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Pecan Pie Cookies are an easy cookie recipe that tastes like pecan pie! This brown sugar cookie is filled with a pecan pie mixture and are perfect for your holiday cookie platters.

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pecan pie cookies


I first made these cookies back in the early 2000s and have been making them ever since. Pecan pie is one of my favorite flavors so making them into cookies is absolutely up my alley.

Cookies are my major downfall all year, but especially during the holidays. I love to make them, to freeze them, then snack on them all month long. It’s way too easy to grab a cookie or three out of the freezer and snack on them. These pecan pie cookies are actually good straight out of the freezer…not that I’m admitting it’s me who figured that out.

(And I wonder why I can’t lose weight, SMH.)

At the holidays, cookies abound, and not just basic chocolate chip cookies or peanut butter cookies will do. No, you need things like snowballs or mint chocolate cookies or slice and bake cookies, or eve cute Christmas cookies. That’s how these easy pecan pie cookies fit into the equation: they’re delicious but also pretty and unique enough for the holidays.

These pecan pie cookies are a soft brown sugar thumbprint cookie filled with a pecan pie mixture and they’re soft and super flavorful.

You won’t be able to eat just one!

pecan pie cookies

You can see how the thumbprint cookies are full of brown sugar just by the color. Because of the brown sugar they stay super soft too!

This pecan pie cookie recipe originally came from Land O’ Lakes but I’ve edited it just a bit. For one thing, I make them bigger. Bigger cookies are always better!

Soft and chewy pecan pie cookies have a strong brown sugar flavor with some crunch from the pecan pie filling.

How do you make thumbprint cookies?

These come together easily – just one bowl and a mixer to create a soft cookie dough. Scoop your cookies and roll them into balls, then create your thumbprint.

  • Use the back of a wooden spoon to create a small hole in the cookie for the filling.
  • Or use your thumb or a knuckle to press the hole.
pecan pie cookies with bite taken out

Ingredients You Need

Brown Sugar: Needed for the cookie and the filling. The cookie stays so soft from the brown sugar.

Butter: Use unsalted butter that’s been softened.

Egg, Salt: Regular cookie ingredients

Baking Powder: Instead of soda, we use baking powder in these – it keeps them soft and puffy.

Flour: Use all purpose flour and measure it correctly.

Pecans: Chop them small!

Heavy Whipping Cream: this gives it the delicious creamy filling texture.

What makes these cookies Pecan Pie Cookies?

The filling! The filling isn’t as comprehensive as a regular pecan pie, and in fact it’s more like a brown sugar pecan pie than a classic one.

You simply mix brown sugar with pecans and heavy cream to make the filling.

pecan pie cookies

Can you substitute milk or non-dairy milk for heavy cream in the filling?

Yes! Follow my tips below for the perfect pecan pie filling for these cookies.

Tips to make Pecan Pie Cookies:

  • Chop the nuts small. The thumbprints aren’t very big so you want to be sure to fit the maximum amount of filling in each cookie. I like to chop them fine.
  • Heavy cream is best but if you don’t have it, you can use milk or non-dairy milk, just use less of it. You’ll use about 3-4 tablespoons if you’re using heavy whipping cream, but only about 2 tablespoons if you’re using regular or dairy-free milk.
  • Bake until the bottoms are golden and they’ll stay soft for a few days.
  • Freeze for up to one month.

Other pecan pie recipes you might like:

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pecan pie cookies

Pecan Pie Cookies

4.86 from 49 votes
Pecan Pie Cookies are an easy cookie recipe that tastes like pecan pie! This brown sugar cookie is filled with a pecan pie mixture and are perfect for your holiday cookie platters!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 24 cookies
Serving Size 1 cookie


For the Cookies

  • 1 cup (200g) packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups (248g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 1 cup (60g) finely chopped pecans
  • ½ cup (100g) packed brown sugar
  • 2-4 tablespoons (30-60ml) whipping cream or milk (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch salt


  • Heat oven to 350°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Beat brown sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla at medium speed (using a hand or stand mixer) until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat until well mixed.
  • Shape dough into 2 tablespoon balls. Place 2 inches apart onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Make an indentation in each cookie with your thumb or the back of a wooden spoon, rotate it to hollow the cookie out slightly.
  • Make the filling: stir pecans, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla. Add 2 tablespoons whipping cream or milk. Stir until thick mixture forms, adding a bit more cream or milk as necessary. (If you use milk, you’ll need only about 2 tablespoons. If you use cream you might need more.) It should be too wet, just a thick mixture.
  • Scoop about 1 rounded teaspoon of mixture into the center of each cookie. Chill 20 minutes.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are baked and just starting to turn golden. Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to three days or freeze for up to one month.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Recipe from here.
The video is wrong when it says baking soda. It was too late to change it once I realized it. Use baking powder as directed in the recipe!

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 67mg | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 210IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 0.7mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

**Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!**

This recipe was originally posted in 2010, updated October 2018.

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Dorothy Kern

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  1. I think you my have a typo. It probably needs to read “It shouldn’t be too wet…” But it says “It should be too wet”

    1. I agree with you, Sheryl. I’ve made this recipe often cause they’re so darned delicious. Each time, I add 2.5-3 cups of flour depending on humidity that day.

  2. I followed recipe exactly but my cookies spread out, didn’t hold their shape at all. What causes that? They’re yummy, I’d like to make them again if I can figure out what went wrong.