Caramel Pecan Cookies

Soft shortbread cookies topped with gooey caramel and crunchy pecans.  These Caramel Pecan Cookies are a winner!

Soft shortbread cookies topped with gooey caramel and crunchy pecans. These Caramel Pecan Cookies are a winner!Guys (and gals), I have a confession to make.  We tend to lag behind when it comes to upgrading technology around here.  I mean, we do get there…but sometimes it takes us a bit of time.  We were a solid year or two behind on getting smart phones.  (To be fair, we were in grad school at the time.  Smart phones sounded like fun, but so did eating something besides peanut butter sandwiches.) 

We were also a solid two or three years behind on getting a snow blower once we moved to upstate New York.  We stubbornly believed that two shovels were just as effective, and we convinced ourselves that it was a good workout.  Then came 2014: the year of the Polar Vortex.  (Remember the Polar Vortex?)  We now have a snowblower.  We were also way behind on some of the more popular tv shows.  We started borrowing the Game of Thrones DVDs from our neighbor, and now we’re hooked.

Soft shortbread cookies topped with gooey caramel and crunchy pecans. These Caramel Pecan Cookies are a winner!The other night, my wife left to go play in an all-women’s curling tournament.  That meant I was home alone all Saturday afternoon and evening.  Since we are at the height of college basketball season, I lit a fire in the fireplace and watched a game or two (a game and a half to be exact).  Then I curled up on the couch and read several chapters of the first book of Game of Thrones.  (See, I told you we get on board…we’ve seen all of the episodes, and now I’m working my way through the books.)

Soft shortbread cookies topped with gooey caramel and crunchy pecans. These Caramel Pecan Cookies are a winner!But something was missing.  Snacks.  My sweet tooth was calling my name, so I hopped up and made a batch of Caramel Pecan Cookies.  It’s a good thing I had to wait a bit for the caramel to set or otherwise I might have eaten the entire tray of cookies before my wife came home!  (My wife took half of these cookies with her when she went back to the curling club the next morning.  The container came back empty.)

So these Caramel Pecan Cookies.  Um, yeah, you need these in your life.  Think shortbread cookie loaded with caramel and pecans on top.  These seriously might be one of my favorite cookies ever.  I made my own caramel topping for these, but you could totally cheat and use store-bought caramel.  However, I must say that making caramel is kinda fun.  It took me several attempts at first.  I had a tendency to cook it too long, and that led to a not-so-pleasant burnt caramel flavor.  If you’ve never made homemade caramel, give it a shot…add it to your repertoire of kitchen skills!

Soft shortbread cookies topped with gooey caramel and crunchy pecans. These Caramel Pecan Cookies are a winner!As for me, I’m gonna head back to the couch with my Game of Thrones book.  Winter is coming.

Soft shortbread cookies topped with gooey caramel and crunchy pecans. These Caramel Pecan Cookies are a winner!

Caramel Pecan Cookies

Soft shortbread cookies topped with gooey caramel and crunchy pecans.  These Caramel Pecan Cookies are a winner!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 417kcal

Ingredients

For the Cookie Crust

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 9 oz. unsalted butter, softened
  • cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Caramel Pecan Topping

  • cups pecans coarsely chopped
  • cups sugar
  • cups heavy cream
  • 4 oz. unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • ½ Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

For the Cookie Crust

  • Grease the edges of a rimmed baking sheet. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Set pan aside. (Tip: Use a long piece of parchment paper so that it hangs over the edges by 1-2”. This will make it easier to remove the cookies later. This is an important step!)
  • In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir together until well combined. Set aside.
  • Using a countertop mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes on medium speed).
  • Add the eggs and vanilla; mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Add the flour mixture; mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Press dough evenly into prepared baking sheet. (Tip: This dough is sticky. Use a piece of wax paper to press the dough evenly into the pan.)
  • Bake at 375°F for 22-24 minutes, or until light golden brown in color. Allow cookies to cool before adding Caramel Pecan Topping.

For the Caramel Pecan Topping

  • Spread the pecans evenly on a sheet pan and bake at 350°F for 7-8 minutes. Set pecans aside.
  • Using a medium saucepan, add the sugar and place over medium heat. Heat until sugar begins to melt. Continue melting the sugar, stirring occasionally, until it's fully melted and turns light golden brown. (If you have a candy thermometer, heat the sugar until it reaches Firm Ball stage, or ~245°F.)
  • Remove pan from heat and carefully pour in the heavy cream. (Note: Use caution at this step as the mixture will boil vigorously and then harden when the cream is added.)
  • Return pan to low heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture dissolves and is smooth.
  • Remove pan from heat and stir in the butter, vanilla, salt and toasted pecans.
  • Pour Caramel Pecan Topping over baked (and cooled) cookie crust. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes, or until topping begins to bubble at edges of pan.
  • Remove from oven and let cool completely. (If needed, you can throw the pan in the refrigerator to speed up this step.)
  • Slice cookies into triangles or squares before serving.

Looking for more tasty cookie recipes?  Check out some of these other favorites, too:

These Dulce de Leche Turtle Cookie Bars feature a shortbread cookie crust topped with dulce de leche, pecans and chocolate chips.  Yum!Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars

These Coconut Chocolate Kiss Cookies are a fun twist on the classic sugar cookie!  Toasted coconut + melty chocolate combine for a tasty sweet treat!Coconut Chocolate Kiss Cookies

Featuring a combination of sweet and salty, these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies are the perfect sweet treat for finishing an evening!Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies

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27 Comments

    1. They totally do, Dannii! I buy pecans in bulk since we use them all the time. One of my favorites is chopped toasted pecans in my granola every morning. Yum!! 🙂

  1. David, well thank God you guys finally got a snow blower! that was the first thing we purchased when moving to Wisconsin! 🙂 your wife played in an all-women’s curling tournament?! WOW!!! and love these cookies!! these are my kinda snacks to have on a cold day!!! it’s seriously too cold outside. . thank goodness for sweet treats and snow blowers 😛 TGIF! have a great weekend!

    1. Haha…I wanted to get a snow blower right away, too! But my wife insisted that it was a good workout. Plus, we had to find a place to store the thing…they aren’t small! So yes, my wife played in an all-women’s curling tournament a couple weeks ago. Then we played in a tournament again this past weekend. This one was all men/all women, but at least the teams got to play at the same time (just not against each other). Now I’m trying to settle back into Monday…I think cookies would help!

  2. Hey, being a year behind is better than being yearS behind – dude – I still don’t have a smartphone! One of these days I will though…one of these days…
    But – don’t you think investing in some airplane tickets to Upstate NYC might be a better idea? What with that hungry mail-lady of yours – that way these would be in ma belly in no time at all! Hope y’all have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Shashi! You don’t have a smartphone? Fix that! Actually, starting the blog was one of the ways we justified the need for smartphones. Granted…we were just hunting for a reason, but seeing as how we live on the interwebs, it makes life SO much easier. 🙂 With that said, I think tickets to upstate NY would be a very wise investment. I’m tired of our mail-lady stealing all of the Shashi Treats that I keep making. So rude! 😉

    1. Hahaha…you crack me up, Greg! You totally need to upgrade to a smart phone…just keep it away from the caramel. Sticky caramel doesn’t play well with smartphones. Trust me. 🙂

    1. I’ve been hearing a lot about Vikings lately…I think I need to check it out! We’re almost caught up on GoT now, so we need a new show to entertain us until the next season comes out. Thanks for the recommendation, Kevin!

    1. These cookies are…uh, were…quite delicious, Christina! They are definitely in my top 5 cookies list…and that’s a hard list to crack because I consider the Cookie Monster to be my alter-ego. 🙂

  3. Actually obsessed with the pairing of caramel and pecan- I made breakfast cookies a way back just to combine the two. Then I made granola bars to combine the two. Then I made a blender ice cream to combine the two. The last one sucked because the blender broke.

    Haven’t jumped into the Game of thrones bandwagon yet but…I would for these cookies.

    1. I totally agree, Arman! It’s like caramel was made for pecans. Or pecans were made for caramel. It’s one of the two! Either way, these cookies are one of our favorites now.

      I just laughed out loud at the fact that you broke your blender on the ice cream. But then I felt bad for laughing at your misfortune. I say grab a cookie and start watching Game of Thrones. It can be bloody at times, but give it a chance. Totally worth it!

    1. My wife said the same thing, Kathy! The gooey caramel topping is not quite the same as pecan pie filling…but it’s totally reminiscent! And totally delicious!

    1. Actually I don’t have your new address, Lindsey! I sent a batch of these to your old address, though. Did they get forwarded? 😉

      Also, you need to watch Game of Thrones. It’s addictingly awesome. A little bloody for the first few episodes, but give it a chance.

  4. I’m still not on the Game of Thrones trains yet… so you’re way ahead of me. It’s on my list… but my list of things to watch is so freaking long. Can I still eat some of these cookies while watching my other shows? Hahaha, they look legit!

    1. Yes, you may eat lots and lots of these cookies if it will help you catch up to Game of Thrones! We were totally behind the times on that one, but man am I glad we finally got on that train. The show is awesome! A bit bloody at the start…but awesome!

    1. Hey Cindy Lee! You know…that’s a great question. I’ve never actually frozen these cookies. We usually either eat them all up or I take some to friends and neighbors. However, with that said, I’d guess that these would freeze pretty well. Once frozen, you could easily keep them for 3 months as long as they are sealed in an airtight bag. If you do freeze them, will you let me know how they turn out? (I think you’ll be fine freezing them!) Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

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