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Ode to pecan shortbread cookies

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Pecan shortbread cookies - Christmas cookies, holiday baking, food blog

Pecan shortbread cookies have been my faithful companions over the last several days. They are the reason I look forward to coming home from work every day. They are the reason my husband almost finished a gallon of milk in a matter of 3 days. You see, cookies and milk – those go well together. As well as cookies and hot tea. Or, cookies and coffee. Or, cookies and movies, on the couch.

Pecan shortbread cookies - Christmas cookies, holiday cookie recipes, holiday cookies, pecan cookie recipe, recipes, desserts with nuts, nuts

I can’t believe I’ve never made them before! What have stopped me until now? Maybe, it was a price of pecans: why would I use expensive nuts for some basic shortbread cookies instead of saving the pecans for something more sophisticated, such as a pecan pie? That could’ve been my train of thought. Or, more likely, I’ve just never thought of grinding the pecans and adding them to the cookie dough before – not because it’s such a novel idea, but because I have too many other ideas in my head at all times. Oh mine, I’ve been missing out on so much!

Pecan shortbread cookies - Christmas cookies, holiday cookie recipes, holiday cookies, pecan cookie recipe, recipes, desserts with nuts, nuts


These pecan cookies are so buttery, light, crumbly, and full of pecan flavor – you will have a hard time restraining yourself. Using toasted pecans is very important in this recipe! Toasting pecans really brings out their flavor and makes the cookies the way they are meant to be: nutty, melt-in-your-mouth, delicate.

Pecan shortbread cookies - Christmas cookies, holiday cookie recipes, holiday cookies, pecan cookie recipe, recipes, desserts with nuts, food blog

It’s such a classic holiday cookie! Just perfect for this time of year (and beyond).

Ode to pecan shortbread cookies

Total Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 20 cookies

Ode to pecan shortbread cookies


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely ground toasted pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Toast pecans at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure they don’t burn – they burn easily. Cool them off completely. To make finely ground nuts, place toasted pecans into food processor and process until finely ground.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar until creamy. Add vanilla and continue beating. Add 1/2 cup finely ground pecans and beat to combine. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt, then add mixed flour and salt to the creamy butter-sugar mixture. Do not overmix, just enough to combine all ingredients and form a cookie dough.
  3. Shape dough into 4 logs of different thickness (to make cookies of different radius – large and small). Wrap each log in plastic wrap and put wrapped cookie dough in the freezer for 30 minutes, then in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 325. After cookie dough has been in the freezer and in the refrigerator, unwrap plastic and slice each log into thin cookie slices. Place cookie slices on parchment-lined ungreased baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake for about 15 minutes, don’t let the cookies get brown. After about 15 minutes of baking, transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.


Adapted from Epicurious




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{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Angie (@angiesrecipess) December 16, 2013, 6:05 am

    They look melt-in-mouth and beautiful!

  • Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com December 16, 2013, 8:36 am

    6 ingredients resulted in cookies that look so good!!! WOW!!! I love cookie recipes with a few ingredients – specially when they look and sound SO GOOD!!!!
    Yes, I would be having these cookies for breakfast, brunch, snack, lunch, dinner, and anytime between!

  • Monique December 16, 2013, 9:25 am

    Every time you make a new cookie..I want to try them..pecan sandies…Yum

  • Ari @ Ari's Menu December 16, 2013, 11:15 am

    I am totally jealous of your cookie stacking skills. Also, these look amazing!

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress) December 16, 2013, 12:21 pm

    mmmmmmm these pecan shortbread cookies certainly SOUND mouthwatering, I wish I had a big plate right now!

  • Carlos December 16, 2013, 12:39 pm

    Where did you get the hazelnut from???

    • Julia December 18, 2013, 2:47 pm

      Oops! Thanks for noticing! I just corrected it and mentioned you too! 🙂

  • Ashley December 16, 2013, 3:43 pm

    Oh how I love shortbread! I haven’t made any yet this holiday season and now you’re really making me want to run into the kitchen to make some! Love all the pecans in this : )

  • Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes December 16, 2013, 3:55 pm

    Love shortbread cookies!! All time favorite! yours look wonderful 🙂

  • Laura Dembowski December 16, 2013, 3:55 pm

    I’ve always loved pecan shortbread too, but never made it. Now I need to make some too!

  • Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking December 16, 2013, 4:44 pm

    Oh these look super good! Would you give some of your coveted Pecan Shortbread cookies to Santa? Would you give some to me? Pretty, please!

  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl December 16, 2013, 5:57 pm

    I want to each into the screen and grab that entire stack of these yummy cookies!

  • Suzanne Perazzini December 16, 2013, 6:24 pm

    Shortbread is such a classic favourite. Having them together with milk and a movie sounds like a splendid idea.

  • Matt @ Runner Savvy December 16, 2013, 7:49 pm

    Looks delicious! You’re a cookie machine 😉

  • Kumar's Kitchen December 16, 2013, 8:07 pm

    what a beautiful ode and the cookies are so tempting…we certainly are going to bake a batch of these for the weekend…delicious and perfect food clicks as always,thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Cate @ Chez CateyLou December 16, 2013, 8:47 pm

    These cookies look delicious! I love the stacks, so pretty!

  • Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner December 17, 2013, 10:39 am

    My husband would be exactly the same as yours! These are one of his favorite cookies. These look so perfect! Pinned. It’s hard to go wrong with shortbread and pecans. 🙂

  • Cailee @ http://hellohealthyeating.com December 17, 2013, 11:09 am

    YUM!! These look so delicious!! Perfect for this time of year! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Karen December 17, 2013, 11:30 am

    They look delicious, I love pecan shortbread cookies and have been working on a low-carb version. Hopefully they will be ready in time for Christmas this year.

  • [email protected] December 17, 2013, 1:52 pm

    I would love to try these. I’ve been using almonds a lot, but pecans…is a different species. I miss that American flavor 🙂 ela

  • Consuelo @ Honey & Figs December 17, 2013, 4:48 pm

    Grinding the pecans sounds like a genius idea that I need to try! Your cookies look delicious and I’m sure they’re delish as well ; )

  • Lea @ Lea's Cooking December 17, 2013, 7:13 pm

    It’s stunning, both the flavors and the presentation! I love pecan cookies:) Never made em before, ~ I am more a cake person.
    God Bless you abundantly, Julia!!!

  • Liz December 17, 2013, 7:59 pm

    These remind me of a childhood favorite…pecan sandies! I must make a batch of your pecan shortbread!

  • Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen December 17, 2013, 10:03 pm

    Pecan Shortbread is my favorite kind of shortbread cookie! But, I do love them all. Thanks for sharing, my friend. Pinning!

  • Krista December 18, 2013, 12:21 am

    I’m SO happy you posted these today!! I’ve been craving Christmas cookies all week but couldn’t settle on just WHAT I was craving. Now I know. It’s these little beauties. 🙂

  • Anne ~ Uni Homemaker December 18, 2013, 2:02 am

    Simply amazing Julia! I’d finish a gallon of milk in 3 days too if I had these cookies. YUM! 🙂 Pinned!

  • Patty December 18, 2013, 11:56 am

    Beautiful Christmas cookies! Pecans are just the best and I know they are expensive in my local market but so worth it 😉

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