These Pecan Shortbread cookies are buttery and nutty, with a soft yet dense texture and crisp and crumbly edges for the perfect combination. And you get all that with pantry staple ingredients! And what’s best is that these cookies are so easy to make that you don’t even need to use a rolling pin!
Pecan shortbread cookies are delicious pecan versions of the famous Scottish cookies with a dense yet soft texture and a characteristic buttery flavor. Since these cookies have pecans, expect a beautiful nutty flavor that you’ll fall in love with!
The best part is that this recipe requires minimal baking equipment and only simple ingredients, making it perfect for even first-time bakers to try! They’re easy to make but seriously impressive enough to serve even for the holidays or other special occasions!
🥘 INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED
You only need simple, pantry staple ingredients to make these tasty Pecan Shortbread cookies.
You can scroll down to the recipe card for further details and instructions.
Flour: All-purpose flour to give structure to these beautiful cookies.
Butter: You’ll also need unsalted butter at room temperature to get that quintessential buttery flavor. Since the butter adds a lot of flavor to these cookies, make sure to get good quality one for this recipe.
Sugar: For the perfect sweetness level, we’ll use confectioners’ sugar in this recipe. If you don’t have it at home, you can easily follow my recipe to whip some up quickly and easily.
Pecans: And, of course, we’ll also need some pecans to make these Pecan Shortbread cookies! They’ll add a beautiful nutty flavor to the cookies.
🔪 HOW TO MAKE
Making these tasty and classic cookies is both easy and fun! Here’s what you need to do step by step:
The full instructions are in the recipe card below, but let's look at the main steps to making this treat.
To start, add butter, confectioners’ sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix these ingredients on medium speed with a paddle attachment until well combined. Then add vanilla extract and toasted pecans to the batter and mix on low.
Time to shape the cookies! Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then cover it with another sheet of parchment paper on top. Use another baking sheet to press down and flatten the dough.
Remove the baking sheet and parchment paper on top and cut the dough into seven rectangles, then cut each in half. Then poke holes using a skewer for a classic look.
Bake the cookies in a preheated oven at 325F/160C for 28 minutes or until the edges turn lightly golden. Once done, remove the cookies from the oven and place them on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Your delicious Pecan Shortbread cookies are ready to be served!
💭 COOKING TIPS
- You can shape the shortbread dough any way you prefer, but the classic shape is rectangles.
- Every oven is different, so keep an eye after 15 minutes of baking to ensure you get perfect results every time.
- Place the cookies on the middle shelf of the oven to allow them to bake perfectly with even heat distribution.
- Do not move the cookies from the baking sheet while they are still warm since they’ll start to crumble and break.
- You can skip the pecans and still end up with amazing shortbread cookies!
📖 DELICIOUS VARIATIONS
This recipe for Pecan Shortbread cookies is awesome, but if you’re looking to customize it, here are some ideas you can try:
Nuts: Instead of pecans, add other nuts to your cookie batter to change things. Chopped and toasted almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, or pistachios will work well.
Shapes: You can shape these however you like and even use some holiday-specific cookie cutters to customize them to holiday shapes!
Decoration: Decorate these cookies with edible glitter or dip them in melted chocolate!
Extracts: Instead of vanilla extract, you can add anything you like, such as lemon or almond extract.
💬 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Shortbread cookies are incredibly delicious cookies that originated in Scotland. They’re mainly made using three ingredients: flour, butter, and sugar. They have a ‘short’ texture meaning they are slightly crumbly yet crisp and have a robust buttery flavor.
This shortbread cookie recipe calls for cornstarch to be used as well, and that’s because it helps the cookies get that crumbly texture that they’re known so famously for!
Shortbread cookies have a denser, more crumbly texture, while sugar cookies are softer and less dense in terms of texture.
🍲 MORE COOKIE RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
Fridge: You can store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for one week or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Freezer: You can also store the cookies in the freezer for up to 2 months by placing them in a freezer-safe container and popping them into the freezer.
Reheat: When it’s time to have them, allow them to come back to room temperature before serving. You can also lightly warm them in the microwave for 15 seconds.
Pecan Shortbread Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 240 grams unsalted butter at room temperature around 1 cup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chopped pecan toasted with butter
- In a stand mixer, add the butter and confectioners’ sugar, then add the flour, cornstarch and salt. Mix on medium with paddle attachment until combined. The dough should come together easily, and you can form a ball from it.
- Add the vanilla to the batter and beat for a few seconds, then add the toasted pecans and mix on low until combined.
- Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place another parchment paper over the dough and place another baking sheet on top of it. Press the baking sheet down which will help the dough flatten evenly.
- Remove the baking sheet on top and the parchment paper. The dough should have an even surface and with the help of scrapper try to make it into a rectangular shape.
- Cut the dough horizontally into seven rectangles, then cut it vertically from the middle. In the video I cut a little different because I wanted to have little squares to nibble on but feel free to cut the dough any shape you prefer.
- Using a skewer create holes on each rectangle to give it a classic look.
- Bake the shortbread in a preheated oven of 160C/325F. If you want the shortbread to come out crispy then bake for 28 minutes. The shortbread is ready when the edges turn light golden.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and place them over a cooling rack while in the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
- Cut the cookies again since they will spread a little while baking and keep them on the baking sheet to continue cooling.
- Removing the cookies before they cool completely will break them.
- Serve the cookies with tea, coffee or a big, chilled glass of milk.
- Shape the shortbread dough any way you prefer.
- Every oven is different so keep an eye after 15 minutes of baking.
- Keep the cookies on the middle shelf of the oven.
- Do not move the cookies from the baking sheet when they are still warm.
- You can skip the pecans, and you will still have an amazing shortbread.