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overhead shot of pecan sugar cookies stacked on top of each other

Pecan Sugar Cookies

Chopped up pecans mixed throughout melt in your mouth sugar cookies topped with a brown butter icing makes these hard to resist.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 30 medium cookies
Calories 165kcal
Author Ryan Beck



  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Brown Butter Icing

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder
  • 1-2 tablespoon room temperature water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



  • In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 4-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and chopped pecans. On low speed, slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture. Do not over mix but make sure all the flour is incorporated. 
  • Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Add some powdered sugar to rolling pin and parchment paper. Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment to ¼″ thickness. Chill in fridge for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove dough from fridge and use a cookie cutter to cut in shapes. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. You will know the cookies are done when the edges are firm but the middle is still a little soft. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on pan and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  • Decorate the cookies however you'd like the with the brown butter icing recipe below.

Brown Butter Icing

  • Add the butter and salt to medium pot over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown for about 2-3 minutes or until it smells toasted, stirring often. Remove from the heat and let cool 5 minutes.
  • Whisk in powdered sugar, meringue powder, water and vanilla extract, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time to thin as needed. If icing gets too thin, add more sugar. The icing should be thin enough to drizzle, but thick enough to hold its shape.


  • All refrigerated items should be at room temperature, which helps the dough mix easily and evenly.
  • Toast the pecans as it draws the natural oils to the surface, intensifying the rich nutty essence, creating a deeper color, and making the pecans crunchier.
  • Use parchment paper to rolling pin when rolling out cookie dough so it doesn’t stick.
  • Roll out pecan sugar cookie dough first before placing in fridge for 1 hour so it is easier to get to ¼″ thickness.
  • You know the cookies are done when edges are firm, but middle is slightly soft.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 40mg | Potassium: 1mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 12g