pecan shortbread cookies

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These pecan shortbread cookies are perfectly crumbly, crispy, buttery and filled with the rich scent of deeply toasted pecans. So delicious!

  • Author: Indi Hampton
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 dozen 2-inch cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Food processor
  • Cuisine: American


  • 8 oz pecan halves (about 2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Spread pecans out on a baking sheet and bake for about 6 minutes, or until fragrant and just beginning to darken. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Pull out 1 cup of pecan pieces and set aside.
  3. Add powdered sugar, brown sugar and salt and process until pecans are finely ground, about 20 seconds. Add flour and process until combined. Toss in butter cubes and process until dough begins to come together, about 30 seconds. Pulse in remaining 1 cup chopped pecans, only processing to mix and not chop the nuts further.
  4. Scoop out half the dough on a piece of parchment paper. Cover with another sheet of parchment and roll out to 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with remaining dough. Stack slabs of dough on top of each other and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until very firm.
  5. Cut out rounds with a 2-inch cookie cutter and transfer to a muffin tin (no need to grease the cups). Re-roll and chill scraps as needed. Store unbaked cookies on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan in the refrigerator. 
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until cookies are firm to the touch and edges are a light golden brown. 
  7. Let cool in the muffin tin for a few minutes, then use a knife or small offset spatula to carefully loosen them from the pan. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat baking remaining cookies.


This dough can also be used as a slice and bake cookie. Shape the dough into a log, chill until firm, and then slice into rounds and bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet. The cookies will spread about 1/4-inch and won’t be perfectly round, but they taste the same!

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.