Pecan Shortbread Cookies

pecan shortbread cookies

If you’re in the fall mood (yes), these pecan shortbread cookies are the perfect thing to make this time of year. Pecans, citrus, a little cinnamon…they basically scream fall. I’m screaming too. I’m always screaming.

How the hell is it October by the way? Where did this year (and all my dreams and aspirations) go? I’ll never know…

all I can do at this point is eat a cookie. And then five more. Then hide the rest. These all seem like good desicions.

As per usual, here’s the rundown folks. Let’s get loud, as JLo would say.

-The filling is a delicious combo of pecans, orange zest, and honey. Feel free to play around here. You can use walnuts, hazelnuts, lemon zest, etc. Do your thing.

-This shortbread dough is buttery goodness, but it does need to chill in the fridge for a bit, so keep that in mind.

-I’ll be honest with you, shaping these pecan shortbread cookies does take some patience, BUT IT’S WORTH IT YOU’LL SEE! YOU’LL ALL SEE!

-This recipe makes about 18-ish cookies, which doesn’t seem like a lot considering they’re on the smaller side, but just try to eat dinner before.

So if you’re on the hunt for a delicious cookie, this one here is pretty damn tasty. And it’s fall approved. How much more convincing do I have to do?

Make the cookies.

Eat the cookies.

Realize how good the cookies are.

Don’t share the cookies.

Bingo Bango. Happy fall to all!

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Print Recipe
Serves: 18 Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes


  • Cookie Dough
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks or 6 oz) cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pecan Filling
  • 3/4 cup toasted pecans
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons honey
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla



To prepare the dough, place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a processor and mix. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is in pieces the size of small grain rice. Combine milk and vanilla and add to the flour butter mixture. Pulse just until the mixture starts to clump. Remove and place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap. Pull it together to finish blending and smoothing out. Pat it into a circle about 1” think, wrap and refrigerate to rest for a couple of hours or overnight.


Place the pecans, salt, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon and orange zest in the bowl of a processor and pulse just a few times to chop the pecans into smallish pieces and blend the ingredients. Don’t over process. You want small pieces but not paste. Pour into a bowl and add vanilla. Stir to combine.


Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit for a bit just until it's malleable.


To shape the cookie dough, portion into 18 pieces and shape each into a ball that is about 1 1/2” in diameter. Take each portion and push your thumb in to form a cup for the filling. Continue to press it out with your thumbs to form a somewhat flattened open pocket about 2 3/4” in diameter. Place about a good half-teaspoon of filling in the center. Gather the ends and press them together to seal the cookie. Roll gently in your palms to even out the shape and place seam side down on a small parchment lined tray. Press the top of the cookie gently to flatten slightly and form into a rectangular shape. Wrap the formed cookies with plastic and refrigerate until completely chilled.


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.


Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or silpat for about 20 to 25 minutes. The cookies should not take on any color but the bottoms will brown a bit. When they are done, they will move easily without any resistance when nudged with your fingertip. Cool on a wire rack. Dust lightly with powdered sugar. Enjoy!


Recipe from Pastry Studio.

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