Pecan Cookies

If you love pecans, this is a must recipe. The orange and lemon zest make these cookies very delightful!

Crust:

2 1/2 cups unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Topping:

2 cups unsalted butter
1 cup honey
3 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1/4 heavy cream
2 pounds pecan, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust, beat the butter and sugar for 3 minutes. Add the eggs and the vanilla and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter with the mixer on low speed until just combined. Press the dough evenly into an ungreased 18x12x1-inch baking sheet, making an edge around the outside. It will be very sticky; sprinkle the dough and your hands lightly with flour. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned. Allow to cool.

For the topping, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, and zests in a large, saucepan. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted, using a wooden spoon to stir. Raise the heat and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and pecans. Pour over the crust, trying not to get the filling between the crust and the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Cut into bars and serve.

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