Make the butter:
Melt 1 Tbs. of the butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook until well browned and slightly crisp, about 6 minutes. Set them aside to cool.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining 6 Tbs. butter with the shallots, pecans, maple syrup, thyme, and 1/8 tsp. salt. Blend together with a spoon or fork until the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Set aside for at least 1 hour at room temperature. (If not using within a few hours, cover and refrigerate. Bring the butter to room temperature before using.)
Bake the potatoes:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF. Lay the potatoes on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake until the flesh is very tender when pierced with a fork, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
To serve, make a cut along the top of each potato, push on the ends to pry it partially open, and fluff the flesh with a fork. Place a dollop of the maple-pecan-shallot butter inside each potato and pass extra butter at the table, if desired.
Make Ahead Tips
The butter can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on four servings;
Photo: Scott Phillips