With their maply goodness, these treats are very New England–but with a Southern twist, thanks to pecans’ nutty flavor. They’re easy to make and can be stored in the freezer until needed. They’re not super-sweet, but they’re very buttery. For the best maple flavor, use grade B syrup if you can find it, or grade A dark amber will do.
With a standing mixer, beat butter until creamy (about 3 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat sugar in gradually. Add syrup, yolk, and vanilla. Blend in flour and pecans. Divide dough in half. Place one half on a sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Shape into a log about 2 inches in diameter. Cover and refrigerate. Repeat with second half. Refrigerate until firm (or freeze for later). Heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice dough into ½-inch rounds. Bake on ungreased baking sheets until golden (about 20-25 minutes).