Adapted from Southern Living 2010.
MAKES 7 dozen
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan for 6 to 8 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add flour, beating just until blended. Stir in pecans and vanilla.
3. Divide dough in half, and shape each portion into 2 (1 1/4-inch thick) logs, about 12 inches long. Wrap in parchment paper, and cover and chill for 1 hour or until firm.
4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Cut logs into 1/4-inch rounds, and place 1/2-inch apart on parchment paper-lined sheets.
5. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, and let cool completely (about 20 minutes).