Pecan Praline Cookies

Pecan Praline Cookies ~ these irresistible chewy brown sugar cookies are topped with a layer of caramel pecan praline ~ you won’t be able to keep your hands off them!

Praline is a confection made with caramelized sugar, nuts, and cream.

The French invented it, but the American South took it and ran with it ~ you can make it into a candy, a glaze, or a soft, fudgy frosting, and it’s heavenly.

The hot caramel praline topping spreads like lava over the surface of this cookie…it may slide off the side a bit, but will firm up as it cools. It’s delicious. You may or may not want to take a big spoon to the pan after you’ve finished frosting your cookies. I use a similar method to frost my pumpkin praline cake ~ I pour the praline hot from the pan right onto the cake and firms up to a luscious caramel topping as it cools…it’s irresistible. In the summer I make a brown sugar peach cake frosted the same way.

This recipe is easy and straightforward,  there’s no chilling of the dough, all you do is scoop and bake. The brown sugar insures that they spread nicely.

My 3 secrets to perfect cookies~

  1.   I use a cookie scoop (1 1/2 inch for this recipe) to insure that the cookies are the same size.
  2.  I also use a heavy duty USA baking sheet for all my cookie recipes, the pan bakes evenly and never warps.
  3.  I keep an inexpensive oven thermometer in my oven at all times so I know exactly what the temperature is.

These three tools go a long way toward eliminating baking fails during the busy holiday season.

If you’ve never made praline before, don’t be intimidated.

This frosting is very forgiving, you can make it thicker or thinner, as you like. If it starts to harden up before you’re finished with it, just heat it up again. Eventually it will dry so you can stack the cookies for easy gifting or storing.

TIP: These pecan praline cookies are really good all on their own, even without the frosting. The brown sugar gives them great flavor and keeps them nice and chewy. They might just become my go-to sugar cookie.

Pecan praline cookies provide a delicious change from oatmeal or chocolate chip recipes, and the rich caramel flavor is distinctive. They are sturdy enough to pack and ship, and stay nice and chewy for days. Add them to your holiday assortment this year!

4.47 from 41 votes

Pecan Praline Cookies

Pecan Praline Cookies ~ these irresistible chewy brown sugar cookies are topped with a layer of caramel pecan praline ~ you won't be able to keep your hands off them!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes
Yield 24 cookies
Calories 206kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar you can use light brown
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

praline frosting

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups confectioner’s sugar sifted
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans


  • Set oven to 350F
  • Line a heavy duty baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  • Toss the flour, soda, and salt together to blend well, and then add to the butter mixture, beating just until the dough comes together and everything is well incorporated.
  • Use a 1 1/2 inch cookie scoop to scoop out the dough onto the baking sheet. Space the cookies 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes (mine took exactly 11 minutes.) Cool the cookies for a few minutes on the pan so they can set, and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  • To make the frosting put the cream and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Break up any lumps in the brown sugar while you stir. Once it comes to a boil, boil for 2 minutes (set the timer.)
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the confectioner’s sugar until smooth.
  • Let the praline cool a little bit so it thickens up, and then spread onto the cookies. Note: if your praline is very thin, beat in more sifted confectioner’s sugar.
  • Top right away with the chopped nuts. The praline will harden as it cools.

Cook’s notes

*recipe adapted from Paula Deen’s Fall Baking


Calories: 206kcal
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Make it your own ~

  • Use the hot praline mixture as a topping for ice cream.

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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    G Evert
    October 3, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    Just took out of the oven and they did not spread at all. Followed directions exactly except put in 1/4 tsp more salt as like my cookies more salty tan sweet. The dough tastes good but certainly don’t look like picture? Going to look up and see if I can save dough somehow

  • Reply
    December 17, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Hi, can I incorporate chocolate chips to the cookie?

    • Reply
      December 17, 2019 at 11:04 am

      Sure, sound good!

  • Reply
    Sandra Swimmer
    December 1, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    I was watching a Cooking show onCookies and the praline cookie was one of them, so I googled sugar cookies with Pecan praline sauce and your recipe came up. Well guess what I know it’s a winner at my Senior Apartment Cookie Contest. I will let you know. Can not wait.

    • Reply
      December 1, 2019 at 3:26 pm

      Let us know!

  • Reply
    August 8, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    5 stars
    Holy God on high these were phenomenal!! Thank you!! I only had light brown sugar so they were a bit lighter and am anxious to use the dark sugar next time! And there will be MANY NEXT TIMES! I also toasted the pecans on the stove in a dry pan.

    • Reply
      August 9, 2019 at 9:32 am

      Yay! These will be perfect for the holidays, too.

  • Reply
    M B C
    December 22, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    5 stars
    These cookies almost started a (funny) family WW3! My cousin made them for Thanksgiving: they were a HIT. My aunt G wrapped up the last one to take home, & later that night blamed my uncle K for eating it because she couldn’t find it. He swore he didn’t!!! He called the family to see if they left it, nobody saw it left behind! My Aunt G REALLY didn’t believe him at that point and she was MAD. Come to find out, Aunt G had accidentally dropped it in the driveway when leaving. Aunt D found it, didn’t tell anybody, took it home & shared it with Uncle D. Uncle K said he was driving over there to get that cookie, they laughed & said TOO LATE!! Needless to say, everybody got MORE at Christmas! ? They will now b a family tradition I’m sure!!!

    • Reply
      December 22, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      Thanks for the laugh, MBC ~ I can’t stop chuckling! It sounds like you’ve got a fun family ~ Merry Christmas 🙂

    • Reply
      August 26, 2018 at 10:46 am

      Great story!

  • Reply
    November 17, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Sue, thanks for the recipe! I had concerns when the didn’t come together as most other cookie dough, but when I scooped them they held together like a charm. They didn’t spread as thin as in your photos (which are mouthwatering, btw) but they were beautiful. They tasted amazing every step along the way! Going into a sugar coma now, but these will definitely see the annual cookie exchange!

  • Reply
    November 9, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Not sure what I did wrong, but my dough never came together after adding the flour. I’m going to smoosh it together and bake them anyway and see what happens!

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