I can’t explain it, but I feel that my year starts over in the fall. Most people think of new beginnings at springtime when the earth is waking up. But autumn to me is exhilarating! The colors, the crisp air, the beautiful sunsets over colorful mountains—I love it!
Autumn also brings a harvest of wonderful apples, pears, root vegetables, pumpkins, and nuts. I love to get out my favorite recipes and cook foods that my family loves.
Autumn is just my season. Interestingly enough, I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling; we find that our autumn magazines seem to jump off the shelf. I believe that people are ready for a colorful change from summer. While summer has its glorious attributes, we find that our readers long for the autumn season. It offers a warmth and comfort that we’ve missed.
To share some of my joy in autumn’s long-awaited arrival, I have one of the lovely recipes from Victoria magazine’s lovely special issue Autumn Bliss for you. They featured delights that highlight the flavors of fall fruits, caramel, and the savory-sweet taste of the season’s nuts. Here’s their Toasted-Pecan Shortbread Cookies with Buttercream Filling to give you a sample of the autumn goodies they’ve created.
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup finely chopped toasted pecans
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste*
- Buttercream Filling (recipe follows)
- In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse together flour, pecans, ¼ cup sugar, and salt. Add butter; pulse until mixture is crumbly. In a small bowl, whisk together cream, egg yolks, and vanilla bean paste. With food processor running, slowly pour mixture through spout, and pulse until mixture forms a ball. Place dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper, and roll to a ¼-inch thickness. Freeze for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- Remove dough from freezer; remove top piece of parchment paper. Using a 2¾-inch round cutter, cut as many cookies as possible, rerolling scraps no more than twice. If dough becomes too soft, place in freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.
- Using a 1¼-inch cutter, remove centers from half of cookies. Sprinkle open-center cookies with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
- Bake until lightly browned around edges, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to let cool completely. Spread approximately 1 teaspoon Buttercream Filling onto whole cookies, and top with cookies with centers removed. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- *Vanilla bean paste is available at specialty-foods stores. Vanilla extract can be substituted for vanilla bean paste.
- ½ cup brown butter*, softened
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- ½ vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved
- 1. In a medium bowl, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla bean seeds with a mixer at medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Use immediately.
- *In a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook, watching closely, until butter foams and turns golden in color and has a nutty aroma, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately remove from heat, and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Let cool to room temperature.
VIDEO: How to Brown Butter
I wish you the most beautiful autumn ever! Thank you for being a part of The Ribbon in My Journal family.
Do you love autumn, too? What do you love most about it?