Butter pecan cookies are chewy, buttery cookies filled with pecans, white chocolate, and butterscotch chips. This crowd-pleasing cookie makes the perfect addition to your next holiday cookie tray.
These butter pecan cookies are the perfect fall cookie. They have a flavor reminiscent of butter pecan ice cream, with the texture of your favorite chewy chocolate chip cookie. They're easy to make at home with simple baking ingredients and make the perfect addition to your next cookie tray.
First, we'll start with a buttery cookie dough base made with a combination of granulated and brown sugars, which adds the perfect amount of sweetness and chewiness. Then, the dough is filled with plenty of chopped pecans, butterscotch chips, and white chocolate chips and baked to perfection in the oven.
Make these cookies for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any time you're in need of a sweet treat. They're sure to go quickly on any cookie tray!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Butter - Unsalted butter and the listed salt can be substituted with salted butter if needed.
- Sugars - We're using a combination of granulated and brown sugars for the perfect texture and chewiness.
- Vanilla extract - Adds flavor to the cookies.
- Eggs - Adds moisture and structure.
- Flour - I've only tested this recipe using all-purpose flour, so I can't say for sure how other flours would turn out. Have a different type of flour on hand? Instead of wasting ingredients, I highly recommend searching for a recipe that's written using the ingredients you have on hand.
- Salt - Enhances the flavor of the cookies.
- Leavening - Baking soda is needed for this recipe, not baking powder.
- Mix-ins - Pecans, white chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips give these cookies their butter pecan flavor.
Refrigerating cookie dough
I highly recommend refrigerating cookie dough for a few reasons:
- First, a chilled dough doesn't spread as much when baked.
- Second, the ingredients in your dough have time to meld and incorporate. I find that the flavor significantly improves using this method.
- Chilling dough, especially for at least one day or more, dries out the dough slightly. This concentrates the sugars, which creates a chewier cookie instead of a cakey cookie.
I like to make my dough the day before I intend to bake. This way it has an entire day to rest. If you don't have time, an hour in the refrigerator is fine.
Here's a great article from King Arthur Baking: Chilling Cookie Dough
Cookie tips and tricks
Check out my full post, 10 tips for baking cookies, for my best tips on baking a perfect batch of cookies. Here are my favorites:
- Room temperature ingredients - Room temperature ingredients mix together evenly to create a perfectly mixed dough (without streaks of unmixed ingredients).
- Bring ingredients to room temperature quickly - Slice sticks of butter into small, ½ inch slivers. Small pieces warm up faster than a whole stick. Place eggs into a bowl and cover with very warm tap water. They'll come to room temperature in about ten minutes.
- Properly measure your flour - The most common issue I see in baking is the improper measuring of flour. I highly recommend using a kitchen scale and measuring using the gram measurements in the recipe card. If you don't have a scale, use the spoon and level method. Stir your flour, then spoon gently into a measuring cup and level off the top with a knife.
- Cookie scoop - Use a cookie scoop (I used a medium OXO cookie scoop for this recipe) for perfectly sized, round cookies.
Storing and freezing
Baked cookies will keep for up to 5 days in a tightly sealed container at room temperature.
To help keep cookies fresh, place a slice of bread in the container with the cookies. While the bread gets stale, the cookies stay soft and fresh. Replace the bread slice as needed.
Baked cookies (and cookie dough) can be frozen for up to 3 months in a tightly sealed, freezer safe container. Cookie dough can be baked from frozen by adding 1-2 minutes to your baking time. To thaw frozen baked cookies, place on the countertop to thaw for 1 hour or more.
Butter Pecan Cookies
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (213 g) brown sugar
- ½ cup (99 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 ¾ cup (330 g) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup (57 g) chopped pecans
- ½ cup (85 g) white chocolate chips
- ½ cup (85 g) butterscotch chips
- In a large bowl, add butter and sugars. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat until fluffy, about a minute. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until fluffy, about a minute.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually stir dry ingredients into butter mixture until just combined. Add chopped pecans, white chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips and stir until just combined.
- Cover bowl or wrap dough in wax paper. Chill for at 1 hour (up to 24 hours) in the refrigerator. Refrigerating allows the flavors meld and also creates a firmer dough to roll into balls.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and scoop dough using a 1.5 tablespoon (medium) scoop or shape by hand into 1.5 inch balls.
- Place cookie dough balls 2 inches apart onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned across the tops. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cookies will keep for 5-7 days in a sealed container. To help keep cookies fresh, you can place a slice of bread in the container with the cookies. Replace the bread slice as needed.
- Raw cookie dough will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days. Cookie dough balls (and baked cookies) freeze well, up to 3 months in a sealed plastic container or freezer bag. Allow frozen balls to thaw for up to 10 minutes on the baking sheet before baking, or add 1-2 minutes to the baking time.
- Pecans can be substituted with almonds, walnuts, pistachios, or peanuts.
- Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking cookies, based on reader comments and questions!