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Toasted-Pecan Butter Cookies

These rich, crisp, delicate cookies owe their crumbly texture to confectioners' sugar. Pecans enhance their buttery flavor.

  • Servings: 24
  • Yield: Makes about 2 dozen cookies
Toasted-Pecan Butter Cookies

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January 2009


  • 3 1/2 ounces pecan halves, toasted (1 cup)
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Break each pecan
    half into 2 or 3 pieces. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until pale. With mixer running, add vanilla and salt, then reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour, beating until just incorporated. Stir in pecans until distributed evenly. Cover dough, and refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes
    (or overnight; let dough come to room temperature before using).

  2. Drop 2-tablespoon scoops of dough onto baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges of cookies are golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.

Cook's Note

Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 2 days.

Reviews (24)

  • betts 9 Mar, 2014

    Oh, forgot to mention I only made half the recipe. Didn't want to waste ingredients in case things didn't turn out well. From now on, I'll make the full amount as these cookies won't last long.

  • betts 9 Mar, 2014

    These cookies are delicious! No problem with flat cookies. I used Earth Balance Soy Garden instead of butter to keep them dairy free. King Arthur Flour AP works best for all my cookie recipes. I use lower protein flours, such as Gold Medal, for cakes. Flour may play a role in the cookies coming out flat. Try KA AP and see what results. I refrigerated my dough for about 20 minutes and didn't bother waiting for it to to come to room temperature. A new favorite cookie, for sure.

  • consommation 18 Feb, 2014

    Just made these for my cookie tins. They turned out awesome & they were gobbled up. This recipes is just awesome, i really appreciated. credit conso

  • marilynnes 26 Sep, 2011

    I found 3 hard parts to this recipe -
    1. Waiting for the butter to get to room temp.
    2. Waiting for the dough to chill.
    3. Waiting the 5 minutes for the cookies to cool off.
    This recipe is really easy to prepare. I had no problem with flat cookies. I did make a 1/2 recipe and used pecan meal in place of the pecans. They came out great and I will make them again!!

  • mmlane 11 Mar, 2011

    ...but the directions say to warm the dough to room temperature if refrigerated overnight. I made a triple batch last week and those were flat. I am in the middle of baking a double batch now. Chilling the 3rd

  • beautifulyou 19 Jan, 2011

    Sometimes butter cookies will be flat if they were not refrigerated enough. It is important to make sure that the dough has been well regrigerated befpre baking. Also parchment paper will help. All in all I thought the cookes were delicious. They are a wee bit flatter than most cookies but that is the nature of butter cookies when you think about it. Again, refriigeration is the key. I will keep this recipe and definately make them again.

  • mlnren 2 Jan, 2011

    I think the problem is too much sugar, because this recipe is so similar to the sand tart recipe that i have. i remember that i miss read the recipe and added too much sugar and my cookies were totally flat.

  • Alitoney 15 Jul, 2010

    Mine turned out perfect and delicious. I think the key is giving the butter a good whipping on a medium high speed.

  • EWjunk 29 Aug, 2009

    These were tasty, but had so much butter in them they almost had a "greasy" feel/taste. I wouldn't make again because of that.

  • dixw 8 Mar, 2009

    I just made these cookies and they tasted delicious. Very buttery, but mine came out flat also. Checked the recipe several times to make sure I did everything right, and I did. I would not make again.

  • dustybottoms 27 Feb, 2009

    Mine were completely flat as well. I made them once and didn't chill and added warm pecans and so the next time I did it by the book and they were still flat. I thought I missed some baking soda or powder but after looking at the recipe I realized that I didn't. So what is the deal? What am I doing wrong? They taste great but I would like them to look good as well.

  • FeltSewGood 19 Feb, 2009

    These are my new favorite cookies! My husband and I both loved them! My husband loved the crisp delicate texture and I love the flavor of the toasted pecans and butter. Wonderful!

  • PeruOrchd 30 Jan, 2009

    I made these this moring to take to work. The texture is awesome! Very light flavor. Like KatieRothe's idea to add sweetened cranberries. Will try that next time. Very easy cookie to make. I tasted 1 cookie with out the dusting of pwdr'd sugar and I could taste the flour. 2nd cookie after dusting with sugar was better.

  • lwbpiglet 27 Jan, 2009

    I think these are my new favorite cookie-my husband who eats nothing but oatmeal cookies LOVED these.

  • sommjet 14 Jan, 2009

    I guess no one else had a problem with this recipe - mine spread out totally flat - I thought maybe there awas a typo - like there should be 2 /1/4 cups flour - I'm not sure what happened - back to my original mexican weddding cakes! (same ingredients -failproof results)

  • katierothe 13 Jan, 2009

    I made these cookies and they were great! But I added some sweeted cranberries which made them even better

  • AFvet 13 Jan, 2009

    I am going to make them but, you know they'll be good. Look at the ingreds.

    To MARYJUNG in SF: Kosher (coarse grind) is so much better than table salt with the additives but SEA SALT is good and you can just use that. Cookies will still be good!

  • vickichaffin 13 Jan, 2009

    Let'[s get back to the original question: Has anyone has made these cookies???

  • cimwwjd 12 Jan, 2009

    Has anyone tried this recipe? Any comments?

  • mykele 12 Jan, 2009

    Many recipes ask for Kosher/coarse or sea salt because they
    do not have anticaking ingredients like regular table salt.
    In plain words no additives that alter the taste.

  • jlm102304 12 Jan, 2009

    They actually make "coarse salt" it is usually marked "Kosher salt", it is a little finer then sea satl. Morton's does make it, but I am sure there are other brands out there.

  • jlm102304 12 Jan, 2009

    They actually make "coarse salt" usually it is marked ":kosher salt", Mortons does make it, but I'm sure that there are other brands out there. Coarse salt is a little finer then sea salt.

  • euni 12 Jan, 2009

    Kosher salr is recommended by some bakers. Coarse salt has no fillers to cloud the salt such as table salt and givwa a less "salty" taste and bring out the flavor of the baked item. Especially good with chocolate.

  • maryjungsf 12 Jan, 2009

    What do recipes mean when they say "coarse salt"? I've always used Mortons table salt or sea salt. If I grind my sea salt, is this what they mean?

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