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Pecan Butter Balls

5 from 11 votes

Light, crispy, nutty, and with a melt-in-your-mouth texture, Pecan Butter Balls are the perfect cookie for pecan fans. These easy cookies are a great all-year-long cookie, and they keep fresh and fabulous in the freezer so you can enjoy them whenever you need a bite of cookie perfection.

butter pecan balls with a cup of tea

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Butter Pecan Balls are an easy cookie recipe, and they’re one you can get the kids involved with. There are no funny ingredients in this recipe, and every cookie is bliss. Ready to make a batch? Read on and I’ll show you all my tips and tricks to make these easy nut cookies perfectly every time!

What You Need To Make Butter Pecan Cookies

  • Sheet pans – invest in good, solid, commercial grade quality sheet pans. You’ll thank me later.
  • Parchment paper – NOT waxed paper. Parchment paper is a must for all bakers.
  • Plastic wrap
  • Hand mixer or stand mixer
  • Unsalted butter – you can use salted butter but don’t add extra salt to the recipe
  • Granulated white sugar
  • Confectioner’s sugar – also known as powdered sugar or icing sugar
  • All purpose flour
  • Pecans – see notes below

What Kind of Pecans Do I Use in This Cookie Recipe?

You need finely ground pecans in this recipe. You can chop up pecans with a knife, but chances are you won’t get them fine enough. To make a melt-in-your-mouth and delicate cookie, you need finely ground pecans.

The easiest way to do this is in a food processor. Add your pecans and then pulse until they are finely ground, like coarse sand, but not so ground that they’re paste.

pecan butter ball cookies on a plate
Enjoy!

How To Make Easy Butter Pecan Cookies

For a full list of ingredients and instructions, please scroll down to the recipe card.

  1. With a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, beat the softened butter and sugars until it is light and fluffy.
  2. Add half the flour and mix until combined. Then add the remaining flour and salt.
  3. Add the pecans and mix on low until just combined.
  4. Gently form the dough into two logs, about 1-2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for about 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325-F.
  6. When the dough is thoroughly chilled, slice it into 1/2-inch rounds and each slice into balls. The balls should be about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter.
  7. Line the balls up on a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Keep them about 1-inch apart.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.
  9. Thoroughly cool the butter pecan balls and then toss them in sifted confectioner’s sugar before serving.
  10. Enjoy!

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • Buy whole pecans and grind them yourself in the food processor. It’s much cheaper than buying them already ground.
  • Use unsalted butter, but salted will work, too. Just don’t add more salt.
  • Make sure these cookies are thoroughly cooled before tossing them in the sifted powdered sugar or they can get gluey.
  • Switch up the flavor and use ground almonds, instead!
  • Don’t make them too small or they’ll over cook, and if they’re too large they could be still doughy in the middle. Aim for about 1-1.5 inch diameter cookie balls.

Are Butter Pecan Balls Freezer Friendly?

Yes, you bet! These cookies will stay fresh and fabulous for up to three months in the freezer. Just make sure they’re tightly wrapped in air-tight containers or plastic. Don’t toss them in the icing sugar until they’re thawed, however.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this Pecan Butter Balls Cookie Recipe easy?

Yes! It is hard to screw up this recipe. The hardest part is waiting for the dough to chill. It’s an easy one bowl, one mixer recipe.

Are these Pecan Butter Balls the same as cake balls?

No, they are different. Cake balls are made from cooked cake that’s been moistened and then rolled. These are baked in ball form and have a crumblier and buttery flavor.

Are Pecan Butter Balls a Christmas cookie recipe?

Yes, these are so pretty in a cookie exchange or just for nibbling on around the holidays. But they’re great all year long, too!

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Step By Step Process

pecan butter ball cookies on a plate
Print Pin
5 from 11 votes

Pecan Butter Balls Cookies

Light, nutty, and melt-in-your-mouth buttery, these amazing Pecan Butter Balls are a terrific cookie for the holiday season or any time of the year!
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Keyword cookies, easy cookies, nut cookies, nuts, pecan butter balls, pecan cookies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chilling time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 152kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar divided
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely ground pecans

Instructions

  • With a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, beat the softened butter, white sugar, and 1/4 cup of the confectioner's sugar until it is light and fluffy.
  • Add half the flour and mix on low until combined. Then add the remaining flour and salt. Mix on low to combine.
  • Add the pecans and mix on low until just combined. The mixture will be loose and crumbly.
  • Gently form the dough into two logs, about 1-2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325-F.
  • When the dough is thoroughly chilled, slice it into 1/2-inch rounds and each slice into balls. The balls should be about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter.
  • Line the balls up on a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Keep them about 1-inch apart.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.
  • Thoroughly cool the butter pecan balls and then toss them in sifted confectioner's sugar before serving.

Notes

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • Buy whole pecans and grind them yourself in the food processor. It’s much cheaper than buying them already ground.
  • Use unsalted butter, but salted will work, too. Just don’t add more salt.
  • Make sure these cookies are thoroughly cooled before tossing them in the sifted powdered sugar or they can get gluey.
  • Switch up the flavor and use ground almonds, instead!
  • Don’t make them too small or they’ll over cook, and if they’re too large they could be still doughy in the middle. Aim for about 1-1.5 inch diameter cookie balls.
  • Test for doneness by cutting a ball in half. They should be cooked through and not moist in the middle.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 30mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 239IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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By Chef Jenn

5 thoughts on “Pecan Butter Balls”

  1. 5 stars
    My grandma used to make these cookies at Christmas time. And they taste just like I remember them! Thank you for bringing back some wonderful memories!!

    Reply

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