Pecan Shortbread Cookies

These Pecan Shortbread Cookies are perfect for any family gathering during Thanksgiving or Christmas.

To recipe
Pecan Shortbread Cookies
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Captivate by the taste of our delicious pecan shortbread cookies.

20 minutes
Total TIME:
40 minutes
20 minutes


  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup chopped pecans- toasted if desired


  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 2 tsp maple syrup

Ingredient Swaps


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, powdered suga, maple extract and maple syrup together on high speed for about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour.
  3. On low speed mix the flour and chopped pecans with the butter mixture until a dough forms and breaks away from the side of the mixing bowl.
  4. Transfer the dough to your work surface and lightly dust with some flour to prevent the dough sticking to the table.
  5. Gently knead the dough into a ball and then roll it into a log shape about 12 inches long.
  6. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and place in the ridge for 30 minutes.
  7. Discard the plastic wrap and using a sharp knife, slice the dough into rounds about a half inch thick.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350° F.2
  9. Place the sliced cookies onto a pan lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 20 minutes and the bottom of the cookies are a light golden color.
  10. Once the cookies come out of the oven, sprinkle each one with a littlesugar over the surface and let cool.
  11. Make the icing if desired and drizzle over the cookies.
  12. To make the icing, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and syrup until smooth. Microwave for 12 seconds and drizzle over the cookies.
Recipe insights & TIPS

Crunchy sweet and super buttery is how I’d describe these pecan shortbread cookies! Roll them into logs, slice and bake and you’ll love the results!

fresh baked pecan shortbread cookies cooling on a wire rack


These pecan shortbread cookies will cover you for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I know, December is still in the distance but these cookies would be perfect for any festive family get togethers you might have. Shortbread is a Scottish tradition I miss but these cookies really make up for the shortbread homesickness! The key ingredient in any shortbread recipe is the butter. If you can, use a really high butterfat European style butter because that is what will make your pecan shortbread cookies stand out from everyone else’s holiday cookies this year!

Cookies are always a huge hit around the holidays and you’d be okay if you made any of these. Gingerbread Linzer Cookies, classic snickerdoodle cookies, and Christmas reindeer cookies are all solid choices that you might have to make a batch of each just to be safe!

Or make a batch each day, you can never have too many cookies.

a stack of pecan shortbread cookies


  • Butter- Quality butter with a high butterfat content like Kerrygold or Plugra are the best for flavor. You can tell they are different from regular butter due to the bright yellow color they have and flavor which come from the cows being able to graze mostly on grass as opposed to being fed a strict corn diet. American butter has to have at least 80% butterfat content to be called butter but the more yellow European butters can sometimes have 85% butterfat!
  • Powdered Sugar- This will help the cookie stay soft and consistently smooth.
  • Maple Extract-
  • Maple Syrup- Along with the extract, the maple is a great flavor addition and works perfect for a holiday cookie.
  • Flour- All purpose
  • Sugar- Granulated white sugar, another pantry staple.
  • Pecans- Chopped and toasted for extra flavor!


Once the dough has been mixed you will roll it into a 12 inch long tube and then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Let it rest and firm up in the fridge for 30 minutes. Afterwards, discard the plastic and using a sharp knife, slice the cookie dough log into half inch thick slices and place on your baking pan. Sometimes I much prefer making cookies this way as there’s no need to roll the dough into a flat disc on the table and then use a cookie cutter. These cranberry orange cookies are also slice and bake!

pecan shortbread cookies with a drizzle of maple icing on top


Can I freeze my unbaked cookie log?

Yes, freeze it for up to one month. To defrost, just leave it on your countertop for about 15 minutes before slicing and placing on your baking pan.

How long will my cookies keep?

Uncovered at room temperature, they should be good for at least four days. If you prefer to store them in a zip lock bag they will last a little longer but will become slightly softer in the process of being sealed in the bag.

Why is it called shortbread?

The texture is the reason, short and crumbly and the type of dough that shouldn’t be overworked.

Can I dip my shortbread in chocolate?

Definitely! But traditional shortbread cookies are dusted with a light sprinkle of sugar rich as they come out of the oven.

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