Pecan dreams are a classic cookie I’d always see on my Grandma’s dessert table. A crisp, buttery cookie laced with finally chopped pecans and rolled in powdered sugar.
These cookies were always present on my grandma’s cookie trays. After stealing a few of the Hershey Kisses from off of her peanut butter blossoms, I’d move on to her pecan dreams. And boy are they addictive! They are the perfect size to pop into your mouth as you walk in and out of the kitchen.
This year I wanted to make a few of the Christmas cookie recipes I have and wanted to start with my maternal grandmother’s recipe for pecan dreams. Although these cookies are so classically retro, they’re also simple, make a boat load (65+ cookies!) making these great for pot lucks, cookie swaps and to have at your the holiday dessert table. Or for those times when you’re kicking yourself for not ordering the Instant Pot on Cyber Monday when it was basically half off and you are regretful and need to eat allthefeelings.
Hopefully Santa reads my blog. 😉
First add all the ingredients into a large bowl. That’s 2 sticks unsalted butter, 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, 6 rounded tablespoons powdered sugar, 1 cup finely chopped pecans, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and 2 to 3 teaspoons of water.
Then blend until the dough is all mixed together and slightly crumbly.
Next, take small amounts of dough and roll each of them into small balls no larger than a nickel in diameter. Place the cookies an inch apart on a silpat [affiliate] or parchment-lined, rimmed sheet pan.
Then slide the pan of cookies onto the middle rack of your oven and bake at 350° for 14 minutes.
Now let the cookies cool on the pan for 3 minutes before gently tossing, a few at a time, into a bowl of powdered sugar.
The warmth of the cookies will melt the powdered sugar a bit creating a powdered sugary glaze in spots.
The cookies themselves are light and crisp, buttery and nutty. I love the texture and simplicity of these cookies. I had some mini-muffin liners that I like to place them in the middle of and then place them onto a platter.
Just be warned, these are majorly delicious and extremely addicting!
Enjoy! And if you give this Pecan Dreams cookie recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- 6 rounded tablespoons powdered sugar, plus 2/3 cup more for rolling
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 teaspoons water, as needed
- Preheat your oven to 350° and line two rimmed baking sheets with a silpat or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, add all the ingredients. Mix on medium-low until combined. Dough should be a little crumbly.
- Form dough into little balls (the width being no larger than a nickel) and place on prepared pan, 1-inch apart.
- Slide the pan onto the middle rack of your oven and bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
- Allow the cookies to cool for 3 to 4 minutes on the pan before rolling a few at a time in powdered sugar.
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We used to call them snowballs. I have a funny story. A friend of mine made them for the first time, and didn’t want to take the time to roll each one in powdered sugar. So she put them all in a large plastic bag with the powdered sugar and shook them!!! Obviously, they all broke apart into crumbs. She never tried to make them again. True story.
HAAA! I must admit, when having to roll 60+ cookies in the powdered sugar– it’s pretty tempting to want to do the same thing. That’s hilarious!
My mother made these every Christmas when I was growing up! I haven’t had them in years… but yours look so delicious, I’m going to make these asap! Thanks, Laurie!
Aren’t these cookies just the best! Happy Holidays, Jane! <3
Can the uncooked dough be frozen and then baked immediately and add a few mins?
Hi Samantha! I honestly have never tried it, so I can’t say. Sorry!
has anyone ever converted this recipe to gluten free? Curious as I used to LOVE these cookies as a child before I became wheat intolerant. Thanks
Can you substitute pecans for walnuts?
I was so happy to see these. My Mom made these every Christmas and they are a family favorite! My Mom has been gone many years and her recipe is getting hard to read. I was so happy to see this hers match’s yours except she chills the dough before rolling. Thanks so much!!
I’m so glad Teri! ❤️