Pecan shortbread

If you've seen my apartment, or just my arm, you might notice that I like bats. A couple weeks ago, I stopped in at Spun Sugar to pick up a few things, and ended up with a bat-shaped cookie cutter. I decided to put it, and the pecans left from the pumpkin cupcakes, to use.

Spooky! (And Canada, or weed, depending on whom you ask.)

Pecan shortbread
1 c. pecans
1 c. margarine, room temp
1/2 c. brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 tbs. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. cornstarch
1/4 c. powdered sugar
pinch of salt

Lightly toast the pecans over medium heat for a few minutes, until fragrant. Set aside to cool.

Cream together the margarine, brown sugar, vanilla, and maple syrup. Sift together the dry ingredients, then mix them into the wet. In a food processor, pulse the pecans to a medium meal, then stir the pecans into the dough.

The dough will be very soft. Cover your bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325F.

Working with small portions of the dough at a time (leaving the rest in the fridge) on a generously floured surface, roll the dough to a little more than 1/4" thick, and cut with your cookie cutter of choice. Lay cookies on a parchment covered baking sheet. If you're working with a detailed cutter, place the entire sheet in the freezer for a couple minutes. This will help the cookies retain their shape.

Bake for about 15 minutes, just until they begin to get golden around the edges. Using a spatula, move the cookies to a rack to cool. They'll be pretty fragile, but will harden.