Butter pecan shortbread cookies are wonderfully simple yet so soft, crumbly, and delicious. With a short list of ingredients and a quick prep time, these are sure to be among your favorite quick and easy treats!
Shortbread is one of the simple joys of the baking world. Usually, there are just a handful of ingredients. The effort is minimal. And, the simple flavors are just right!
Why You’ll Love These Pecan Shortbread Cookies
These butter pecan shortbread cookies are an excellent addition to the “quick and easy desserts” section in your recipe box. If you’re a fan of all things butter pecan, you’re going to love having these in your baking arsenal!
- Sweet and buttery. Soft, buttery cookies and toasted pecans are heavenly together – you’ll love this divine combination.
- Simple ingredients. This shortbread recipe is made with just 6 ingredients, most of which are probably sitting in your pantry right now!
- No chill time! No need to chill the dough for this recipe, you can just pop the cookies straight into the oven.
- Perfect for any occasion. You can make these cookies any time you’re craving something sweet, or you could include them on your holiday cookie tray. It’s really up to you!
What You’ll Need
Here’s the wonderfully short list of ingredients for these amazing shortbread!
- Unsalted butter – Set out the butter about half an hour before baking to allow it to soften.
- Brown sugar – You can use light or dark brown sugar, depending on your taste preferences.
- Vanilla extract – Pure vanilla extract provides the best, strongest flavor.
- All-purpose flour – As always, measure your flour by weight for the best results. Otherwise, spooning and sweeping is the way to go.
- Pecans – Remember to set some aside for the topping.
- Coarse sugar – I love the look of coarse sugar (like sanding sugar) on these bars. It really helps dress up a simple baked good. If you don’t have coarse sugar or sanding sugar, you can certainly use regular granulated sugar. It might not have the same aesthetic appeal, but it will still add that extra sweetness.
How to Make Butter Pecan Shortbread Cookies
You’ll love how quickly and easily these shortbread bars come together!
- Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 350°F. Then, line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, allowing the lining to hang off on two sides so that it will be easy to lift after baking.
- Combine the wet ingredients. With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and brown sugar until the mixture is creamy. Next, mix in the vanilla.
- Add the flour and pecans. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour and mix until combined. Then, stir in 1/4 cup of the pecans. The mixture will be crumbly but should hold together when pinched.
- Transfer the dough to the pan. Spread the dough evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining pecans and the coarse sugar over the top of the dough.
- Bake the shortbread. Place the pan in the oven, and bake until the edges are lightly browned (about 25 minutes). After baking, place the pan on a wire rack and allow the bars to cool for 10 minutes. Then use the overhanging lining to lift the bars from the pan onto a cutting board, and cut the cookies into squares.
Video Tutorial For Butter Pecan Shortbread
Check out this video to see just how simple the steps to making these pecan shortbread cookies are!
Tips for Success
Here are some quick tips and tricks to read through that will make this shortbread recipe even easier.
- Make careful measurements. This is always important in baking, but especially so with shortbread. I highly recommend using a food scale to be completely accurate!
- It’s okay if your shortbread dough seems crumbly. Shortbread dough doesn’t have the same consistency as something like chocolate chip cookie dough. When mixed, it will be crumbly but should hold together when pinched or pressed.
- Don’t over-mix. While it will likely take several minutes to mix the dough, don’t overdo it. Too much mixing leads to tough, dense cookies.
- Use a light-colored metal pan. Dark pans tend to over-bake the bottoms and edges.
How to Store
Place the cooled bars in an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to 5 days. For a few more days of storage, place the container in the refrigerator and bring the bars to room temperature before serving.
Can I Freeze This Shortbread Recipe?
Yes! For longer storage, wrap the shortbread well with plastic wrap and place it in an airtight, freezer-safe container or bag. Properly stored, it should keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator or for an hour or so at room temperature.
More Shortbread Recipes
If you can’t get enough when it comes to shortbread, check out some of these other easy recipes!
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Shortbread
- Brown Sugar Toffee Shortbread
- Cream Cheese Shortbread-Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies
- Peach Shortbread Cookies
- Cranberry Shortbread Cookies