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Chocolate Pecan Shortbread Cookies

This is a perfect slice-and-bake cookie recipe for delicate and wafer-like, melt in your mouth shortbread cookies. I can’t get enough of these easy cookies, packed with pecans and garnished with chocolate. This might be my new favorite cookie recipe!

A stack of pecan shortbread cookies rimmed with chocolate, with a glass of milk in the background.

Recently, while visiting our friends in North Carolina, we were privileged to have dinner at Magnolia Grill, one of Gourmet magazine’s top restaurants of 2006. After appetizers, entrees, and desserts, we can now all enthusiastically attest to its goodness. As an added bonus, I was treated by our friends to a signed copy of one of their cookbooks, Sweet Stuff, all wrapped up in that night’s dessert menu. Karen Barker, the author of the book and co-owner of the restaurant, is a James Beard Award winning pastry chef; a well-deserving one in my opinion.

There are so many recipes in this book that I want to try. Narrowing them down has been a lot of work. After much deliberation, my love of pecans prevailed, and I decided to make her Pecan Shortbread cookies.

One of my favorite things about Sweet Stuff is that with every recipe there are serving suggestions and variations. For these shortbread cookies, one of the options is to form the dough into a 1 & 1/2-inch diameter log for making slice-and-bake cookies. The suggestion I took was to garnish with melted semi-sweet chocolate. However, instead of dipping the cookies, I just rolled the outside edges in the chocolate.

I love these chocolate pecan shortbread cookies. They are now on my short list of all-time favorite cookies. They are very delicate and almost wafer-like. I almost hesitate to say that they melt in your mouth because that has become such an over-used phrase. It is actually true, though, in this case.

As for the cookbook, I will certainly be revisiting it sooner rather than later. As for Magnolia Grill, I look forward to enjoying another fantastic dinner when I’m in the area (but especially dessert).

Chocolate Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Yield about 24 cookies
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Delicate and wafer-like, melt-in-your-mouth Chocolate Shortbread Cookies packed with pecans are the perfect slice-and-bake cookie recipe.

A stack of pecan shortbread cookies rimmed with chocolate, with a glass of milk in the background.


  • 1 cup (236g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (165g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted, finely ground pecans
  • 2-3 ounces (56-85g) semisweet chocolate, melted (optional)


  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add salt and vanilla and combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, and pecans. Add to the butter/sugar mixture in 3 additions, mixing just until combined.
  3. Divide the dough in half, and flatten each half into a disc. Chill for an hour, or until firm. Dough can be refrigerated up to 2 days. Dough may also be frozen for several months, then defrosted overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for a few minutes.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out cookies and place on lined baking sheets. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, reversing the sheet midway, until cookies are golden around the edges.
  6. If desired, dip cooled cookies into melted chocolate or drizzle chocolate over cooled cookies.


Recipe adapted from Sweet Stuff.

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    10 Comments on “Chocolate Pecan Shortbread Cookies”

  1. They look extremely yummy! I love pecans, so those shortbreads are making me drool…

  2. I’m not into shortbread, but anything dipped in chocolate- now thats another story. I love your icebox cake…what exactly is an icebox cake? How is the texture different? I have lots of recipes for them but haven’t tried one yet.

  3. I love both shortbread cookie and pecan. Have never thought of adding pecan into shortbread. Gotta try to make it!

  4. Wow, they look amazing. I love pecans, so throw in chocolate and you’ve got the perfect combination.
    I’m a huge fan of your blog and was wondering if it’s okay if I link to you from my new blog Heave With Strawberries?

  5. These shortbreads look wonderful! And the pecan seems to be a perfect addition to the buttery dough!

  6. Yum! These look delicious. I recently found your blog and have enjoyed browsing the archives. Unfortunately I recently had to eliminate sugar from my diet for health reasons, but hopefully that’s a temporary change… your recipes are definitely calling my name!

  7. LOVE your blog and added it to my list of daily blog reads. This recipe caught my eye immediately – I adore anything with a pecan in, on, around it. Ha!

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  9. Made these into refrigerator cookies, then sprinkled them lightly w/sugar.

    Was going to drizzle chocolate on them, but they were so delicious, they didn’t need that extra hit of chocolate!

    I agree, this goes into “favorites file” – thanks for sharing!

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