remove from the oven and put on a wire rack to cool in the tin. Cut into slices while still warm and still in the tin.
This shortbread will keep for up to a week in an airtight container.
This recipe is from Incredible Bakes (Smith Street Books). Photography by Chris Middleton.