These soft, chewy, buttery pecan cookies are a pure delight! With a slightly crisp, nutty crunch and that explosive, rich cookie flavor, they never fail to hit the spot.
Butter pecan cookies are the perfect winter treat, especially around the holiday season. However, they are perfectly adaptable and bring cheer all year round.
It's a super simple recipe to rustle up. Kids can even get involved and help make them! Feel free to use different fun cookie cutters to make all kinds of inventive shapes.
Pecans are just the perfect ingredient for a cookie recipe like this one. They have a certain buttery quality that works wonders when added to cookies. Plus, you just can't beat that marvelous nutty crunch. Pure bliss!
Why you'll love this pecan cookie recipe
- They're straightforward to make and only need a handful of ingredients. They're so easy that even kids can get involved when making them!
- Deliciously soft and gooey, they are a guaranteed hit with adults and kids.
- Homemade cookies are amazing! They taste way better than the store-bought kind. You'll never go back!
- When frozen, these babies store well, meaning you can keep them fresh on the counter for up to a week or longer.
You'll need a few essential items to make these fantastic butter pecan cookies!
- Stand mixer – it's not essential, but a quality stand mixer is a great kitchen tool for baking. It can help to achieve the perfect cookie consistency.
- Cookie sheet – a cookie sheet, or thin baking sheet, is necessary when you bake cookies.
- Parchment paper - line your baking tray with parchment baking paper to prevent the cookie dough from sticking once the fat and sugar start to heat up.
- Baking scales – good baking scales are absolutely essential when it comes to getting those measurements spot on.
- Airtight container – you'll need this to store your buttery cookies.
- Flour sifter - sift your dry ingredients together to get rid of clumps.
- Cling film - use plastic wrap to cover the cookie dough balls while you chill the dough in the refrigerator or freezer. The plastic wrap will prevent the cookie dough balls from drying out.
How to make pecan cookies
Place the butter and sugars in a mixing bowl.
Beat until the mixture becomes light and creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla extract.
Beat some more.
Slowly incorporate the flour, salt and baking soda.
Your cookie dough is now ready!
Tip in the pecans and chocolate chips.
Plop spoonfuls of cookie batter onto a lined baking sheet. Decorate each one with a pecan half. Bake until golden and crispy around the edges. Enjoy!
Bring your butter and eggs to room temperature before baking. Take them out of the fridge an hour beforehand. You'll get a softer, fluffier, even-textured cookie.
How to serve these pecan cookies
Fancy a butter pecan cookie at Christmas? Take a festive moment to savor the season in extra decadent style. Pair your pecan cookies with rumchata eggnog or an eggnog martini. Santa would be proud of you.
Alternatively, go for a classic Eggnog recipe and make it a traditional Christmas treat.
With tea or coffee
A cup of tea or coffee would be the perfect pairing for these cookies.
Fancy something different? Try my iced rooibos tea with raspberries and mint!
With ice cream
So, you like your desserts extra indulgent, don't you? Crumble up some of your beautiful brown butter pecan cookies and mix them with a scoop or two of your favorite ice cream. Butter pecan ice cream has never tasted so good!
Dunked in a glass of milk
Sometimes, simplicity is bliss. Why not keep things simple and go classic? Pour a glass of cold, fresh milk, and dip your cookies in. What's better than milk and cookies? It's like the culinary equivalent of a warm hug!
Variations to this recipe
Feel free to get into the creative spirit and change this recipe to suit your tastes.
- Add chopped nuts (such as almonds) or drizzle melted Biscoff spread over the cooled cookies for a decorative touch.
- Get inventive and add chocolate for glorious chocolate chip cookies. You could even add butterscotch chips.
- You can also garnish each cookie with a pecan half before popping them in the oven.
- You can make these cookies extra indulgent by using butter pecans. These pecans have been toasted with butter for an extra rich buttery taste.
- Fancy less of a crunch with your cookie? Finely chop your pecans before mixing them in.
- You can use salted butter instead of unsalted butter if you prefer. Just be sure to leave out the ½ teaspoon of salt from the recipe.
- To make an eggless version of this recipe, swap the egg yolk for vegetable oil or coconut milk in your cookie dough. The egg yolk helps to enrich the flavor and get the right texture for your cookies. Replacing it with another liquid will change the taste and provide the required moisture.
Here are a few tips and tricks to make sure you end up with perfectly soft butter pecan cookies:
- Mix your cookie dough until it becomes soft. However, be careful not to over-mix, or you might end up with far too dense cookies. The best way is to mix the wet and dry ingredients until they combine.
- Make sure you use room-temperature butter and eggs. This way, you'll get a softer, fluffy, even-textured cookie. Take your butter and eggs out of the fridge for 30 minutes before making this recipe.
- If your kitchen is warm or the dough seems too soft, pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour before portioning it out. This will prevent it from spreading out during baking, giving you finer, less dense cookies.
- Make sure you line your baking sheet with parchment paper. This will help ensure an even heat distribution, ensuring the cookies are cooked through on the bottom and the top.
- Allow the butter pecan cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. This helps them set first before you move them, preventing them from cracking and falling apart.
Can you use raw pecans in cookies?
Absolutely! You can even toast them beforehand. Toasting pecans helps bring out their natural nutty flavor. Trust me... toasted chopped pecans are delicious!
However, it's not mandatory. The pecans toast naturally when added to cookies and baked in the oven.
Why are my cookies so crumbly?
If you've followed the recipe below, your cookies should be soft and wonderful. However, you might end up with crumbly cookies for a few reasons.
Sometimes, using a different type of flour can lead to dry cookies. Use all-purpose as per my recipe below, and you should be fine.
Brittle cookies can also be caused by not using enough fat in the recipe. Use the precise butter in the recipe below for perfect pecan cookies.
Finally, over-mixing the dough can lead to dry cookies. Make sure you mix the cookie batter until the wet and dry ingredients are mixed in properly, but not to the point that your dough becomes over-mixed.
Why are my cookies too dry?
If your brown butter pecan cookies seem too dry, it's possible that you added too much flour. Always make sure you're precise with the measurements for this recipe.
Another reason could be the temperature and cooking time. Cookies need a medium heat, so 375°F (190°C) is ideal. Any hotter, you'll risk getting overly baked cookies with a dry texture.
Also, always watch these cookies in the oven and be sure not to over-bake them.
How do you get chewy cookies?
I've found that using light brown sugar in cookie recipes helps to get that wonderful chewy texture. Also, use baking soda, as per the recipe below. Another essential ingredient, baking soda, helps to
How do you store pecan cookies?
Store your delicious pecan cookies in a quality, airtight container or ziplock bag. You don't need to freeze them. You can store them on the kitchen counter at room temperature.
Storing them in the refrigerator is not a good idea. The cool air will absorb all the moisture from the cookies, robbing them of that wonderfully soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Another great trick when storing cookies is to pop a slice of bread in the container with the cookies. As if my magic, it works to help them retain their moisture, ensuring they stay soft and delicious.
When stored correctly, your cookies will stay fresh and fabulous for up to one week. Good luck keeping them that long, though!
Can you freeze pecan cookies?
Yes, you can freeze these cookies after baking. You will lose that wonderful soft texture, though. To freeze pecan cookies, first flash-freeze them on a baking tray for two hours. Once partially frozen, please place them in an airtight container or a ziplock bag.
If you want to make these ahead, a better idea is to freeze the cookie dough. Then you can bake them on the day you need them. This way, you'll retain that delicious taste and texture.
Make the cookie dough into cookie balls, place them on a baking tray, and flash-freeze them for two hours. Once partially frozen, place each ball into a freezable airtight container. Flash-freezing the cookie dough beforehand prevents it from sticking together.
How do you know when butter pecan cookies are ready?
After around 10 or 12 minutes, these bad boys will be ready to whisk out of the oven. You shouldn't need any longer than that.
Please keep an eye on your cookies as they reach the 10-minute mark. They should begin to take on that gloriously golden brown color around the edges. They'll still retain that slightly soft center.
More delicious cookie recipes
Are you really into cookies? Satisfy your inner cookie monster with these incredible cookie recipes. Enjoy!
- Kinder bueno cookies – Bueno fans will go nuts for this one. It's a chocolate cookie with an irresistible taste, perfect for any time of the year... especially Christmas.
- Apple pie cookies – is there anything more comforting than an apple pie? Here's my twist on a traditional holiday season favorite
- Vegan oat cookies – these healthy cookies don't skimp on taste. Simply sensational, ideal for breakfast or brunch or a daytime snack
- Sugar-free chocolate chip cookies – again, very healthy, again super delicious! You won't believe how much flavor you can get without sugar. These cookies are incredible, and you'll want to make them repeatedly.