These Glazed Butter Pecan Cookies are meltaway shortbread cookies filled with butterscotch and topped with sweet vanilla-glazed pecans. I use a special technique for the ultimate melt-in-your-mouth, buttery flavor!
Butter Pecan has to be one of my all-time favorite ice cream flavors. When I set out to translate that flavor into a cookie, I knew I needed to nail it.
Let’s just say: Mission very much accomplished. This recipe for glazed butter pecan cookies is such a gem! These are buttery, melt-in-your-mouth butterscotch cookies topped with a sweet vanilla glaze and crunchy chopped pecans. And they taste just like my beloved butter pecan ice cream.
I’ve included a sort-of sneaky technique to get alllllll that butterscotch flavor jammed into the sweet and tender cookie crumb. It makes these little meltaway cookies completely irresistible!
What Does Butter Pecan Taste Like?
If you’re new to the flavor of butter pecan, you might be thinking, is butter pecan just butterscotch with pecans? And while both have butter in the mix, butterscotch is different, made with brown sugar to give it a deeper, caramelized flavor.
Butter pecan consists of roasted pecans, butter, and vanilla. In the case of butter pecan ice cream, it’s a buttery vanilla ice cream with chunks of chopped pecans throughout. Creamy, sweet, and a little crunchy – that’s exactly what I was after with these homemade butter pecan cookies!
What You’ll Need
My glazed butter pecan cookies are essentially a 5-ingredient shortbread cookie beneath a creamy, nutty glaze. Like the cookie itself, the ingredients list is short and sweet (shortbread, get it?). Be sure to check out the full details further down in the recipe card!
- Butterscotch Chips: You’ll find these in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. Butterscotch chips are the key to the extra rich, buttery flavor of these butter pecan cookies, but you’ll need to pulverize them first! Stay with me, here – we’ll get into this shortly.
- Butter: Get your butter to room temperature before you start.
- Powdered Sugar: Also called confectioner’s sugar, using powdered sugar yields a less-dense cookie (see below). You’ll need it for the cookies as well as the sweet glaze.
- Flour and Salt
- Vanilla Extract and Milk: You’ll combine vanilla and milk with powdered sugar for the glaze. Whole milk or 2% milk is best for a creamy consistency.
- Pecans: Chop the pecans up finely to add to the glaze, to put some “pecan” in your butter pecan cookies!
What Does Powdered Sugar Do in Cookies?
Using powdered sugar in place of granulated sugar in this recipe helps to absorb excess moisture and leads to a lighter, more tender cookie. I highly recommend it!
While your oven preheats to 325ºF, let’s start on these cookies! This recipe is so easy and the cookies come out filled with the utmost butterscotch flavor. On that note, as promised, I’ll get right into my secret for the BEST butterscotch cookies…
- Blend the Butterscotch Chips: If that sounds a little weird, trust me. It works! Add the butterscotch chips to a blender and pulse them until you reach a coarse powder. This magic dust is going to bring all sorts of melty, delicious, butterscotch flavors to your butter pecan cookies.
- Prepare the Cookie Dough: Beat together the butter, powdered sugar, and salt. Next, mix in the butterscotch dust. Then, slowly mix in the flour until you’re left with dry dough.
- Portion It Out: Scoop the cookie dough and roll it into balls, and place these onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. The cookies will spread a bit as they bake, so be sure to leave a couple of inches between your dough balls.
- Bake: Pop the cookies into the oven for about 20 minutes, until they’re golden around the edges. Then take them out and transfer the cookies to a wire rack. You can glaze the cookies warm or cool, just know the warmer they are, the runnier the glaze will be.
- Glaze: When your cookies have cooled off enough, whisk together a glaze of powdered sugar combined with vanilla and milk. Stir in the chopped pecans. Lastly, drop a spoonful of glaze onto the top of each of your butterscotch cookies, then leave them to set. There you have it! Chewy, homemade meltaway butter pecan cookies, ready to bite into.
Recipe Tips and Variation Ideas
These butter pecan cookies are so easy, I’m sure you’re going to ace them on your first try. Here are some bonus tips to ensure these turn out perfect:
- Measure the ingredients correctly. Make sure to spoon the flour into your measuring cup and then level it off, rather than using the cup to scoop the flour directly from the bag. This way you’re less likely to add too much flour to the recipe, which produces a denser cookie.
- Don’t overmix. Only mix the ingredients until they’re just combined. Over-mixing can lead to tough, chewy cookies.
- You don’t HAVE to blend the butterscotch chips. If you don’t have a blender, or if you’d prefer to leave the butterscotch chips whole, you can skip this part. Note that the texture of the cookies will be a little different, but they’ll still be tasty!
- Not a fan of butterscotch? You can still make a variation of these butter pecan cookies by blending up white chocolate chips to add instead.
- I prefer to glaze my cookies when they’re cool. This is a personal preference, but I like that the glaze doesn’t melt and thin out as much.
- Add a pinch of cinnamon to the glaze for a bit of extra warmth and spice.
These glazed butter pecan cookies can be stored airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you’re layering them in a container, use parchment paper to separate the layers.
You can also keep these cookies in the fridge, just remember to take them out about 10-15 minutes before serving to take the chill off.
Can I Freeze These?
If you’re going to freeze these shortbread cookies, I recommend freezing them before adding the glaze.
Once the baked cookies have cooled completely, transfer them to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Store the cookies frozen for up to 3 months, then thaw them in the fridge and prepare a quick glaze when you’re ready to eat them.Print
My Glazed Butter Pecan Cookies are flavored with butterscotch and topped with a sweet vanilla glaze brimming with crunchy pecans, for the ultimate melt-in-your-mouth, buttery bite!
- 3/4 cups butterscotch chips
- 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 325F°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place the butterscotch chips in a blender and pulverize them to a coarse powder. Set them aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter, powdered sugar, and salt together until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add in the blended butterscotch chips and mix until incorporated.
- Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour until combined. The mixture will be dry.
- Scoop 1 tablespoon of the dough out and roll it into a ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with all the dough, spacing the balls about 1 1/2 inches apart.
- Bake the cookies for 17-20 minutes until lightly golden at the edges.
- Remove from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
- Mix the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk together with a whisk.
- Add in the pecans. Top each cookie with about 1 tablespoon of the glaze.
- Allow the glaze to set up before serving.
- You can glaze the cookies warm or cool. I like to glaze them when they are completely cooled because the glaze won’t melt off as much. If you glaze them warm you will have a much thinner glaze on the cookie.
Keywords: pecan cookies, pecan shortbread cookies, butterscotch cookies