I have been in love with these fragrant pecan cookies since my childhood. Every Christmas my mom made these cookies for me and stored them in little tins on our back porch to keep them fresh. I make them every Christmas, and although I share them with friends and family, I really just make them for myself.
Makes about 30 cookies
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons powdered sugar plus extra for rolling
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon water
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup grated or finely chopped pecans
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter. Add powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and water. Set mixer speed on high and beat about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour and grated pecans. Mix until just incorporated. Chill for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment.
Using a small cookie scoop (#100), shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake about 12 to 15 minutes, until edges are golden. Transfer cookies, still on the parchment, to wire racks. Cool cookies for 5 minutes and roll in powdered sugar. Cool completely.
Prior to serving, roll cookies in additional powdered sugar.
Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 5 days.