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Shortbread Cookies with Pecans

In this post I am sharing a classic recipe for Shortbread Cookies with Pecans, a Christmas favorite.

Y’all, this may be one of the easiest cookies to make for sharing. Shortbread cookies topped with pecan halves are so delicious. The toasty flavor of the pecan just adds the special holiday touch to these simple cookies.

Anyone you gift these little cookies are sure to feel special…especially if they know how much pecans costs these days. So be sure to only give them to people you like.

I’m kidding, y’all! Be nice to everyone! It’s the holidays

Even though Daddy was coming to our house for Thanksgiving dinner this year, I sent him a photo of the cake I made for dessert. There were pecan halves on top.

He replied back to my text and asked if I had won the lottery because he couldn’t afford pecans. Ha Ha! He truly does have a witty sense of humor.

Thankfully for me, my kind neighbors gift me with pecans every year. 

Christmas Shortbread Cookies

Amazing shortbread cookies recipe topped with pecan halves for Christmas gifting

Southern holiday baked goods notoriously have pecans included so to me these cookies just scream “It’s the holidays“.

One of the things that I love most about this cookie recipe is that they don’t spread much during baking.

That alleviates the fear of a pan of cookie blobs that run together. 

5 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

Recipe for baking the best holiday shortbread cookies

It takes just five simple ingredients that you probably have on hand in your pantry right now to make the cookie dough. 

The dough gets rolled into little balls then topped with a beautiful pecan half that is gently pressed into.

Butter Pecan Shortbread Cookie Recipe

Easy Christmas cookie recipe - butter pecan shortbread

One thing that I must mention when you’re preparing the cookie dough (mostly so you don’t think I’ve instructed you to put an insane amount of flour in the recipe and must be insane) is that it will seem like a lot of flour as you’re mixing.

I promise that after a few minutes of beating on low with your hand mixture that it will all come together and become a dough. 

Sheet pan with pecan shortbread cookies

How do you know when shortbread cookies are done? The baked cookies will be very light and look almost as they did when they went into the oven for baking but there will be a slight amount of golden color. 

How long do shortbread cookies last? These cookies last about a week in an airtight container at room temperature. They can also be frozen for up to a month.

Do I have to top shortbread cookies with pecans? No, you can also frost them and add sprinkles if you prefer. The pecans are my personal favorite. 

Best Shortbread Cookies

Festive holiday shortbread cookies

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Below you’ll find the full printable recipe with step by step instructions. 

Yield: 2 to 3 Dozen

Shortbread Cookies with Pecans

The best ever shortbread cookie recipe

A simple classic shortbread cookie recipe topped with pecan halves that is perfect for sharing during the holidays.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes


  • 3/4 c Butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 c Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1.5 c All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Pecan Halves


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C).
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat butter with a hand mixer until creamy.
  3. Next, gradually add the sugar, beating well between each addition until light and fluffy.
  4. Next, add the egg yolk and mix to combine.
  5. Next, add the flour and beat on low and keep mixing until well combined and the dough forms.
  6. Next, add the vanilla and mix to combine.
  7. Shape dough into 1 ½ inch balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Gentry press a pecan half in the center of each cookie.
  8. Bake 16-18 minutes or until lightly browned.
  9. Allow the cookies to cool slightly then transfer to wire cooling racks and cool completely.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 Cookies

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 131Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 62mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g

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Thanks for stopping by! I hope that you bake a batch of these delicious cookies to enjoy soon and don’t forget to share a few. 

You can also see this recipe shared at : Meal Plan Monday and Weekend Potluck

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Meet Julia

Author of Julia's Simply Southern

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Wednesday 4th of December 2019

The pecan on top makes for such a simple but stunning presentation. So pretty!

Julia Jordan

Friday 6th of December 2019

Thanks girlfriend! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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