Recipe courtesy of Judy's Kitchen (
Source:  Joy of Baking
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

In bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy (2-3 minutes), or beat with a hand mixer.  Beat in vanilla; scrape sides of bowl; add flour and salt, and stir till barely incorporated, then stir in nuts. 

Divide dough in half; wrap each half in plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm (at least 1 hour). 

Heat oven to 350F (325F for dark or coated pans).  Place rack in center of oven.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

Remove 1/2 of dough from fridge and roll into 1/4” thick circle on lightly floured board.  Cut out desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters.  Place cookies on prepared baking sheets; refrigerate 10 minutes to firm up dough.  Roll and cut out remaining cookies.

Bake 13-15 minutes, or till shortbreads are golden brown.  Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.  Store at room temperature for about 1 week, or freeze.  Yield:  33-36 cookies, depending on size.