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Thomas Keller Visits the Test Kitchen (and Makes Us Pecan Sandies!)

<em>Photo courtesy of Artisan Books</em>
Photo courtesy of Artisan Books

Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel, co-authors of the Bouchon Bakery cookbook, popped into our Test Kitchen and treated us to a batch of homemade Pecan Sandies. The book is a wonderful collection of all-American desserts and classic French pastries, laced with sweet anecdotes from Keller. The buttery, crumbly Pecan Sandies were one of Keller's mother's favorite treats (the Keebler variety, to be exact).

<em>Pam Lolley, Sebastien Rouxel, and Thomas Keller</em>
Pam Lolley, Sebastien Rouxel, and Thomas Keller

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We couldn't help but hit up the French Laundry chefs for a few baking tips while they were here. Here's what they harped on:

Pecan Sandies

Hands-on time 20 min. Total 45 min.

Makes 1 1/2 dozen

2 cups all-purpose flour (250 grams)

¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans (80 grams)

¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (170 grams)

¾ cup plus 2 tsp. powdered sugar (90 grams)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Toss together flour and pecans in a medium bowl.

2. Beat butter at medium-low speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Add powdered sugar, and beat 2 minutes or until fluffy, stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture, and beat at low speed 30 seconds or just until combined.

3. Shape dough into 2-inch balls; place 1 ½ inches apart on 2 parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Flatten each ball into a disk.

4. Bake at 350° for 22 to 25 minutes or until light golden, placing 1 baking sheet on oven rack one-third down from top and 1 baking sheet on oven rack one-third up from bottom.

5. Cool on baking sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks and cool completely (about 15 minutes). Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Recipe adapted from the Bouchon Bakery cookbook.

<em>Bouchon Bakery Pecan Sandies</em>
Bouchon Bakery Pecan Sandies
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