This buttery Toffee Pecan Brown Sugar Shortbread is an absolute delight to make and enjoy. The brown sugar dough naturally caramelizes while baking and the toffee bits melt to add a praline flavor to the pecan laced crumbs. It's a sweet treat you would expect to pay top dollar for in a sweet shop, but quite easily made at home using a fluted tart pan. Enjoy it with a cup of iced coffee, cappuccino, frappe or a steamy cup of hot tea. It's a moment meant to be savored. Sharing is optional.
Easy Toffee Pecan Brown Sugar Shortbread Recipe
While it's no secret we love pecans in the South, it's not a fleeting feeling, it's a bonafide love affair. Pecan trees are revered and grown in Georgia the leading state in the nation for pecans, in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Pecans are also grown in many other states such as California, Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Hawaii, Tennessee, South Carolina and even here in my home state of North Carolina. One thing is for certain, we'll take them anyway we can get them. The debate is never how much we love them but, rather how to pronounce the name. Is it Pee-khon or Puh-khan? Then there's Pee-can, which always raises eyebrows and starts lively debates about why that is, or isn't, an acceptable way to refer to such a beloved nut. It always makes me laugh out loud. For me, I just love to eat pecans and in this delightful shortbread they are simply divine.
How to Make the Best Toffee Pecan Brown Sugar Shortbread Recipe
One thing that isn't up for debate is a fluted tart pan. It's the very best option and makes such a pretty presentation. In a pinch, you could use a springform pan in the same size.
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Toffee Pecan Brown Sugar Shortbread: All purpose flour, light brown sugar, chopped pecans and whole pecan halves, cold cubed butter, English toffee bits (bits-o-brickle) and vanilla extract.
- Kitchen gadgets you'll need: Mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, a sharp knife and cutting board or a food processor to chop the nuts, 9 inch fluted tart pan, a whisk, pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients and a cooling rack.
- For this rich and buttery Toffee Pecan Brown Sugar Shortbread, I use a fluted tart pan with a removable bottom which makes the edges pretty, too.
- I recommend scoring the dough prior to baking for perfect placement of the whole pecans. Please note that the lines will disappear while baking. You will want to again cut into wedges once baked and cooled.
- Store leftover Toffee Pecan Brown Sugar Shortbread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- You can also freeze this shortbread recipe for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
More Southern Cookies and Shortbread Recipes to Make
This buttery shortbread is a sweet treat that's a personal favorite. I hope you and your family enjoy it, too. You may also like to try these cookies and shortbread recipes:
- Vanilla Shortbread Cookies are infused with fragrant vanilla.
- Browned Butter Pecan Sandies are a vintage cookie that pairs beautifully with a cup of hot tea.
- Powder sugar coated Snowball Cookies are a holiday favorite.
- Caramel Cashew Shortbread is buttery and sweet.
- Chocolate Dipped Pecan Lace Cookies never disappoint.
- Strawberry Shortbread Bars from Cookies and Cups.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Toffee Pecan Brown Sugar Shortbread
- 1 ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoon cold butter cubed
- ½ cup finely chopped pecans
- 16 whole pecans
- ¼ cup bits-o-brickle English toffee bits
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly spritz the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom or regular metal pie pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium-size mixing bowl mix together the flour and brown sugar.
- Using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut the cold butter into the flour until it resembles peas.
- Mix-in the chopped pecans, toffee bits and vanilla.
- Press firmly and evenly into the pan.
- Using a sharp knife or pastry wheel score the top into 16 wedges. (This helps with pecan placement)
- Gently press one whole pecan onto the outer end of each wedge.
- Bake for 28-30 minutes until lightly golden.
- Remove from the oven and rest on a cooling rack. Allow to cool and set for 30 minutes.
- Remove the outer ring and use a long sharp knife to carefully cut into wedges while still warm.
- Cool completely.
- Store in a container tightly sealed at room temperature.
What if you can’t find brickle bits can I use something else
There's not a direct swap for brickle bits unless you choose to use the chocolate covered English Toffee Bits.
Have you ever made it ahead and froze it for an event? May try that. Sounds delicious!
You can freeze this, sure. Bake and cool completely then wrap it up!
I do not have a metal tart or pie pan, would a 9" cheese cake pan work?
If you mean a springform pan, yes.
Melissa - can this be made gluten free? Maybe with corn starch (corn flour) or a combo of corn starch and GF flour? Any suggestions?
It's a great question, I haven't tested it with those adaptations. If you do, please let us know how it goes.
Hi Melissa! Love your recipe! I’ve been making cookies for 45 years and I know a good cookie by the ingredients in the recipe! I am particularly fond of any cookie thst is crumbly like shortbread. Going to make this tomorrow. I’m curious though, I have never mixed shortbread in the order you listed. Do you think if I whip the butter and brown sugar amd then add the flour, thst it will still come out ok? What is the purpose of mixing flour and the brown sugar together, and THEN cutting in the butter cubes? Thank you . Maybe I will try it the regular way and see what happens. But thank you for a wonderful recipe!
Yes, it does make a difference. This is shortbread and that's the best technique to use for combining the dry ingredients with the butter for this recipe. Happy baking!
Can this be made in a 9x9 pan instead of a tart pan?
You could adapt it to a square pan, yes.
Ya’ killin’ me, Melissa, Ya’ killin’ me. Please don’t stop. Will be making this beauty soon. Thanks.
LOL Joanna, you are the sweetest. Sorry, not sorry! ♥
Melissa, are all these recipes yours? Or a collection of what you have tried from books,internet etc.... This one in particular looks delicious and I have NEVER seen it before, and I am a shortbread hound! LOL
They are indeed all mine. While I certainly didn't invent shortbread,any variation seen here on my website was developed by me in my own kitchen.This is one of my very favorites! I develop recipes professionally for many brands but. my own website is my baby.Thanks for visiting!
"Sharing is optional". Yes, exactly! 🙂
Haha always ☺
This sounds so yummy! Looking forward to making it soon.
Thanks for sharing this recipe.
So funny how some people pronounce Pecan. I say Puh-khan.
You pee in a can, You eat a Puh-khan!
LOL exactly, I love the debate on how to pronounce it!