Toffee Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Have you ever had toffee pecan shortbread cookies? When I was planning out my 12 days of cookies, this flavor combination came to mind, and I’m so glad that it did! The combination of sweet and salty is so delicious in these holiday shortbread cookies.

Of course, you don’t have to make these cookies just for the holidays.

This recipe is going on my year-round baking list because they are just that good! Read below for the recipe.

toffee pecan shortbread cookies

What are Toffee Pecan Shortbread Cookies?

You might even call them toffee pecan shortbread bars vs cookies based on how they are shaped and cut, but I consider this a cookie just cut differently.

These toffee pecan shortbread cookies consist of the classic shortbread ratio of 3-2-1. This means there are 3 parts flour, 2 parts butter, and 1 part granulated sugar.

Note that the ratios are by weight, not volume. So if you use cups instead of grams as the ratio measure, they will not turn out correctly. But don’t worry, I’ve got that all figured out for you in the recipe.

These holiday shortbread cookies also include toffee bits and finely chopped pecans that make every bite delicious and indulgent.

pecan shortbread cookies with toffee and chocolate

How to Make Soft Shortbread Cookies

Sometimes shortbread cookies err on the side of being crumbly to create that soft texture.

But we don’t want super crumbly cookies. Instead, we want soft cookies. The secret ingredient for creating that softness is cornstarch. Super inexpensive and easily accessible, cornstarch does wonders for softening cookies.

Cornstarch also helps the ingredients to melt together better somehow. I don’t have a scientific answer for why just yet, but I’m working on it.

Also, the lack of liquids in shortbread prevents the flour from developing tough gluten strands, which also adds to the softness of the cookies.

chocolate toffee shortbread cookies

3 Tips for Making the Best Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Follow these 3 tips to make the best toffee pecan shortbread cookies, and you’ll be well on your way to cookie bliss!

1. Use Soft Butter

If you make shortbread with super cold butter, it’s going to be more difficult for the butter and flour to come together properly. Use room temperature butter because it makes mixing the dough properly so much easier.

Also note that the dough will look crumbly when it’s mixed, but don’t worry. It should look like that after mixing. The shortbread dough will not come together completely until you press it into the shortbread pan.

2. Chop the Pecans

You can buy chopped pecans, but sometimes the nuts aren’t quite small enough. Whether you’re using whole or pre-chopped pecans, chop them either way until they are small and fine.

3. Press the Dough

When you turn the dough out into the shortbread pan (which is just a 9 inch tart pan for this recipe), you may be thinking that the dough is too dry and it’s not going to come together.

But don’t worry! Press the dough into the pan until the dough is completely flat and smooth. To help with this process, you can use the back of a measuring cup to press and smooth out the surface of the shortbread.

You’ll need to use your fingers to press the dough down in the ridges of the tart pan, though, as it will be impossible to press otherwise.

As a side note, you can use a 9×9 square pan if you don’t have a tart pan. But for the holidays, a tart pan creates an especially beautiful design!

toffee shortbread with pecans and chocolate

How to Make Decorated Holiday Shortbread Cookies

Why not add some pizzazz to your holiday shortbread cookies? Of course, if you aren’t making these for the holidays, then you can leave them plain.

If you are making these for a gift, a cookie swap, or a special holiday party, dress them up a little to really wow your guests.

The easiest way to do that is by drizzling chocolate on top. If you want to take it a step further, pipe some green or white candy melts on the wedges to look like trees. Add a few sprinkles on top to make them extra festive and fun.

The wedges are particularly fun because they look like trees, so you can really dress them up in fun ways to make them into beautifully decorated shortbread cookies that will wow anyone.

Other Recipes You’ll Want to Try

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Toffee pecan shortbread

toffee pecan shortbread cookie slice pulled otu slightly from the center, on a white and wood pedestal

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  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Cookies

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 225 g all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 28 g finely chopped pecans (1/4 c)
  • 78 g toffee bits (1/2 c)
  • 3 oz Semi-sweet or Bittersweet Chocolate (optional)
  • Vanilla apeels for white drizzle (optional)
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer on medium low speed until creamy. 
  2. Add all remaining ingredients and mix until dough is crumbly and beginning to come together. The dough will not come together into a ball, as it is a drier dough.
  3. Pour the dough into a 9 inch tart pan and press the dough into the pan firmly until it’s smooth and even.
  4. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on top.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely, about 1 hour.
  6. Remove tart from pan and cut into wedges. Enjoy as is, or read below.
  7. Before cutting into wedges, melt the chocolate and spread it in a thin layer on the cookie tart. Drizzle with melted vanilla apeels if desired, and add sprinkles. Let dry, and then cut into wedges. Note that both the chocolate and sprinkles are optional. These shortbread cookies are delicious without any embellishment.

Notes

This is a Baker Street Society original recipe

piece of toffee pecan shortbread with a bite taken

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