If you like pecan pie, you will love these pecan pie cookies. These incredible pecan cookies are thin, caramelized bites of the rich, buttery pecan pie we all love!
Quick and easy to make with pantry staple ingredients, I promise you’ll want to make a double batch!
I could hardly wait to share this recipe after I developed it. It took a few attempts, but now that it’s perfected I want to shout it from the rooftop!
These pecan pie cookies are just.that.good. My sister said it’s better than pecan pie and I have to agree.
These pecan pie cookies are thin, chewy and have the slightly buttery, salty, gooey, brown sugary taste that we all come to crave in fall pies – without the crust.
I’ve always loved cookies with a little less flour so the brown sugar caramelizes with the butter and provides that deliciously rich, chewy texture. It’s a nice deviation from most cookies. The pecan halves help the cookies hold their shape and give them a little body.
One bite and you’ll be saying what my sister did – these cookies are better than pecan pie. Success.
Why You’ll Love Pecan Pie Cookies
- Easy – Less effort than pecan pie
- Thin, chewy, with amazing flavor
- Perfect for gifting
5 STAR REVIEW
“Chewy, delicious cookies!! SO much easier than a pecan pie and just as yummy!”— LIZ —
note: These cookies are intentionally thin to result in the amazing texture synonymous with pecan pie…they will spread. See tips below for the best results.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Flour – All purpose.
- Brown Sugar – Brown sugar gives the cookies rich flavor with a hint of molasses. You can use dark or light brown sugar, whichever you prefer.
- Butter – Not all butter is created equal. Use high quality full fat butter to ensure lower water content. Do not substitute with margarine. Salted butter balances the sweetness of the cookies, but you can use unsalted butter. Learn how to soften butter for the best results so it easily incorporates into the dough and the cookies hold their shape.
- Vanilla – Pure vanilla extract and homemade vanilla extract offer the best flavor.
- Eggs – Use large size eggs to bind the dough.
- Salt – A hint of salt brings out all the other flavors.
- Baking Soda – Baking soda is the leavening agent used to give the cookies a slight rise.
- Pecan Halves – Use unsalted raw pecan halves. They add wonderful flavor and texture. Learn how to toast them below if you prefer.
- Toast your pecans before adding to the dough to create the ultimate butter pecan cookies! See below for more details.
- Use chopped pecans if you’d like smaller pieces in your pecan pie cookies!
- Add a glaze! Try my cream cheese glaze for a delicious topping.
- Add caramel chips for an extra touch.
How To Make Pecan Pie Cookies
- Cream Butter and Sugars – Beat brown sugar, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Add Eggs.
- Add Dry Ingredients – Add flour, salt and baking soda and mix on low until just combined. Fold in Pecans.
- Chill and Preheat – Preheat oven while chilling dough in the refrigerator.
- Bake – Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake. Leave room for them to spread. They will become thin.
How to Toast Pecans for Butter Pecan Cookies
- Preheat oven to 300º F.
- Optional: Toss chopped pecans with butter and salt.
- Place pecan pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet and toast 10-15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes for an even toast.
- Use High Quality Butter – Off brand and discount grocery store butters tend to have a higher water content, yielding different results.
- Properly Soften Butter – Bringing butter to room temperature will ensure the butter easily incorporates into the dough and help the cookies ma
- Refrigerate Dough – This minimizes the amount cookies spread.
- Make Small Dough Balls – A small cookie scoop is ideal for consistent size. These cookies will spread.
- Space Dough Balls – Leave 3″ between each dough ball. These cookies intentionally spread to result in their chewy texture.
I routinely make double batches. Everyone always requests them now, and even so, it’s hard to keep them around for even 24 hours.Helen
Toasting the nuts is well worth it.
I stopped using parchment paper because it seems to lose the optimum consistency which for us is delicately crispy brownish halo around chewy center. A little bit stickier to get off the sheet but if you butter beneath them and catch them at the right moment for removal, it is doable.
Can’t say enough. This family has two November birthdays and has forsaken the traditionally requested birthday pecan pie in favor of these cookies which taste better and last longer than a slice of pie (or two).
- Refrigerate dough for up to three days to make it ahead!
- Purchase halved or chopped pecans to save time.
Frequently Asked Questions
In many cookie recipes, it’s really important to allow the dough to chill so that they don’t spread too much when you bake them. Chilling the dough solidifies the fat in the cookies so that it doesn’t melt too quickly when you bake them.
Toasting your nuts (in any recipe) will give them an additional layer of flavor and make them a little more crisp and crunchy. It brings this recipe to a whole new level!
- At Room Temperature – Store in an airtight container and they will hold for up to a week. You can even microwave for 10 seconds to soften before you eat one!
- Refrigerate – It’s generally not recommended to refrigerate cookies because of imbalances in moisture.
- Freeze – These cookies freeze beautifully. Store them in a Ziploc bag for up to three months to preserve freshness.
- These are not an allergen friendly cookie because of the pecans, dairy and gluten.
Better than Pecan Pie Cookies
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat brown sugar, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. About 3 minutes.
- Add eggs. and beat until just combined.
- Add flour, salt and baking soda and mix on low until just combined.
- Stir in pecans.
- Preheat oven to 350°F while chilling the dough, covered in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Line cookie sheet with parchment paper, roll cookies into 1.25" balls or use a cookie scoop to make dough balls and drop at least 3" apart onto cookie sheet. Bake 8 minutes.
- Optional: using a salt grinder, add a crack of sea salt on top just after pulling them out of the oven.
- Allow to cool 1 minute. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 300ºF.
- Optional: Toss chopped pecans with 1/4 cup melted butter and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- Place pecan pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet. Toast 10-15 minutes turning every five minutes for an even toast.
- Use quality full fat butter. Some off brands have higher water content which will yield different results. Do not substitute margarine.
- Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy to add air to the mixture.
- Refrigerate dough before baking to prevent the cookies from spreading.
- Using small amounts of dough work best for these cookies. I use this cookie scoop to form small balls of the dough that are uniform in size.
- Space out the balls of cookie dough on your sheet pan, leaving a gap of about 3 inches between each ball. The cookies will melt and spread so give them room.
How to Store
- At Room Temperature – Store in an airtight container up to a week. You can even microwave for 10 seconds or add a slice of bread to soften!
- Freeze – Store them in a sealable bag or airtight container for up to three months to preserve freshness.
Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.