Buttery Pecan Shortbread Cookies

The Timeless Delight of Buttery Pecan Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Buttery pecan shortbread cookies have captivated hearts for generations, renowned for their rich, buttery texture and the delightful crunch of pecans. These cookies are the quintessence of homestyle baking, offering a comforting taste that captivates cookie enthusiasts of all ages.

A Glimpse into the History of Shortbread

Tracing back to medieval Scotland, shortbread has evolved from a humble biscuit bread to a refined dessert by the 16th century. The introduction of butter was seen as a luxury, elevating shortbread to a high-status treat. Today, shortbread cookies come in various forms, with pecan shortbread cookies standing out due to their nutty, buttery flavor, ideal for both festive gatherings and daily indulgence. Learn more about the history of shortbread here.

Essential Ingredients and Steps For Pecan Shortbread Recipe

To create the perfect buttery pecan shortbread, certain key ingredients are essential:

  • Butter: As the main ingredient, real unsalted butter ensures a rich flavor and tender crumb.
  • Pecans: Not only do chopped pecans add a delightful crunch, but they also enrich the cookies with a nutty flavor, boasting numerous health benefits. Discover the nutritional benefits of pecans.
  • Flour and Sugar: These foundational elements must be balanced correctly to achieve the classic shortbread texture.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Cream the Butter and Sugar: Begin by vigorously mixing the butter with both granulated and light brown sugar until it’s light and fluffy.
  2. Incorporate Dry Ingredients: Slowly blend in the flour and a pinch of salt, then fold in the chopped pecans.
  3. Shape and Bake: Form the dough into small balls and slightly flatten them on a lined baking sheet. Bake until they turn golden.

Nutritional Information and Adaptations

Each cookie contains roughly 160 kcal, making it a delightful treat that should be enjoyed in moderation. For those with dietary restrictions, alternatives such as gluten-free flour and vegan butter can be utilized to ensure everyone can enjoy these cookies. Explore gluten-free cooking techniques and vegan baking recipes for more information.

Expert Baking Tips

  • Selecting Ingredients: Choose high-quality butter and freshly ground pecans to maximize the flavor.
  • Mixing the Dough: Be careful not to over-mix to maintain a light and crumbly texture.
  • Baking: Keep a close eye on the cookies while they bake, as the timing can vary.

Pecan Shortbread in Culture

Pecan shortbread cookies often appear in various cultural narratives and are a staple during the holiday season. They evoke a sense of nostalgia, reminiscent of family baking sessions and festive celebrations.

Exploring Cookie Variations

While buttery pecan shortbread is a classic, experimenting with other variants like chocolate chip or almond shortbread can introduce delightful new flavors to your repertoire. Each region and culture offers unique twists to the traditional shortbread recipe, showcasing the global appreciation for this beloved dessert.


  • Can I use margarine instead of butter? To ensure an authentic taste and texture, it is best to use real butter.
  • How long can these cookies be stored? When stored properly in an airtight container, the cookies can remain fresh for several weeks.
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Buttery Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Buttery Pecan Shortbread Cookies

  • Author: recipevalue.com
  • Total Time: 30 minutes


Crunchy, buttery, and rich with the flavor of pecans, these Classic Buttery Pecan Shortbread Cookies are a delightful treat for any occasion. Perfect for holiday gatherings, these cookies offer a simple yet irresistible taste that pairs wonderfully with a hot cup of tea or coffee.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the vanilla extract. Gradually add flour and salt to the butter mixture, mixing until combined.
  4. Fold in the chopped pecans.
  5. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheet, flattening slightly.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Ensure the butter is at room temperature for easier mixing.
  • For a gluten-free version, substitute the all-purpose flour with an equal amount of gluten-free flour blend.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container to keep them crisp.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Scottish-American


  • Calories: 160 kcal
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 17g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 20mg

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