- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg, separated
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp water
- 3 tbsp sugar
- chopped pecans
- dried cranberries
- sweetened coconut
- (use your imagination. The base of this is a sweet, crunchy shortbread cookie that works well with pretty much anything. Just plain pecans is also great).
Preheat the oven to 375. Butter up a large baking sheet or jelly roll pan, paying particular attention to the corners and edges.
Melt the butter in a large bowl in the microwave, 60 seconds until mostly melted or even just super soft. Toss in the sugar and blend with a fork. Blend in the egg yolk, cinnamon, and vanilla. Slowly stir in the flour until everything is well mixed and forms a big dough ball. Turn this big doughball out into the baking sheet, and press it down until it's flat. I actually like using the jelly roll pan to make a thinner, crisper cookie. Once it's flat, then whip the egg white with water until frothy, then brush or spread over the top. Sprinkle the sugar lightly over the top.
Top this however you want. I always do at least 1 batch this way: Sprinkle chopped pecans over the top. Over 2/3 of this, I will sprinkle dried cranberries, the over a third of the pecan cranberry, I will sprinkle the coconut. You'll end up making 1/3 pecan, 1/3 pecan and cranberry, and 1/3 pecan, cranberry and coconut. I've done pecan, cherry and chocolate which was also amazing, and I want to do one this year with caramel.
Bake at 350 for 20-22 minutes. The egg white glaze should be a light golden brown.
As soon as you pull this sucker from the oven, take a thin spatula and cut the bars into small 2"x1" bars (a nice 2 bite size), and remove them from the pan or they will harden and you will never get them out of the pan.
(EDIT: I'm lazy. I admit it. I always melt the butter in the micro instead of whipping butter and sugar together with the beaters. It lets me use a fork to blend everything by hand. I have never noticed a difference in the basic cookies that I make. Just don't make it so hot that you end up cooking the egg when you toss in the yolk! And if there's a reason I should not do this, I'd love to hear why )