My soft and chewy butter pecan cookies are made with toasted pecans, brown sugar, and plenty of butter. They are incredibly easy to make with NO mixer and NO chilling required! Recipe includes a how-to video!
The BEST Butter Pecan Cookies
Fans of my recent butter pecan cake will be thrilled to discover these equally buttery, rich, and flavorful butter pecan cookies! These cookies make a great treat year-round (I love bringing them to parties and potlucks!), but I especially love them during the fall when pecans are in-season. Definitely save this one for your holiday baking!
What’s to love:
- Quick: No chilling required and just 25 minutes of prep including the scooping and rolling (if you decide to roll them!).
- Easy: Since we start with melted butter instead of softened, there is NO MIXER REQUIRED! Melted butter also really infuses the butter flavor throughout the dough, which is important since these are butter pecan cookies!
- Incredible flavor: Toasted pecans, toffee bits, plenty of vanilla, and a sprinkle of sea salt…are you swooning over these cookies yet?!
- Soft & chewy results: My carefully chosen ingredients (melted butter, dark brown sugar, and an extra egg yolk) and baking technique (slightly underbake) ensure these cookies stay soft and chewy for days. On the other hand, if you’re looking for crunchy, buttery cookies, try my butter crunch cookies!
If you are a pecan lover (have you tried my Italian cream cake?!), you are absolutely going to love these cookies. I can’t wait to hear how you like them!
What You Need
All of these ingredients are pretty basic (okay, toffee bits might not be basic) and should already be in your pantry. Here are a few key players in today’s recipe.
- Toasted pecans. Toasting your pecans first is optional, but it will give your cookies the best flavor. I always recommend toasting your nuts and then chopping them; this helps them toast evenly and minimizes the chance of burning in your oven.
- Melted butter. Let your butter cool to the touch before adding your sugars, or you could melt the sugars and ruin your dough. No amount of chilling will fix this, unfortunately.
- Dark brown sugar. Dark brown sugar contains more molasses, which complements the flavors of the pecans.
- Egg + egg yolk. An extra yolk creates tender, moist, and chewy cookies. Adding a full extra egg would make the cookies spread more and would require a chilling step, which I wanted to avoid here. Save the leftover egg white for candied pecans!
- Toffee bits. These are optional, but I love the extra flavor and texture they add. Feel free to crush up some homemade toffee, or use toffee bits sold in the baking aisle at your grocery store. If you grab the store-bought version, you can even use the kind that is coated in chocolate–yum!
SAM’S TIP: Measure your flour properly, or you could end up with a difficult, tough dough. This dough is already stiff, so adding extra flour could make it VERY hard to work with. I also recommend you add your flour gradually for this very reason.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Butter Pecan Cookies
- Stir the sugars into the cooled melted butter until combined.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and stir well, then set aside.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually add them to the wet ingredients. I like to do this in three parts and recommend you do the same.
- Add the toasted chopped pecans and toffee pieces (if using) and stir until incorporated. The dough will be stiff–this is normal!
- Scoop the dough into rounded 1 ½ tablespoon balls and roll between your palms, if desired. Place 2″ apart on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350F. Let the cookies cool completely on their baking sheets before enjoying.
SAM’S TIP: Do not over-bake your cookies! The edges should be a light golden brown but the centers should still seem soft and even just a hint under-baked. Let them cool completely on the baking sheet, where they’ll finish baking as they cool. This will keep your cookies soft and chewy as opposed to pulling them out of the oven when the centers are firm and fully baked, which will actually result in over-baked, hard cookies.
Frequently Asked Questions
This will happen if your butter is too warm when you add your sugars. Just like when making brown butter toffee cookies, you must let the butter cool to the touch (don’t let it re-solidify though) before adding the sugars, or the sugars will melt and the dough will be ruined. No amount of chilling will fix this unfortunately, so the best thing to do is prevent it from happening in the first place!
This is a stiffer dough, but if yours is overly dry and won’t come together, you may have accidentally added too much flour. I recommend using a kitchen scale to prevent this.
Dry dough can also be caused by adding the dry ingredients all at once instead of gradually, which is why I recommend doing this step in a few parts. Lastly, if your cookies are so stiff they won’t spread, just flatten them on the baking sheet before baking them.
Yes! These butter pecan cookies freeze well. Just follow the instructions for drop cookies in my how to freeze cookie dough post.
Just look at that perfect soft and chewy texture! My favorite 🥰
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Butter Pecan Cookies
- 1 ½ (175 g) heaping cups pecan halves
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter melted and cooled until no longer warm
- 1 ¼ cup (250 g) dark brown sugar tightly packed
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk room temperature preferred
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups (375 g) all purpose flour**
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (120 g) Heath Toffee bits optional, but recommended!
- Flaky sea salt for sprinkling, optional
Toast Pecans (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread pecan halves evenly over cookie sheet and bake on 350F (175C) for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from oven (do not turn off your oven) and set aside while you prepare your cookie dough.
- In a large bowl, combine melted butter and sugars. Stir well.1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, 1 ¼ cup (250 g) dark brown sugar, ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- Add eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and stir until well-combined.1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.3 cups (375 g) all purpose flour**, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, ¾ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¾ teaspoon salt
- Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients until completely combined.
- Coarsely chop your pecans then stir in the pecans and toffee bits until combined.1 ½ (175 g) heaping cups pecan halves, ½ cup (120 g) Heath Toffee bits
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and drop cookie dough by heaping 1 ½ Tablespoon onto prepared cookie sheet, spacing at least 2" apart.
- Transfer to 350F oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cookies should still look soft/slightly under-done in the centers. Sprinkle with sea salt while warm.
- Allow cookies to cool completely on baking sheet and they will finish baking through as they cool but will stay nice and soft!
**How to measure flourIf you are using cups, the best way to measure out your flour is to stir it in its bag/container then spoon it into your measuring cup and level off the measuring cup. Packing in your flour (over-measuring it) will leave you with a dry/crumbly cookie dough.
StoringStore any leftover, cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
Recipe originally published December of 2018. Post has been updated with new photos and a new video, but recipe remains the same.