Butter Pecan Shortbread

Butter Pecan Shortbread, easy as pie!

Butter Pecan Shortbread is a classic buttery shortbread loaded up with crunchy pecans ~ it might just be the ultimate Fall dessert ~ yum!

Butter Pecan Shortbread

Seasonal cooking isn’t all about produce — there are seasons in baking, too, and this time of year I love returning to shortbread.  Shortbread reaches back almost before the concept of ‘dessert’ was born, when you blend together the butter, flour, and sugar with your hands, you’re taking part in a centuries old process.  Shortbread is real food.  Have a warm square for breakfast with your coffee, take a piece or two to work, make a batch as an offering to a neighbor, or bring a pan to the book group.  It’ll be good practice for all those holiday gifts you’re going to need to make before you know it.

 Butter Pecan Shortbread, easy as pie!

For today’s Butter Pecan Shortbread I took things a little bit beyond the basic formula.  Loads of fresh pecans (cracked from the shell, if possible!) and a touch of almond extract give it that distinctive ‘butter pecan’ profile.

Buttery rich Butter Pecan Shortbread

We don’t think of nuts as having a season because they’re available to us all year long.  But pecans and other nuts are harvested in the fall, and that’s why we see them in the shells in the stores now, and why they are a part of so many holiday traditions.  I highly recommend buying the nuts in the shells, you will really taste the difference, they’re crunchier, and have lots more flavor.  If you don’t have a nutcracker you can use a small hammer to crack them.

Warm Butter Pecan Shortbread is the perfect fall treat, not too sweet, but full of rich, buttery flavor!

The list of shortbread recipes on my blog keeps growing and growing!  If you love citrus, try my Lemon Sugar Shortbread, it’s made with a special lemon infused sugar.  For another nutty recipe, check out my Pistachio Shortbread Cookies.

Butter pecan Shortbread is a quick and easy recipe that always delights everyone who tries it

Butter Pecan Shortbread

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 5 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cup pecans, rough chopped, some left whole

Instructions

  1. Set the oven to 350F
  2. Lightly spray a 9x9 square baking dish.
  3. Whisk the melted butter with the sugar in a large mixing bowl. Make sure to work out any lumps in the sugar.
  4. Blend in the extract, and then stir in the flours, cornstarch, and nuts. Stir just until everything is combined and the nuts are evenly distributed. Don't over mix the dough.
  5. Pat the dough into the pan with your hands, nudging it out so it fills the pan and is all even. You don't want a mound of dough in the middle, you want to flatten it out from side to side, evenly. If you like you can sink a few extra pecan halves into the top of the dough for a pretty look.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes. The top will still look pale, but the dough will be just beginning to turn golden around the edges.
  7. Cool on a rack for about 15 minutes before cutting into squares.
https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/butter-pecan-shortbread/

notes:

  • If you’d like to remove the shortbread for neater cutting like I did, you can line your pan with parchment, leaving the ends long on two sides so you can lift it out of the pan after it has cooled.  Don’t try to lift it out while it is still warm, the shortbread may crack.
  • You can use vanilla extract in place of the almond extract, or use them both.
  • Did you know you can buy butter pecan flavor extract?  You can find it HERE.

 

 

Don’t forget to pin this Butter Pecan Shortbread!

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44 Comments

  • Reply
    Rose
    October 16, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Do you know how well this will travel? I’ll be visiting my sister out of state for thanksgiving this year and would love to bring this to her as a hostess gift. It would be nice with coffee at breakfast!

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 16, 2017 at 12:18 pm

      Shortbread in general travels well, but because it’s crumbly I would make sure to pack it really well, and don’t put it in your checked luggage ;)

  • Reply
    Diane R
    September 10, 2017 at 5:43 am

    Do you think I could substitute the butter with Earth Balance to make these vegan? I know that butter is a “required” ingredient for shortbread but just curious about the Earth Balance.

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 10, 2017 at 8:21 am

      I haven’t tried it personally, and if you google the question the overwhelming answer is no, so I wouldn’t chance it, Diane, sorry!

  • Reply
    Mary
    August 22, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    I love black walnuts. Do you think I could substitute them for the pecans and would I have to change the recipe in any way? The black walnuts seem to be a stronger flavored nut than others

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 22, 2017 at 6:53 pm

      If you love them I think they would be amazing in this recipe, just use them in the same amounts! let us know how it goes, I think it sounds wonderful.

      • Reply
        Alice
        August 23, 2017 at 9:51 am

        Hi Sue, have you tried substituting Almond flour for the 1.5 cups flour required in the recipe? Also, if I use Almond flour would I be able to eliminate the oat flour and increase the almond flour?
        I don’t mind baking as is, I thought I would do some experimenting…love shortbread…thank you

        • Reply
          Sue
          August 23, 2017 at 10:03 am

          I plan to experiment with that myself, Alice, but I can’t say for sure as I haven’t tried it yet. I do know that a good gluten free flour mix will work, I’ve done that with Bob’s Red Mill’s gf baking blend. I’m devising an almond shortbread for the fall in which I’ll try the almond flour…

  • Reply
    Jane Peterson
    January 4, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Hi Sue, I made this recipe tonight and they are delicious! However they came out rather crumbly and tended to fall apart. I did use a glass pan and wonder if that caused them to overbake. I did reduce the time by a few minutes though because I know that glass is hotter. I used half salted butter. Could that cause the crumbling? I also wondered if maybe I should have mixed the dough a bit more. Would that help them hold together better? I’ll try them again with some tweaks ’til I get it right. I love shortbread!

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 4, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      Hi Jane! The glass pan does cook more quickly, so that could be part of it. You might try cooking it for a slightly shorter time…shortbread is forgiving…it will be delicious even when slightly under-cooked. And yes, definitely make sure you mix the dough thoroughly before patting it into the pan. Good luck with your next batch! I’m here if you have more questions…

  • Reply
    Annette
    December 19, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Never have made shortbread before but mine came out rather drier than I expected. I also only used the 1 1/2 c flour. Didn’t read the comments of increasing it to the 2 cups. Any suggestions or should it be a little dry?

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 19, 2016 at 7:25 am

      The first thing that comes to mind, Annette, is the cooking time. Even a little extra cooking can make it dryer and crumblier. When in doubt, under-bake, because the shortbread will firm up as it cools. The other thing might be that your oven is actually hotter than you realize, most ovens aren’t spot on when it comes to temperature, so I keep an oven thermometer in mine and check it every time I bake to adjust the temperature if necessary. But all that being said, shortbread has a unique texture that some people interpret as dry or crumbly. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Frances Brendley
    November 27, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    So if you don’t use the oat flour, do you increase the regular flour to 2 cups or leave it at 1 1/2 cups?

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 27, 2016 at 6:33 pm

      I would increase it, Frances.

  • Reply
    Vickie Elizardo
    November 22, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    I had cancer last year and we had no homemade treats. I have made this review recipe today and so far I think it was super easy and the little pinch I took off one corner was great.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 22, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      Yay Vickie ~ and congratulations on beating back that cancer, you deserve a treat <3 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  • Reply
    Bev
    November 18, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    made it, love it!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 18, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      <3

  • Reply
    Heidi
    October 31, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Have you tried making this with gluten free flour?

    • Reply
      VS
      August 22, 2017 at 8:17 pm

      Please let me know if you do these with gluten free flour and how they turn out. I am thinking almond flour would be best.

  • Reply
    Margaret MacKenzie
    October 5, 2015 at 11:43 am

    These are absolutely divine and flew off that platter after I made them for my family! Just wondering if the shortbread could be used as a foundation for other flavors besides almond and pecans. Lemon? Lavender? Chocolate chip? Coffee?

    Thanks Sue!

  • Reply
    cheri
    October 4, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Hi Sue, love your shortbread recipes, this one is no exception, looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Ronika
    October 3, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Wondering g if this will work just as good without the oat flour…. couldn’t find any..but want to make these so bad!!!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 3, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      It will be fine without the oat flour, Ronika, I’ve only just started adding that to my recipes, I usually use all regular flour.

      • Reply
        Ronika
        October 3, 2015 at 4:04 pm

        Yes!!! Now I can make them… thanks!!!

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's+Recipes
    October 2, 2015 at 8:54 am

    I saw LOTS of pecans there…buttery, nutty…who could ever resist them?

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 2, 2015 at 9:28 am

      I don’t do anything halfway Angie ;)

  • Reply
    Karen Harris
    October 2, 2015 at 8:02 am

    I grew up in south Texas where pecan trees are everywhere. I love them any way you want to serve them, but but baked goods are my hands down favorite. This looks like an amazing recipe.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    October 2, 2015 at 4:03 am

    Those pecans look so crisp and fresh and the shortbread buttery and melt in your mouth delicious. You are the queen of shortbread!!! Hope you have a terrific weekend :) Beautiful photos too!

  • Reply
    manu
    October 2, 2015 at 2:59 am

    I love this shortbread…it sounds yummy!
    Happy Friday

  • Reply
    Cath
    October 1, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    You got me on shortbread again! I just love it and will be trying this as soon as we loose our vacation Lbs?

  • Reply
    Sippitysup
    October 1, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    You own shortbread, girlfriend. There I said it. GREG

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 2, 2015 at 7:12 am

      :)

  • Reply
    The-FoodTrotter
    October 1, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Your recipe looks so tasty and crunchy, I love it

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 2, 2015 at 7:12 am

      Thanks foodtrotter — I know it does look a little crunchy, but it also has a soft inside, so it’s kinda both ;)

  • Reply
    Barbara
    October 1, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Chock full of pecans! Those look great, Sue. Right about holiday time I get a sack of pecans and keep them out….everyone in the family loves cracking and picking and pecans are so sweet. My mother would have loved these shortbreads..butter pecan was her favorite ice cream, too. Are you going to make that now you have the pecans?

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 2, 2015 at 7:13 am

      Well, I might have to, butter pecan is my dad’s favorite ice cream, too!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    October 1, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Those buttery crumbs are calling my name! Gorgeous shortbread!

  • Reply
    Abbe @ This is How I Cook
    October 1, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    I am so happy shortbread season is here. Yours are the best. I have collected pecans when I was in Texas. They do taste so good, but shelling pecans is something I never did. That was the kid’s job!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    October 1, 2015 at 9:05 am

    A friend of mine brought a huge bag of pecans (in the shell) to me a few years ago from her back yard tree. It was such a treasure! Your shortbread recipes never fail to amaze me. Of course the stunning photography is part of it, for sure. Drooling :)

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 1, 2015 at 9:40 am

      I would kill to have a nut tree, especially pecan! Thanks Chris :)

  • Reply
    Monique
    October 1, 2015 at 8:05 am

    I always love your shortbead recipes..this will be no exception.
    I bet they are better straight from the shell~

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 1, 2015 at 8:42 am

      Thanks Monique, I’m always amazed at how much better nuts from the shell are…now if I just had someone to crack them all for me…

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