Baking Recipes, Beginner, Christmas, Cookie Recipes, Fall and Winter

Butter Pecan Cookies

Unexpected guests? Keep the dough for these slice-and-bake butter pecan cookies in the freezer!

overhead shot of baked butter pecan cookies stacked on a floral plate

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When I was a little girl, there was an elderly lady in my church named Mrs. Ella May who taught my 4th grade girls Sunday School class. One Saturday morning during the year, Ms. May invited all the girls from the class to her house to make cookies. She had one of those wonderful old houses that make you feel like you had just stepping into another decade. I remember all of us huddled around her large dining room table, mixing and rolling, cutting and carefully placing cookies on a baking sheet. Afterwards, she would bag up the finished cookies for us to take home.

For a few years after I promoted out of her class, I still went to her house to make cookies with her. The recipe was always the same – butter cookies studded with chopped pecans. She called the Deep Freeze Cookies because the dough could be rolled into logs, wrapped in waxed paper and frozen for later. I can’t even begin to fathom how many of these cookies I’ve eaten or made, for that matter. But every time I do, I think about her.

ingredients for butter pecan cookies include flour, salt, baking soda, butter, shortening, eggs, sugar, vanilla, vinegar and pecans

How to Make Butter Pecan Cookies

About 30-45 minutes beforehand, set two sticks of unsalted butter and one cup of shortening (such as Crisco) out to allow it to come to room temperature. While you wait, sift together five cups of all-purpose flour, one teaspoon of salt, and one teaspoon of baking soda.

hands sifting flour, baking soda and salt into a metal mixing bowl

One the butter and shortening have softened, place them in a mixing bowl along with two large eggs and two cups of white granulated sugar. Mix these together on medium to medium-high speed until it has a whipped, fluffy texture. Reduce the mixer speed to low then gradually add the flour mixture. Make sure each addition is thoroughly mixed before adding more flour.

Add two teaspoons of vanilla and two teaspoons of white vinegar. Mix well. Then add two cups of chopped pecans and mix again until the nuts are evenly combined throughout.

Pour the dough out onto a well-flour cutting board. Form the dough into a round disk, then divide it into four equal parts. Shape each part into a seven-inch log. If you are baking these immediately, allow dough to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before baking.

Back in 1989, Ms. May used waxed paper to wrap the dough for the freezer. I find that’s not as effective at preventing freezer burn as a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Quick tip: In addition to writing the contents on the top of the foil, include the oven temp and cooking instructions also. That way you don’t have to hunt up the recipe every time you want to bake cookies.

one unwrapped log of cookie dough laying on a counter next to two logs wrapped in foil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Allow frozen cookie dough to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before slicing. Slice the cookies about 1/4-inch thick. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until edges start to brown. Allow cookies to sit for five minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

baked butter pecan cookies on a baking rack with two glasses of milk to the side

Ways to Jazz Up Butter Pecan Cookies

Mrs. May did not place a pecan half on her cookies, but I thought it added a nice touch. If you want to do this as well, top each cookie with a pecan half before baking. Another idea, once the cookies are baked and cooled, drizzle them with melted semi-sweet or white chocolate, or dunk half in chocolate and leave the other half plain.

How to Store Butter Pecan Cookies

Make sure the baked cookies are completely cooled before transferring them to an airtight container. They can be stored at room temperature for up to a week. The frozen dough can be stored in the freezer for up to six months.

side view shot of a stack of butter pecan cookies stacked on a plate with two glasses of milk in the background

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overhead shot of baked butter pecan cookies stacked on a floral plate
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Butter Pecan Cookies

Unexpected guests? Keep the dough for these slice-and-bake butter pecan cookies in the freezer!
Course Baked Goods
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 8 minutes
Cooling time 5 minutes
Servings 5 dozen
Calories 42kcal
Author Lisa B.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup shortening softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups chopped pecans

Instructions

  • Sift flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside
  • Mix butter, shortening, eggs, and sugar until fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour to the butter mixture a little at a time. Mix well in between each addition.
  • Add vanilla and vinegar. Mix well. Add pecans and mix until nuts are evenly combined throughout.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured cutting board. Form the dough into a disk, then divide dough into four parts.
  • Shape each part into a seven-inch log. If baking immediately, allow dough to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before baking. Otherwise, wrap each cookie log in a layer of plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and place them in the freezer.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Allow frozen cookie dough to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before slicing.
  • Slice cookies about 1/4-inch thick. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges start to brown. Allow cookies to sit for five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Notes

Each cookie log makes approximately 16-18 cookies. Make sure the baked cookies are completely cooled before transferring them to an airtight container. They can be stored at room temperature for up to a week. The frozen dough can be stored in the freezer for up to six months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 42kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 6.2mg | Sodium: 47.5mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 2.3g | Vitamin A: 4.5IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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