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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.

  • Yield: Makes about 2 dozen 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 Notes

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

Reviews Add a comment

  • halbert11
    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.
  • halbert11
    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
  • MS10420102
    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.
  • MS12477275
    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.