Get ready for delicious sweet and salty Pecan Pie COOKIES! Thick soft sugar cookies topped with a brown sugar-maple pecan topping and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. These cookies taste similar to pecan pie making them the perfect addition to a holiday dessert spread.
If you’re not a fan of traditional pecan pie, I don’t blame you. Pecan pie can be overly sweet and flavorless, BUT…..good news! I have found a way to make pecan pie that tastes incredible (see maple pecan pie and pecan pie bars) and now I’ve made a cookie version, too.
These cookies are
Thick, soft, and tender – I used my soft-baked “lofthouse” style sugar cookies as the base of this recipe.
Filled with a sticky-sweet pecan filling – This topping is SO tasty. It’s sweet and buttery with brown sugar and maple flavor.
Topped with flaky sea salt – If you’ve ever found traditional pecan pie too sweet (like me!) you will enjoy the balanced flavor that these cookies get from a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. I use Maldon.
Great for the holidays – Yes, you can serve these cookies anytime of year but I love serving them during the holidays as a fun twist on traditional pie.
*Full recipe below in the recipe card*
Make the cookie dough:
- Beat butter and sugar.
- Add extracts, eggs and sour cream.
- Combine baking powder, baking soda, flour, cornstarch, and salt.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
- Mix until combined.
- Scoop into 2-tablespoon balls.
Make a cavity for the pecan filling:
Using the bottom of a wooden spoon or similar instrument, form an indention on top of each dough ball. This will help create the start of the cavity we will use to fill the cookies. Bake the cookies.
As soon as they come out of the oven, use a slightly larger rounded instrument to further form the cavity in the center of each cookie. I have successfully used the rounded bottom of a tablespoon as well as the flat bottom of a small espresso shot glass.
Make the pecan filling:
In a small saucepan combine butter, cream, brown sugar, maple syrup, and salt. Bring to a simmer and simmer over low heat for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped pecans. Allow to cool slightly, then scoop into the cavity of the cooled cookies.
Serving and storage:
These cookies can be served within a couple hours of assembly. If you’re making them more than a couple hours in advance they should be stored in the refrigerator and brought to to room temperature one hour before serving.
The texture of the cookie and the filling is best when they are room temp, not chilled.
Pecan Pie Cookies
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened slightly and still cool
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1 ¾ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¼ cup full fat sour cream
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed (light or dark, I used dark)
- pinch salt
- ⅔ cup finely chopped toasted pecans*
- flaky sea salt (such as Maldon), for topping
- Preheat oven to 375°F with a rack in the upper and lower third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a hand mixer, or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar for 2 minutes, until light and creamy. Note: the butter should be just soft enough to beat smoothly but still cool. Add extracts, egg, egg yolk, and sour cream and beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. The mixture might look a little curdled, that’s ok.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until combined.
- Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Scoop the dough into 2-tablespoon balls (briefly rolling them in your hands, to make the dough balls smooth). Place the dough balls a couple inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Using the bottom of a wooden spoon or similar instrument, form an indention on top of each dough ball. This will help create the start of the cavity we will use to fill the cookies. The dough should still be in a ball shape, not flattened.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes (see note about chill time), until the edges are set and the center is still slightly underdone. If necessary, rotate the baking sheets once during bake time. The cookies should be light in color and very delicate. Place the baking sheets on wire racks. As soon as they come out of the oven, use a slightly larger instrument to further form the cavity in the center of each cookie. I have successfully used the rounded bottom of a tablespoon as well as the flat bottom of a small espresso shot glass. The very center of the cookies (where you made the indentation) will look a little under baked, but they should be fine once they cool. Leave the cookies on the baking sheets to cool completely.
- In a small saucepan combine butter, cream, maple syrup, brown sugar, and salt. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped pecans. Allow to cool slightly (about 10 minutes), then scoop into the cavity of the cooled cookies. The filling will thicken up the longer it cools. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
Nutritional Information is an estimate based on third-party calculations and may vary based on products used and serving sizes.