Pecan Pie Cookies

LAST UPDATED: Feb 06, 2021 | PUBLISHED: Dec 10, 2020 | By:

If you like pecan pie, you will love this Pecan Pie Cookie Recipe. 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!

A stack of thin pecan pie cookies on a marble surface.

This post was originally published in August 2017, and republished with new information and images December 2020.

I couldn’t wait until Fall Cookie Week to share this recipe. It took a few attempts, but now that it’s perfected I want to shout it from the rooftop! It’s just.that.good. My sister said it’s better than pecan pie and I have to agree.

These bite-sized pecan pie cookies are thin, chewy and have the slightly buttery, salty, gooey, brown sugary taste that we all come to crave in fall – 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.

Pecan cookies on a marble surface.

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Why You’ll Love These Pecan Pie Cookies

  • Easy to make
  • Less work than pecan pie
  • Thin and chewy, with amazing flavor
  • Perfect for gifts
  • Full of fall and winter flavor

Pecans have long been used in all types of baking. I’ve got a great variety of pecan recipes you’ll love! Check out Chocolate Chip Pecan Snowballs, Salted Caramel Pecan Pie Bars, Pecan Rolls, Pecan Thumbprints and more!

Pecan cookies on a marble surface.
  • Flour – All purpose.
  • Brown Sugar – I prefer to use brown sugar over white for these cookies. Brown sugar contains more molasses and it is more complex in flavor.
  • Butter – I use salted butter in this recipe as the salt really balances the sweetness in the cookies. Learn how to soften butter before using it so it incorporates easily to make the dough.
  • Vanilla –  Use pure vanilla extract over imitation if you can. It’s also really easy to make homemade vanilla extract for all your baking needs.
  • Eggs – For binding purposes. Use large size eggs!
  • Salt – to balance out the sweet.
  • Baking Soda – for leavening.
  • Pecan Halves – Use unsalted raw pecan halves. They add wonderful flavor and texture.
A marble surface with ingredients for butter pecan pie cookies laid out in small white bowls.

Variations

  • 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.
Pecan pie cookie dough on the paddle attachment of a copper stand mixer.

How To Make Pecan Pie Cookies

  1. Cream Butter and Sugars – Beat brown sugar, butter and vanilla until fluffy.
  2. Add Eggs. 
  3. Add Dry Ingredients – Add flour, salt and baking soda and mix on low until just combined.
  4. Fold in Pecans.
  5. Chill and Preheat – Preheat oven to 350 degrees while chilling the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  6. Bake – Line cookie sheet with parchment paper, roll cookies into 1.25″ balls and bake 8 minutes.
A gold baking sheet lined with parchment paper and round scoops of pecan pie cookie recipe dough.
A gold baking sheet lined with parchment paper and six pecan pie cookies.

Shortcuts

  • You can actually refrigerate this dough for up to three days if you’d like to make it ahead! Just let it sit out on the counter for a bit before you scoop onto your baking sheet.
  • Make sure you buy halved or chopped pecans! This saves you a bit of time – speaking from experience when I accidentally buy the packages of whole pecans.

How to Toast Pecans for Butter Pecan Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Extra step: If you’d like, toss the chopped pecans with butter and salt.
  3. Place your pecan pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet and toast for approximately 10-15 minutes.
  4. Turn once or twice to ensure even toasting!
A stack of thin pecan pie cookies on a marble surface.

Tips 

  • Refrigerate the 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.
  • IMPORTANT: 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.
  • Preheat the oven before you bake the cookies to allow them to cook evenly.
  • Check your cookies halfway through baking and rotate your baking sheet if one side is cooking quicker than the other.
  • I love to finish the cookies with a little cracked sea salt just as I pull the from the oven for the ultimate sweet and salty flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Why does cookie dough need to chill?

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.

A stack of thin pecan pie cookies on a marble surface.

To Store

  • 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.

Dietary Considerations

  • Vegetarian
  • These are not an allergen friendly cookie because of the pecans, dairy and gluten.

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If you try these pecan pie cookies, please come back to share using my 5 star rating in the comments below! Not only do I appreciate it, but I know readers do, too!

A stack of thin pecan pie cookies on a marble surface.

Better than Pecan Pie Cookies

Author: Julie Blanner
If you like pecan pie, you will love these Pecan Pie Cookies. They’re thin, caramelized bites of the rich, buttery pecan pie we’ve all come to enjoy!
4.96 from 50 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Chill dough 30 mins
Total Time 18 mins
Course Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 235 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups brown sugar light or dark, lightly packed
  • 1 cup salted butter softened, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs size large
  • cups flour all purpose
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups pecan halves

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

To Make Butter Pecan Pie Cookies, Toast Pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Extra step: If you’d like, toss the chopped pecans with a little melted butter and salt. (1/4 cup butter and 1/2 teaspoon of salt)
  3. Place your pecan pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet and toast for approximately 10-15 minutes.
  4. Turn once or twice to ensure even toasting!

Substitutions

  • Light or Dark Brown Sugar
  • Salted or Unsalted Butter

Tips

  • Be sure to beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. This is an important step that adds 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.
  • IMPORTANT: 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.

Nutrition

Calories:235kcalCarbohydrates:25gProtein:2gFat:14gSaturated Fat:5gCholesterol:33mgSodium:152mgPotassium:77mgFiber:1gSugar:18gVitamin A:260IUVitamin C:0.1mgCalcium:27mgIron:0.8mg
4.96 from 50 votes
Did you Make This Recipe?Mention @JulieBlanner
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