Butter Pecan Cookies

Butter Pecan Cookies are easy to make at home with just a few simple ingredients. Meltingly tender like traditional shortbread, these Butter Pecan Cookies require only a few steps and take just 15 minutes to bake!

I love butter pecan cookies! I love the way they melt in your mouth. I love the taste of pecans, and of course, the taste of butter. These cookies lasted about an hour here.

Tip for Making the Best Pecan Cookies

By the way, here’s a tip I learned over lunch with Bay Area pastry chef Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater. Beat the butter first. Then, add sugar and beat them together. This is the way it is supposed to be done. (Thanks Shuna!)

Baking Tips

  • It’s not necessary to grease the baking sheets or line them with parchment paper for this recipe. But for easier cleanup, line your sheets with parchment.
  • To make the cookies more even in shape, you can bake them in a muffin pan. But you’ll still want to flatten the cookies before baking.
  • To keep the dough from sticking to the glass when flattening, chill the glass beforehand, or dip the bottom in sugar in between cookies.

How To Store and Freeze Pecan Cookies:

Once you’ve rolled the dough into balls, you can freeze them to bake later. First freeze them in a single layer, to keep them from sticking together. Once they’re firm, place them in a zip-top bag for up to 3 months. (We recommend writing the bake time and temperature on the outside of the bag, because who can remember anything once it goes into the black hole of the freezer?)

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, let the dough thaw on a baking sheet while the oven preheats. Then, flatten the dough with a glass before baking as directed.

Baked butter pecan cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days. You can also freeze the baked cookies. Be sure they are completely cooled, and place them in an airtight plastic container (again, labeled with the name and date). Place wax paper or parchment sheets between layers. Baked cookies can keep for months in the freezer if completely sealed from the air, but best to eat them after 3 to 4 weeks. Let the cookies defrost completely before serving.

Pecan Pie Pumpkin Cheesecake

Butter Pecan Cookies

If you want a nuttier flavor, toast the nuts lightly before adding to the batter. In a preheated 350°F oven, place the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast for 5 to 10 minutes, tossing occasionally for even cooking. Remove from pan immediately.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 112g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (70g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  •  1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (80g) pecans, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Make the cookie dough: With an electric mixer, beat the butter for about a minute. Add sugar and beat until light, about 1 minute more. Beat in vanilla, salt, and flour, scraping downsides of the bowl, just until dough comes together. Fold in pecans.
  3. Roll into balls, place on a cookie sheet: Separate dough into 12 pieces; shape dough into walnut-sized balls. Place 3 inches apart on a baking sheet.
  4. Gently flatten with a glass: Using the bottom of a glass, gently flatten each cookie. Reshape sides if necessary.
  5. Bake: Bake 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through for even cooking. Remove and cool cookies on a wire rack.


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