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Yes, Pecan! Cookies Recipe

Yes, Pecan! Cookies Recipe

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We originally developed these cookies to ring in a new era — the Obama administration taking office — but they’re just as apt for ringing in 2011.


  • 2 cups (8 ounces) raw pecans
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar, plus 1/3 cup sugar, for rolling
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon butterscotch extract*
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
  • 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Rounded ½ teaspoon salt, plus 1¼ teaspoons salt, for rolling

*Note: If you can't find butterscotch extract, add ½ cup butterscotch chips. If you do this, reduce the chopped pecans from 1¼ to 1 cup.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the pecan halves on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, checking every minute or so after 5 minutes have passed. You want the nuts to be fragrant and sweet but not burnt. Set aside to cool. You can do this step in advance.

Put ¾ cup pecans into a food processor. Pulse on and off until the pecans are just ground — you don't want to turn them into a paste. On a cutting board, chop the remaining nuts into small pieces. Put the nuts in a small bowl and add the flour, baking soda, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine and set aside.

In a larger bowl, cream the butter with the sugars until fluffy. Add the egg, beat until combined and even fluffier, and then mix in the extracts and espresso powder.

Pour the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix just until all the flour is incorporated.

Mix together the additional sugar and salt on a shallow plate. Form the dough into balls the size of a 3-D silver dollar. Coat them with the sugar and salt by rolling them through it. Place the balls on a baking sheet a few inches apart.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until the bottoms are golden and the tops are just barely firm. Remove and let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before gently removing to racks or plates to cool completely.

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  • 8 ounces butter (softened)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar (plus more for rolling)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
  • 2 cups pecans (chopped)

Gather the ingredients and preheat the oven at 300 F.

Cream the butter and stir in the vanilla.

Gradually work in the confectioner's sugar and flour.

Add chopped pecans and work it into the dough.

Pinch off the dough and roll to form balls about the size of a quarter.

Place on greased or parchment-lined baking sheets bake for 10 minutes, then increase the heat to 325 F and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes.

Pecan Cookie Recipe


  • pecans (I suggest tasting your pecans to ensure they’re fresh. They should be golden in color when you purchase them. For optimal freshness, I suggest storing your pecans in an airtight container in the fridge – they’ll keep for 9 months, or up to 2 years in the freezer.)
  • unsalted butter
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • sugar
  • cinnamon
  • cornstarch
  • flour
  • baking soda
  • and salt

You’ll also need a large bowl, an electric mixer, and a baking sheet with parchment paper.


I WANT TO SEE! Follow JAREN_DIARYRECIPECOLLECTOR on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag @jaren_diaryrecipecollector and #diaryofarecipecollector. I would love to know what good stuff you are making!

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These look so good Jaren!! I can’t wait to try them out!

I made these last night and they turned out beautifully! Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!

Wonderful! I’m glad you liked them!

Hi Jaren, I just found your blog today and was so excited about your recipes and such. Then I saw that you lived not far from me when I lived in Louisiana and still go right through there to get to all my family’s homes in southwest Louisiana and Texas. So nice to meet you and follow your blog! Thanks for sharing.

That’s really cool! I don’t run across many bloggers from my area. Thanks for following!!

When you say 1 stick of butter do you mean 1/2 cup?

Hi can I ask when you say flour do you mean self raising flour or plain flour please?
They look delicious and I can’t wait to make them xx

Hi Amanda! I use all purpose flour. Hope you love them!

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Hello everyone!

I'm Jaren, and I am a wife to an awesome husband, mother of four great kids, and a middle school math and science teacher. I love collecting recipes and cookbooks and sharing what I make!

This is the BEST Candied Pecan Recipe Ever!

Actually, not only are these candied pecans the best, but they are incredibly easy to make. Today I am going to share all my favorite ways to enjoy these glazed pecans…because there are many! This is an easy recipe that I have been making for years, and I’m not sure what took me so long to share. I use pecans a lot in my recipes like this Pecan Pie Cheesecake, Caramel Pecan Coffee Cake, and of course my Pecan Pie Recipe.

Every time I go to Trader Joe’s I pick up a pack of their Pecan Pralines (I think that’s what they’re called) because they are omg so delicious. If you haven’t tried them, you NEED to. But what I realized, is that candied pecans are incredibly easy to make, and let’s face it, nothing is better than warm, sweet and salty nuts right out of the oven.

How to Make Butter Pecan Cookies

The first thing you want to get made is the roasted pecans. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 baking dish with two sheets of parchment paper, crisscrossed, in the dish. Roast the pecans for about 7 minutes, and then set them aside while you prepare the cookie dough. I also used this method for my Butter Pecan Fudge.

Here are the steps to making the cookie dough for the Butter Pecan Cookies. Remember, the dough will have to be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled for a few hours. It can actually be chilled for up to three days, so don’t worry if you run out of time to bake the cookies the same day!

  1. In a larger bowl, beat the butter for a couple of minutes. Then, add in both sugars and beat for another 2-3 minutes.
  2. Beat in each of the two eggs, one at a time. Out of eggs? No problem. Try one of my Egg Substitutes for this recipe!
  3. Add the vanilla.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt) with the wet ingredients, and finally, fold in the roasted pecans.
  5. OPTIONAL STEP: Tightly wrap the dough and chill it in the refrigerator for at least a few hours. You can leave it in there for a couple of days if you need to! (Chilling helps give you a chewier and tastier cookie!)

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup unsifted powdered sugar
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup turbinado or Demerara sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 42 pecan halves (about 1 cup)

Beat butter in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in chopped toasted pecans and vanilla.

Whisk together flour and baking powder in a bowl. With mixer running on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture until blended.

Transfer dough to a work surface shape into 2 (7-inch) logs. Wrap logs separately in plastic wrap refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place turbinado sugar in a shallow dish. Unwrap logs, and brush evenly on all sides with egg. Roll each log in turbinado sugar. Cut logs into 1/3-inch-thick slices (you should have 42 cookies total), and place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Top each cookie with 1 pecan half, pressing lightly to adhere.

Bake in preheated oven until cookie edges are golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on baking sheets. Transfer cookies to a wire rack cool 10 minutes.

Related Video

I'm getting REALLY FED UP with the annoying videos that are inserted in the beginning, middle & end of the recipes. Sometimes I'm reading a dessert recipe to determine if it's something I would like to make and the first thing I see is someone making FRENCH TOAST! Way to go Epi! No better way to kill someone's interest. BTW the bars are delicious.

I make these every year for Christmas, and they are always a huge hit with friends, family, and coworkers. I usually do a double batch in a full sheet pan, and I've never had a problem with the dough browning too quickly. I've burned the caramel a couple times doing it by the recipe, so I usually add a little bit of water and substitute about a quarter cup of corn syrup for sugar to prevent crystals from forming. I also add a tablespoon of bourbon for flavor. They keep really well in the freezer.

I have been making these since this recipe came out in 2003 and they are always greeted with rave reviews and eagerly anticipated by family and friends each holiday. I follow the recipe closely, but do one thing differently. To ensure that the caramel melts more easily once the cream is poured in, I heat the cream until it is quite warm, but not boiling. The mixture will bubble up quite a bit, so be sure to have a deep pan and if it start to reach the top, take it from the stove and keep stirring until it settles down. This has saved me a lot of time stirring as the shock if the cold cream warms up to make the caramel and generally makes for a smoother mixture overall (no annoying clumps and caramelized sugar that won't melt fully).

yumm!! made as a gluten/dairy free version using wheat free flour and coconut milk substitutions. everyone loved them.

Variation: I had leftover dough from making spoon cookies (recipe onsite--basically a browned butter shortbread). I formed it into tart shells, baked and cooled as instructed, then proceeded with the rest of the recipe. While the tarts were cooling I spread melted chocolate over the top and. OMG. Fabulous dessert that seems much harder than it is. It's so rich though, this version needs a little sweetened whipped cream on the side.

Easy to make, only the baking time for the second baking seems a bit too lomg (at least in my oven). Delicious combo, I think I'll make a pecan brittle without the crust next time. And I'll have to try crumbles of these in vanilal ice cream.

This is absolutely scrumptious! I could not quit eating them. Yes, I'm sure they are very, very fattening, but they are the good, old fashioned praline taste in a cookie. None better.

Outstanding! I made these for xmas and the inlaws gobbled up every last one. They made me promise to bring them next year. I cooked the cookie crust for only 15 minutes as others suggested and it was perfect. I cut them into 32 pieces each approx 2 by 2. This is a lot of work but the caramel is so delicious do not even think about buying sauce.

So good!! These got rave reviews from family and friends - even those who insisted they could only have one came back for another. The salty-sweet caramel complemented the crunchy pecans and the buttery shortbread really well. I too was worried when I added the cream and the sugar hardened, but don't give up! It eventually melts. The only thing I would say is that they are a little messy - it isn't as hard as a brittle, so the pecans were falling off the cookie. But overall a standout recipe!

I have made these dozens of times always to rave reviews! I only cook the cookie for 17 minutes and have trained myself to let the sugar melt without messing with it. They freeze beautifully.

Has anyone frozen these cookies? I start making my Christmas cookies early and freeze them.

Great recipe, everyone raved over these. I made a few modifications and used a combination of toasted macadamia, walnut and pecans and used a pate sucre base. Definitely a keeper!

scrumptious and relatively easy. followed the suggestions and found that the shortbread did take about 10 minutes less to cook. caramel was quick cooking as well. all in all, it's a lovely balance between the shortbread crust and a rich, salty caramel!

These were a hit. I added 1/4 Cup of water to the sugar when I melted it to make a simple syrup, otherwise I followed the recipe exactly and they were great! =)

I love the mixture of caramel and pecans so this recipe caught my eye right away. They were very tasty! The only difficult part was making the caramel. And even that isn't truly hard, just time consuming! The only things I would change are, baking the cookies even less than they say (they brown very easily), and making more caramel. It was barely able to spread the mix over the entire sheet of cookies.

Everyone looks forward to when I make these. The recipe works very well, but I only cook the base for 15 min., which prevents burning or being too hard, and then when I cook the top, I cook for 25 minutes, letting it bubble for a while, or else the center, while delicious, can be too gooey to hold. I find the balance of ingredients to be perfect! Just made a half sheet cake size, doubling the recipe, which saved time from making 2 separate batches.

I made these for a cookie contest at work at received rave reviews as well. I followed the other reviewers advice and sprinkled coarse sea salt over the top which added a very nice counter point to the sweetness. I did have a problem with melting the sugar the first time and had to chuck it. It burned very quickly. I would recommend keeping a close eye on it and as soon as you see it melting remove it from the heat and stir until you get it under control before putting it back on the heat.

Got rave reviews from co-workers. I used coarse sea salt which made it more of a salted caramel and nicely offset the sweetness. I have to admit that I did cheat using pre-made cookie dough, but it made for a very easy but elegant dessert (and no one could tell!)

I've been using this recipe since 2003 and people never seem to get enough of it. It wins every cookie contest and disappears from the dessert tables very quickly! It's easy to do and it's a real crowd pleaser. I find that I don't need to bake the butter cookie base as long (I usually do 10 minutes less) and I cut them into squares as opposed to triangles because they're so decadent that you don't need that big of a bite!

I prepared this recipe yesterday afternoon and found it incredibly easy which was a bonus as I do not enjoy baking. I will cook anything and everything but baking is an art I have not bothered to master. I found the recipe to be terrific and made only one or two minor changes. I sprayed my pan with Pam, lined it with foil and sprayed it again, then put down parchment paper. Nothing stuck and the cookie was not soaking in shortening. And, cleanup was a breeze! I have come to love the current trend of sea salted caramel, so I substituted Italian sea salt for table salt when making the caramel. It was super! And, my extended family love it. Such a simple way to make a classic just a bit different without reinventing the wheel. I can always count on Epicurious to provide great recipes and instructions. Thanks!

Made this as part of our holiday goodie gifts this year. We had had good success with other cookies that used the basic butter cookie as a component (we have the pages from the 2003 Gourmet in our files) and decided to try this one as we had extra pecans. We doubled everything and used 2 9x13 pans. The crusts were thicker than the recipe indicated and the edges did burn using the time allotted. In the end, we just trimmed off the edges and everything was fine. The caramel was a bit of a surprise, with the sugar turning into a huge disc when the cream was added, but we didn't give up and in the end it did dissolve back into the cream and these were to die for. They turned out quite a bit thicker than the recipe and picture seemed to indicate, so we cut them into 1" squares and wrapped them in waxed paper. Everyone that had them raved about them. We would say that they were better than pecan pie, and much richer. After reading the reviews (we didn't know this was available at epicurious before we made them), we would agree with reducing the time that the crust cooks.

FAVORITE holiday cookie- no contest! It took me several batches to get these down to a science, however. I recommend taking at least 10 minutes off the cooking time for the butter cookie base. My first batch was burned beyond recognition, so later batches only stayed in for about 17 minutes. I also recommend using a pot with more surface area on the bottom when making the caramel. Also, be sure to un-tilt the pan after you add the cream. The first few times I made it in a smaller pan and kept it tilted for a while, and I felt like the giant, hard ball of caramel would never melt. With the bigger pot kept flat, the caramel dissolved a LOT more quickly. I love this recipe, and will make it every year for my Christmas Cookie Swap. but only once a year, since these are decadent!!

Make these every year, absolutely LOVEɾM. Not hard, very forgiving.

I started making these cookies for Christmas 2004, and now my sisters demand them every year! They are a little bit of work but totally worth it. Make sure you let the cookies cool completely before even attempting to cut! They are super rich so I cut them in small squares and then on the diagonal to make triangles. They are so yummy!

I gave these out with my Christmas goodies this year and they were the undisputed favorite among six different kinds of cookies. Very easy to make and just sinfully delicious!!

Gluten-Free Browned Butter Pecan Cookies

Heather Dessinger 50 Comments This post contains affiliate links.

If you’ve ever made my chocolate chip cookie dough fudge you know the warm, toffee-like flavor that browned butter infuses. I love adding it to desserts, especially these rich, nutty, melt-in-your-mouth delicious gluten-free butter pecan cookies. They taste a little like pecan shortbread – only chewy instead of a little crumbly – and you only need seven ingredients to make them.

As a bonus, if you let yourself slow down and take the whole baking process in with your senses – the aroma of vanilla as it mixes into the dough, the texture of the flour, and the crackling of the parchment paper as you place each cookie to bake – it basically counts as a mindfulness practice.

A mindfulness practice that results in delicious cookies, that is. (And seriously, it counts.)

If you’re avoiding butter right now and wondering if there’s a good substitute, the answer is yes and . . . kind of. I’m mostly dairy-free right now with the exception of ghee, and I’ve found that browned butter ghee works beautifully.

If that’s not an option, you can use a neutral-flavored coconut oil instead. Although you won’t get the browned butter flavor they’ll still be delicious . . . in fact, I’ve been making these for 8+ years now and have been using browned butter for less than half of that time.

Glazed Butter Pecan Cookies

These Glazed Butter Pecan Cookies are a melty shortbread cookie with fun secret ingredient!

These little sweet treats might not look like much, but ohhhhhhh they arrrrrrrre.

They really are. I’ve included a kinda-sorta “secret ingredient” that makes these little meltaway cookies completely irresistible!

Butter Pecan is one of my all time favorite ice cream flavors. It’s creamy, sweet, buttery and just an all around classic. So when I decided to turn it into a cookie I knew I had to nail the flavor.

Beyond a super sweet glaze on top dotted with chopped pecans, the cookie itself is a real gem.

Here’s my sort of trick…butterscotch chips…

Yes, I get that really isn’t a secret ingredient. Just stay with me for a second.

You see I don’t love butterscotch chips. I don’t know why…it’s just such a strong flavor maybe when you bite into a whole chip? Ugh I don’t know, I just don’t love them. Please still love me. Let’s move on.

BUT I felt like I needed a little of that butterscotch flavor to help with the whole “butter” part of my Butter Pecan cookies.

So friends, I pulverized the chips. Yep, I killed them. Turned them to dust. Hasta la vista dudes.

Just plop them in your blender and murder those little guys.

Anyway, mixing in the butterscotch chip dust into the cookie dough was like the best idea ever. You get the subtle flavor without the whole chip.

I tested these cookies out on a friend who is a fantastic baker and she couldn’t pin point the extra buttery-ness, which basically means I NAILED IT.

Roll the dough into balls…

And bake them. Here’s how they will look…

Then make your simple glaze. Just chop up some pecans and mix them into a powdered sugar, vanilla and milk glaze…

Spoon some glaze onto each cookie…

You guys are gonna love these!!

Simple, sweet, buttery and delicious!


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