How do you pronounce it? Is it pe-CAHN or PE-can? While the debate on this one is strong in the south, the truth is that pecans are one of the most versatile nuts. You can make pecan pie, pecan sandies, and, of course, the pecan cookies.
Pecans are healthy and may help lower blood pressure. Eating some of these cookies after a long day might help lower your blood pressure, too (though we’re not medical professionals!).
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Christmas pecans are popular, covered in sugar and cinnamon, but they are also amazing year-round. All sorts of recipes can be made from pecans, and one of the favorites is the praline cookie. This pecan cookie is a close cousin.
Pecans are good in cookies for a lot of reasons. The nutty flavor perfectly offsets the sweetness of a cookie while they also add texture. In this recipe they are also the star of the show, mixed into the cookie but also pressed into the top of the dough.
What You’ll Need
- Unsalted butter– we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – unsalted butter is the hero in baking, and using salted butter is a no-go. You can always put more salt in, but you can never take it out.
- Brown sugar– always pack your brown sugar. Make sure to get all of the powdery goodness that you can into that cup.
- Vanilla extract– get it from the store, or make your own homemade vanilla extract, but this is an essential ingredient that rounds out the flavor in nearly every baked good.
- Egg– eggs provide so many levels of goodness in baking from leavening to color as well as flavor and color. Choose large eggs when baking.
- Fine sea salt– sea salt adds the best flavor to baked goods like these pecan cookies while also elevating the other flavors in a recipe.
- All-purpose flour– make sure your bag of flour in the pantry is all-purpose and not self-rising. This kitchen all-star is the base for most baked goods and other recipes.
- Pecans– if you’re blessed enough to have a pecan tree with nuts falling, hang on to them for a week, and follow proper processes to let them dry before using them in the recipe. Otherwise, easily purchase pecans at your local shop.
How To Make Pecan Cookies
- Preheat oven and prepare baking sheet. Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using parchment paper protects your pans and makes cleanup easy. Set the sheet aside after it is prepared.
- Cream butter and sugar. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Make sure the butter is softened to make the creaming process smoother.
- Add eggs, vanilla, salt and flour. Combine the mixture of the butter and brown sugar with the vanilla, egg and salt. Blend until all ingredients are completely incorporated. Slowly add the flour until just mixed.
- Fold in pecans. Next, fold in the pecans by hand, using a large spoon or spatula. The pecan cookies dough mixture should be slightly crumbly.
- Roll dough. Using your hands, roll the dough into 24 balls close to the size of golf balls. Place rolled balls onto the cookie sheet.
- Flatten cookies. Dip the bottom of a pint glass into flour. Tap off excess flour and flatten each cookie, re-flouring as necessary.
- Add pecans. Gently press a whole pecan into the top of each cookie.
- Bake. Bake until the bottom edges are just lightly browned.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s easy– your stand mixer will do nearly all the work for you!
- You have the ingredients- nearly all of these ingredients are an arms-length away in your kitchen.
- So fast– whip together these cookies in less than 10 minutes, and then bake them for about 15. You couldn’t ask for a quicker cookie!
- They’re pretty– even though these pecan cookies are basic cookies, pressing that perfect pecan in the top makes them so pretty.
Variations on Pecan Cookies
Want fancier pecan cookies? Throw in some additions to make them even better!
- Almond Extract– make these nutty cookies even nuttier by swapping out the vanilla for almond extract.
- Powdered sugar icing- once you’ve pushed that pecan in, glaze the top of these with some powdered sugar icing to make them both pretty and sweeter.
- Dried fruit– toss in some dried cranberries or small raisins to the batter make these cookies seasonal, or just a little more fun.
More cookie recipes:
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2/3 cup brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 24 whole pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar.
- Combine with the vanilla, egg and salt, blending until fully incorporated.
- Slowly add the flour until just mixed, then add pecans, folding by hand. The mixture will be a little crumbly.
- Roll dough into 24 golf-ball-sized balls.
- Place balls onto the cookie sheet and dip the bottom of a pint glass into flour, tapped off excess, flatten each cookie, re-flouring when needed.
- Gently press a whole pecan into the top of each cookie.
- Bake for 14-15 minutes or until the bottom edges are just lightly browned.
- Remove and allow to cool in the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then move to a wire cooling rack to cool fully.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how they were in the comments or star ratings!