These easy, melt-in-your-mouth cookies attain vegan status with the use of margarine that contains no dairy products or trans fats. For a non-vegan version, salted butter may be substituted.
Make Ahead: The mounds of dough need 30 minutes' refrigeration before baking. The dough can be made, formed into mounds and frozen for up to 3 days; let it thaw in the refrigerator before scooping and baking. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks and can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Servings: 30 cookies
- 1 1/4 cups vegan margarine (salted), such as Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting the baked cookies
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup pecan halves or pieces, finely ground
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place the margarine in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until the margarine is smooth.
Reduce the speed to low, then add the confectioners' sugar; beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat for 1 minute, until well incorporated.
Sift the flour into a medium bowl. Add the ground pecans and whisk to combine.
Adjust the speed of the mixer to medium-low, then slowly add the flour mixture, mixing just until it comes together (be careful not to overmix).
Use a 3/4-ounce scoop (about 1 1/2 tablespoons, the size of a small apricot) to put mounds of dough, spaced 2 inches apart, on the lined baking sheets. Refrigerate them (on the sheets) for about 30 minutes or until the dough is quite stiff. (That keeps them from spreading and gives them their signature domed shape; if you don't mind a flatter cookie, that step can be omitted.)
When ready to bake, position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees.
Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, then rotate the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden on top. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Dust the cooled cookies lightly with confectioners' sugar.
From Hareg Messert of Chez Hareg bakery in Washington.
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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