Cream Cheese Pecan Cookies

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

How many baking days are there left before Christmas? If you are still looking for good cookies to bake for a holiday platter, I urge you to give these cream cheese pecan cookies a whirl.

The cookie recipe is a slight adaptation of an excellent walnut cookie by Martha Stewart, featured in her book, Cookies, a veritable cookie bible. The pecan cookie is like a tangy shortbread cookie, studded with toasted pecans. Eat ’em up yum!

Cream Cheese Pecan Cookies

Cream Cheese Pecan Cookies Recipe

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Dough freezing time: 4 hours
  • Yield: Makes 4 1/2 dozen cookies

You could easily use walnuts, pistachios, or cashews in place of the pecans.


  • 3 cups pecans
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 ounces cream cheese (not whipped), room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract


1 Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coarsely chop 1 1/2 cups of the pecans and spread them on a cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until the nuts are fragrant. Set aside to cool.

2 Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl.

3 Beat together the butter and cream cheese in an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat for another minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour and salt until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in the toasted pecans.

4 Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide the dough in half. Roughly shape each half into a 8-inch log about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm, about 4 hours, but overnight is best. The dough can sit in the freezer for up to two weeks and about a month if wrapped and then placed in an airtight container.

5 Preheat the oven to 350ºF with racks on the upper and lower thirds. Finely chop the remaining 1 1/2 cups of pecans. Unwrap one of the logs of dough and roll in the pecans. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Space 1-inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats.

6 Bake cookies for 18-20 minutes or until the edges are a lightly golden. Rotate the cookies halfway through to ensure even baking. Let cool on the sheets for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.

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Martha Stewart's Cream Cheese Walnut Cookies

Showing 4 of 22 Comments

  • Sara Walz

    Is it 2 T of vanilla? Seems like a lot, just want to make sure this is correct. Have all my ingredients and ready to go!

  • Suizou

    Perfection! Thanks!

  • Marianne

    HI!! Recipe was wonderful! I noticed some of you were having a hard time with getting the pecans to stick so my solution was to brush egg whites on the roll before pressing on pecans! Worked like a charm!

  • Ala

    These cookies are delicious! Definitely my favorite cookies.
    Two questions:
    1) If I make cookies in advance, how long would they survive? I plan to make them on Tuesday, and to bring as a present on Saturday. Last time we just ate them all up within two days, so I do not know. Or maybe, it is better just to keep the dough in the freezer?
    2) I have a huge bag of walnuts, not pecans. Last time I used pecans, do you think walnuts would work the same?

    Thank you for your wonderful site!

  • CaT

    perfect and delicious! hmmmmm…. :)

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