You could easily use walnuts, pistachios, or cashews in place of the pecans.
- 3 cups pecans
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 ounces cream cheese (not whipped), room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 Bake the pecans to brown: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coarsely chop 1 1/2 cups of the pecans and spread them on a cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until the nuts are fragrant. Set aside to cool.
2 Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl.
3 Make the cookie dough: Beat together the butter and cream cheese in an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
Add the sugar and vanilla and beat for another minute.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour and salt until just combined. Do not over-mix. Fold in the toasted pecans.
4 Shape into logs and freeze: Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide the dough in half. Roughly shape each half into a 8-inch log about 2 inches in diameter.
Wrap each log in plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm, about 4 hours, but overnight is best. The dough can sit in the freezer for up to two weeks and about a month if wrapped and then placed in an airtight container.
5 Roll logs of dough in pecans, cut into rounds: Preheat the oven to 350ºF with racks on the upper and lower thirds. Finely chop the remaining 1 1/2 cups of pecans. Unwrap one of the logs of dough and roll in the pecans.
Cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Space 1-inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats.
6 Bake: Bake the cookies at 350°F for 18-20 minutes or until the edges are a lightly golden. Rotate the cookies halfway through to ensure even baking.
Let cool on the sheets for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.