These cute, buttery cookies are full of toasted pecans and make a delicious addition to a holiday cookie plate or bake sale. Just cream butter and sugar together, add eggs, vanilla, and the dry ingredients, and fold in the pecans. Press into disks and bake until golden brown. Serve alongside coconut macaroons and jelly-filled split-second cookies for a beautiful and easy Christmas cookie buffet. Or, use those extra pecans in our Chocolate Pecan Pie.

  • Yields: About 44 cookies
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr

Ingredients (9)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons water
  • 1 1/4 cups pecans (about 5 ounces), toasted and coarsely chopped


  1. Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange the racks to divide the oven into thirds.
  2. Whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl until aerated and combined; set aside.
  3. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until lightened in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with a rubber spatula. Add the egg, vanilla, and water, return the mixer to medium speed, and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute (the mixture will look curdled).
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until just combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with the rubber spatula. Return the mixer to low speed, add the pecans, and mix until just combined.
  5. Form the dough into 1-inch balls and place them on 2 ungreased baking sheets, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart (about 22 per sheet). Using your hands, gently flatten the balls into disks about 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches wide. (The cookies will not spread while they bake, so they can be fairly close to each other.)
  6. Place both sheets in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the sheets from front to back and top to bottom and bake until the edges of the cookies are just starting to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes more.
  7. Using a flat spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely, about 15 minutes. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.