1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon chopped pecans, divided
2-3 teaspoons coarse sugar (may substitute granulated sugar)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides.
Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until creamy.
Add vanilla and combine.
Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour, beating until well-mixed.
Stir in 1/4 cup pecans. Mixture will be crumbly.
Press dough into bottom of prepared pan.
Sprinkle top with 1 tablespoon pecans and coarse sugar.
Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 25 minutes.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes.
Using foil, lift shortbread out of pan. Cut into bars.