Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Pecan Shortbread Cookies – make, freeze, bake, store. You can make this recipe well ahead or at the last minute.

Brown sugar and nuts give it a bit of caramel like depth.

They are quite firm. They don’t spread or rise much on the baking sheet so you can place them fairly close together like a half inch apart.

Pecan shortbread cookies on baking sheet ready for the oven.

The dough log can be frozen and thawed when ready to bake. I defrosted my log one day and then I got busy. So I stuck the log in the fridge to defrost and bake the following day. They were totally fine. Nice to have such a forgiving recipe!

The cookies store well in an airtight container at room temperature. I imagine the baked cookies would also freeze and defrost well.

Two logs of pecan shortbread ready to go into the fridge.

I think this is not a new recipe but it is new to me. Shortbread in my house growing up was always white, usually out of a cookie press in the shape of wreaths and Christmas trees.

So.. I came late to the party and only discovered them when a girlfriend served them. I was sold at the first bite…all buttery, nuttiness!

Easy and versatile – what more can you ask for!

They make a nice addition to a cookie platter. I served them with Chocolate Dipped Candied Orange Peel and Chocolate Salami slices.

Chocolate log cut into slices with Christmas ornaments around the serving dish.
Stack of pecan shortbread cookies on a Christmas plate.

Pecan Shortbread

Freeze, refrigerate, slice, bake and serve!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 60 coolies


  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup pecans finely chopped


  • Beat butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla and egg and beat to combine.
  • Stir in the flour till well mixed. Fold in chopped pecans.
  • Divide the dough in half. Place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap. Form the dough into a 3" diameter log using the plastic wrap and rolling on the counter. Seal the dough and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  • When ready to bake preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  • Cut the dough into 1/2" rounds. Place the cookies on the baking pan. They don't spread so they can be fairly close together but not touching.
  • Bake cookies 12-14 minutes until just slightly golden brown. Allow to cool on and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • Dough log can be frozen. Thaw and cut into 1/2 inch rounds then bake as per above.


Calories: 66kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
Pecan Shortbread Cookies

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