Butter Fingers are a biscotti-like take on the traditional Russian tea cake recipe. This recipe from Mississippi uses pecans instead of walnuts and calls for finger-length cookies instead of rounds.

Butter Fingers

1 cup butter

5 Tbsp. confectioners' sugar

3 cups flour

2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups chopped pecans

1/4 tsp. salt

Additional confectioners' sugar for coating finished cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together until creamy.

3. Work in the flour, vanilla, pecans and salt with a wooden spoon or your fingers to form dough.

4. Divide the mixture into 36 pieces and shape each into a small cigar shape.

5. Place cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

6. Roll finished cookies in confectioners' sugar.

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This recipe comes from The New York Times Southern Heritage Cookbook (1976) and notes that the cookies are best served after a few days of storage in an airtight tin because "the flavor mellows and the texture changes."

A note if you're working with a stand mixer or electric beaters - the dough will be crumbly and won't easily form a solid mass. You'll need to press it together by hand to finish it off.

If you don't feel like shaping the dough into cigar-shaped pieces, just pat the dough into a rectangle and cut it like you would biscotti slices. The baked cookies will have a rustic, unfinished look.


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- Reach Mel Barber at mbarber@yorkdispatch.com.