A plate with several butter pecan meltaway cookies, one of which is bitten, revealing a nutty interior. In the background, there are more cookies
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Pecan Meltaway Cookies

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Simple, 6 ingredient pecan meltaway cookies! Ready in under 30, with a sandy, melt-in-your-mouth texture these pecan cookies live up to the meltaway name!

You’ve got to try these Butter Pecan Meltaway Cookies! Seriously, they’re like little bits of heaven that melt the second they hit your tongue. Some folks call ’em pecan snowballs; others say Russian tea cakes or Mexican wedding cakes, but honestly, whatever name you pick, it’s all about that dreamy mix of ground pecans, butter, flour, and sugar. Absolutely delicious!

Several butter pecan meltaway cookies piled on parchment paper, with a baking sheet of additional cookies in the background

I remember the days when I’d snag a tin (or two) of David’s Meltaway Cookies from Costco. They were my quick fix! It’s no secret that I love a classic meltaway cookie, and of course, during the summer, I love my lemon meltaway cookies. But then, I stumbled upon this homemade pecan meltaway recipe, and it was game over for store-bought. Did I mention that they come together in less than 25 minutes? Yup, that’s why I’m all about whipping up these buttery, nutty wonders from scratch!

Butter Pecan Meltaway Cookies Overview

Cuisine Inspiration: American
Number of Ingredients: 6
Total Cook Time: 25 minutes
Primary Cooking Method: Baking
Dietary Info: Vegetarian
Key Flavor: Buttery richness and nutty sweetness, with a hint of vanilla
Skill Level: Beginner

Notable mentions

  • Easy to Get Ingredients: This recipe is all about simplicity and accessibility. Except for the pecans, which you can find at any grocery store, you probably have everything else you need right in your kitchen.
  • Perfect as Presents: Imagine handing someone a box of these sugary, buttery delights. They’re custom, homemade, and WAY better than anything store-bought! Plus, that powdered sugar makes them look really fancy.
  • Holiday Favorite, Year-Round Delight: These cookies are a hit during the festive season, finding their way into holiday tins. But why limit the joy? You can bake ’em all year round! Pecan butter meltaways are always a good idea.
  • Timeless Classic: This recipe is a true blast from the past, a nostalgic treat that never goes out of style. Ideal for those moments when you crave something classic and reliably delicious.

Ingredients to make Butter Pecan Meltaway Cookies

  • Toasted Pecans: Finely chopped. If you don’t know how to toast pecans, don’t worry – it’s really easy! The steps are down in the recipe card.
  • Unsalted Butter: Essential for this recipe. Make sure it’s at room temperature so you can cream it smoothly with the sugar.
  • Granulated Sugar: To sweeten the deal. This blends into the butter for a smooth, sweet base. No substitutes recommended here, granulated sugar is what gives these meltaway pecan cookies their classic texture.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: For that warm, classic flavor. It’s a small amount, but it makes a big difference!
  • All-Purpose Flour: To bring it all together. If you need a gluten-free option, try a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend in a 1:1 ratio.
  • Powdered Sugar: For that beautiful snowy coating!
Overhead shot of butter pecan meltaway cookies placed on a parchment-lined baking tray, with additional cookies arranged on a dark plate and on parchment paper

How to make Pecan Meltaway Cookies

Step 1: Toast The Pecans

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Finely chop the pecans using a food processor. Then, spread them on a baking sheet and toast until they’re fragrant, which should take about 5-10 minutes. Set aside.
Toasted pecans for butter pecan meltaway cookies spread on a baking tray lined with parchment paper

Step 2: Mix And Shape The Dough

  1. Add butter and granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together until smooth.
  2. Stir in the vanilla extract, then gradually mix in the flour until just combined.
  3. Add the warm, toasted pecan pieces.
  4. Fold the pecan pieces in, ensuring they are distributed evenly throughout the dough. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and mix again.
  5. Roll the dough into one-tablespoon-sized balls and space them out on your prepared baking sheet. They need to be at least 1 inch apart.
A step by step image collage on how to make butter pecan meltaway cookies with ingredients, mixing all the ingredients, and shaping the dough

Step 3: Bake the cookies and Coat them With Sugar

  1. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cookies are just turning golden on the bottom and set in the middle. Let them cool for a few minutes. Then, add powdered sugar to a bowl and gently roll the warm cookies in the powdered sugar until fully coated. Let them cool completely.
  2. Once cooled, give the cookies a second generous dusting of powdered sugar before serving.
A step by step image collage on how to make butter pecan meltaway cookies with covering the dough with powdered sugar, and baking the cookies
  • Almond Extract: If you’re out of vanilla, swap in almond extract. It’ll give your cookies a slightly nuttier, more pronounced flavor. Just use the same amount as you would vanilla.
  • Flour Swap: Looking for a gluten-free or lower-carb option? Replace the all-purpose flour with almond flour; it’ll enhance the nutty flavor of the cookies. Just note, the texture might be a bit different, but delicious all the same!
  • Add A Pinch of Salt: If you’re using unsalted butter, consider adding a pinch of salt to the dough. It can really brighten the flavors and add a subtle contrast to the sweetness of the powdered sugar.
  • Switch Up the Nuts: I know we’re talking about a pecan meltaway recipe, but feel free to use what you have on hand! Walnuts, almonds, or even hazelnuts. Simply keep the measurements the same, and you’re good to go.

Tips for making the best pecan meltaways

  1. Finely Chop Those Pecans: Get your pecans chopped up nice and fine. You want them to be small enough to blend seamlessly into each bite of cookie, without any large, awkward chunks.
  2. Roll Warm Cookies: Roll your cookies in powdered sugar while they’re still a bit warm. This helps the sugar stick better, creating that addictive melt-in-your-mouth effect. If they cool down too much, the sugar won’t stick as well.
  3. Gentle with the Sugar Coat: When rolling the meltaways in powdered sugar, be gentle. These beauties are delicate, especially when warm. You don’t want to end up with sugary cookie crumbs!
  4. Measure Your Flour Well: Measuring your flour correctly is crucial. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level it off with a knife. Scooping directly with the cup can pack in too much flour, leading to a tough cookie.
A plate with a stack of butter pecan meltaway cookies, one of which is bitten, revealing a nutty interior

How to store Meltaway Cookies

Once your meltaway cookies have cooled, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. If you’re stacking them, place a piece of parchment paper between layers to keep them from sticking together.

How long will Pecan Meltaway Cookies last?

These buttery treats will keep well at room temperature for up to 3 days. I wish they lasted that long in my home!

Can I freeze This pecan meltaways recipe?

Both the baked cookies and the cookie dough freeze well! For the baked cookies, once they’re completely cool, skip the second sugar coating, place them in an airtight container, and freeze. They’ll stay fresh for up to 3 months. Just thaw and toss them in powdered sugar before serving.

For the dough, scoop it into balls, freeze on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag. They’ll be ready to bake or enjoy up to 3 months later.

What to serve with Pecan Meltaway Cookies

  • Cookie Swap: Hosting a cookie swap? Add these meltaways to your cookie platter! They stand out beautifully alongside other cookie varieties, such as peanut butter cookies, oatmeal cookies, or whipped shortbread cookies.
  • Warm Drinks: Curling up with a warm cup of coffee, homemade apple cider, or hot chocolate and these meltaway pecan cookies? Yes, please!
  • Nutty Trail Mix: For a fun snack combo, mix these cookies with a homemade trail mix. Combine nuts like almonds, cashews, and a sprinkle of dried fruit for a balance of textures and flavors. Hey, you can even have more pecans on the side. I won’t judge ya!

Frequently asked questions

Can I make the dough ahead of time?

Sure! You can prep the dough, roll it into balls, and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to bake, just pop them in the oven. The chill time can even enhance the flavor and texture of the cookies!

My cookies came out too crumbly. What did I do wrong?

If the cookies are too crumbly, it might be due to too much flour or not enough butter. Make sure to measure your flour correctly (spoon, and level) and that your butter is at room temperature to fully incorporate into the sugar.

The powdered sugar coating seems to disappear after a while. Any tips?

That’s normal, especially in humid conditions. Simply give the cookies a fresh dusting of powdered sugar just before serving. This will ensure they have that perfect, snowy look!

Close up of several butter pecan meltaway cookies placed on parchment paper

These Butter Pecan Meltaway Cookies have never let me down, and I bet they won’t let you down either! The pecan flavor is unmatched, and the soft, buttery texture is something you won’t find in any store-bought cookie. Once you try making them yourself, there’s no going back!

More Cookie recipes:

I want to hear from you! If you try this easy Butter Pecan Meltaway Cookies recipe or any other of my 5 ingredient or less recipes on Dinner in 5, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! I read all the comments and respond!

A plate with several butter pecan meltaway cookies, one of which is bitten, revealing a nutty interior
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Pecan Meltaway Cookies

Simple, 6 ingredient pecan meltaway cookies! Ready in under 30, with a sandy, melt-in-your-mouth texture these pecan cookies live up to the meltaway name!
No ratings yet
Author Jackie
Servings 24 cookies
Course Dessert
Calories 112
Prep Time 15 minutes
0 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup toasted pecans finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar for coating

Instructions

For Toasting the Pecans

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Start by toasting the pecans. Finely chop the pecans using a food processor. Then, spread them on a baking sheet and toast until they're fragrant, which should take about 5-10 minutes. Set aside.

For Making the Cookies

  • Cream the softened butter and granulated sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract, then gradually mix in the flour until just combined.
  • Fold in the warm, toasted pecan pieces, ensuring they are distributed evenly throughout the dough. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and mix again.
  • Roll the dough into one-tablespoon-sized balls and space them out on your prepared baking sheet. They need to be at least 1 inch apart.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cookies are just turning golden on the bottom and set in the middle. Let them cool for a few minutes.
  • Add powdered sugar to a bowl. While still warm, gently roll the cookies in the powdered sugar until fully coated. Let them cool completely.
  • Once cooled, give the cookies a second generous dusting of powdered sugar before serving.

Notes

  • Finely Chop Those Pecans: Get your pecans chopped up nice and fine. You want them to be small enough to blend seamlessly into each bite of cookie, without any large, awkward chunks.
  • Roll Warm Cookies: Roll your cookies in powdered sugar while they’re still a bit warm. This helps the sugar stick better, creating that addictive melt-in-your-mouth effect. If they cool down too much, the sugar won’t stick as well.
  • Gentle with the Sugar Coat: When rolling the pecan butter meltaways in powdered sugar, be gentle. These beauties are delicate, especially when warm. You don’t want to end up with sugary cookie crumbs!
  • Measure Your Flour Well: Measuring your flour correctly is crucial. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level it off with a knife. Scooping directly with the cup can pack in too much flour, leading to a tough cookie.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 112kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 24mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 120IU, Vitamin C: 0.05mg, Calcium: 5mg, Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American

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