Butter Pecan Shortbread

Shortbread is one of the simple joys of the baking world. Usually, there are just a handful of ingredients. The effort is minimal. And, the simple flavors are just right.

Of course, throw some pecans into something, and I’m definitely on board. So, with those few ingredients and very little time, I had this shortbread in the oven. My kitchen was filled with the delightful aroma of buttery cookies and toasted pecans.

Butter Pecan Shortbread are deliciously sweet and nutty! - Bake or Break

The top of this shortbread is sprinkled with coarse sugar to give it that little sparkle. It really helps dress up a simple baked good. If you don’t have coarse sugar or sanding sugar, you can certainly use regular granulated sugar. It might not have the same aesthetic appeal, but it will still add that extra sweetness.

Butter Pecan Shortbread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Butter Pecan Shortbread


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon chopped pecans, divided
  • 2-3 teaspoons coarse sugar (may substitute granulated sugar)


Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides.

Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add vanilla and combine. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour, beating until well-mixed. Stir in 1/4 cup pecans. Mixture will be crumbly.

Press dough into bottom of prepared pan. Sprinkle top with 1 tablespoon pecans and coarse sugar.

Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Using foil, lift shortbread out of pan. Cut into bars.


Recipe adapted from Land O Lakes.


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  1. vanillasugarblog January 27, 2012 Reply

    yes these do bring joy don’t they?

  2. The Duo Dishes January 27, 2012 Reply

    When a cookie promises you that it will be buttery from the name alone, it’s golden. Love a good bite of shortbread.

  3. Anna January 27, 2012 Reply

    Oh wow, these look beautiful!

  4. Jacqueline January 28, 2012 Reply

    Your shortbread looks gorgeous. I usually just make plain shortbread, although I have made a lemon & basil shortbread beofer. I love the sound of pecans in shortbread and it just shows you, it is adaptable.

  5. Ana Rita January 28, 2012 Reply

    OMG!!!Gonna get the recipe right now!!!


  6. Heidi January 28, 2012 Reply

    Oh man these look good! The whole pan shall be mine! *insert maniacal laugh*

  7. Choc Chip Uru January 28, 2012 Reply

    Mmm a butter bar is just what I need right now – maybe studded with chocolate chips as well… 😀
    Gorgeous recipe!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Fresh Fruit Tart

  8. Darcy January 29, 2012 Reply

    Ok I want to bake EVERYTHING that you post. And I share your love of pecans! Thanks for all the happy eating, keep up the great work :)

  9. Eliana January 30, 2012 Reply

    They look incredible. Love that they are so simple but they certainly look like they don’t skimp on taste.

  10. The Food Hunter February 3, 2012 Reply

    I’m planning to try these

  11. Betsy Michaud March 15, 2014 Reply

    I’m drooling and gaining weight just going through and printing out so many of your recipes…I just wish they listed the CALORIES so I could pick and choose where to start on my GROWING collection! I think Bake or Break is WONDER-FULL! So there.

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