1 1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 C. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 C. packed brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature preferred
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 t. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Optional: 1/3 cup granulated sugar, for rolling
1. In a 300º oven, toast the chopped pecans on a large parchment paper or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet for 15 minutes. Stir twice during this time. Turn oven off and set pecans aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in eggs and vanilla on high speed.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, corn starch, baking soda, and sat together until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick. Add the toasted chopped pecans, mix on low for about 5-10 seconds until evenly distributed. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for the cookie dough.
4. Remove cookie dough from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes - if the cookie dough chilled longer than 3 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
5. Preheat oven to 375º. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
6. Scoop and roll balls of dough, about 1 T. of dough each, into balls. You may roll the cookie dough balls into the 1/3 C. of granulated sugar listed under "optional" ingredients.
7. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes (13 minutes for crispier cookies? until slightly golden brown around the edges. The baked cookie will look extremely soft in the center when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to cooling rack to completely cool.