Cream Cheese Pecan Cookies


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

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Showing 4 of 16 Comments

  • CaT

    perfect and delicious! hmmmmm…. :)

  • kayg

    would that be okay to have it as cashew nuts..? :)

    Don’t know. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  • Andrea

    I made these for a friend and they turned out great! I put pistachios and cranberries in to add some extra color as well as some orange zest for flavor. Delicious cookies and cookie dough ;)

  • don

    If completely frozen, I would recommend that these be thawed a bit. I would be baking cookies now, except for the knife not being able to penetrate the roll.

  • Angela

    I LOVE shortbread and am a sucker for any different twist on the basic cookie. These were awesome!! After reading all the comments I decided to try something a little different during the process.

    After I made the dough, I put the rolled logs in the REFRIGERATOR for about 4 hours until firm then I rolled the logs in the chopped, raw pecans. After this I rolled each log in plastic wrap and stuck them in the freezer overnight. This way I had no trouble getting the pecans to stick to the rolls.

    Also in answer to Lulu’s question about spreading, these cookies didn’t. And also they were easy to slice in neat round pieces.

    I made these cookies for my son’s New Years party at work and the they were a hit!

    I kept an extra log in the freezer so now I can just slice off a few at time to bake when I need a sweetie to go with my tea.

    Thanks Elise

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