Pecan Pie Cookies Are an Adorable Take on a Classic Dessert|Recipes Spots

  • on December 1, 2023
Pecan Pie Cookies Are an Adorable Take on a Classic Dessert


Stack of pecan pie cookies on a plate
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

I wouldn’t say I’m particularly picky with sweets—I love a grocery store cake way more than you might think—but I also know what I like. Pecan tassies (like pecan pie) are one of those desserts that I deeply enjoy, but only if they’re just right. 

First and foremost, pecan pie cookies need to have a buttery and flaky crust. The filling should be simple to make, sweet but not cloying, and packed with pecans. Finally, and maybe most importantly, the ratio of filling and dough needs to be spot on.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a recipe that has everything I’m looking for. So I took matters into my own hands and developed this recipe for dreamy pecan pie cookies. Baked until golden brown, fragrant, and toasty, these tassies will have everyone running to the kitchen to grab one.

Stack of pecan pie cookies on a plate with a mustard colored table napkin in the background
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

A Pie-Like Crust

Pecan pie cookies come in many forms. Among the most common are drop cookies, thumbprint cookies, and (my personal favorite) tassies. While the first two are cookies with a pecan pie flavor, tassies are the closest to the classic pie—with a crust and filling.

The real magic here is in the crust. Whereas most tassie recipes have you beat softened butter and cream cheese with flour, I take a pie crust approach, pulsing cold, cubed butter and cream cheese with a blend of flour, sugar, and salt to form the dough. This means the crust is light and flaky.

Stack of three pecan pie cookies on a counter (top cookie bitten into), and in the surroundings, more pecan pie cookies on the counter and on a plate
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

5 Tips for Making Pecan Pie Cookies

  1. Take care to press the dough in the tin and create a deep well. The dough filling will rise a good amount which can lead to the syrup from the filling spilling over if the well isn’t deep enough.
  2. If the dough chills too long—I recommend just 5 minutes—it’ll crack along the top edge and will look jagged after baking. If it cracks, you can press the dough back together and the heat of your fingers will smooth it out.
  3. When you divide the filling into the wells, give it a stir every few portions. This helps evenly distribute the pecans and syrup. 
  4. A small offset spatula or tip of a paring knife slid along the side helps pop the tassies out of the pan.
  5. Don’t let the cookies cool completely in the pan. If any sugar bubbles over, which is totally normal, it can make the tassies stick to the pan, making it a bit more difficult to remove. 

How To Store and Pack the Cookies

Pecan pie cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. They’re the absolute best the day of as the crust will be at its lightest and most flaky, but they do keep well. 

They also travel well. To avoid the outer crust from flaking in transit, you’ll want to nestle the tassies against one another and avoid a vessel that’s too big. Pick an airtight container that is just large enough to hold them. If you need to stack them, place a piece of parchment or wax paper between the layers.

Two pecan pie cookies or tassies stacked up with a bite taken out of the top one
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Pecan Party

  • The Best Pecan Pie
  • Turtle Cookies
  • Pecan Pie Bars
  • Yellowhammer Cookies
  • Chocolate Pecan Tart

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven. Lightly spray the cavities of a 24-cavity (or two 12-cavity) mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Make the dough:

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the cold cubed butter and cream cheese and pulse until the dough comes together in one mass, about 30 to 50 one-second pulses. 

Cubed butter in a food processer with powdered sugar for pecan pie cookie recipe
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm
Butter mixture after pulsed in a food prcessor for pecan pie cookie recipe
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Portion and press the dough:

Divide the dough into 24 one-tablespoon portions (about 19g each). Use your hands to roll each portion into a ball and place a ball into each cavity of the prepared mini muffin tin. Chill the dough in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up slightly. 

Use a tassie press, small measuring spoon, skinny shot glass, or your knuckle to push the dough into the cup and all the way up the side, creating a well in the center. Take care to press the dough and create wells that are deep and wide because the dough and filling will puff as they bake. Return the muffin tin to the freezer while you make the filling.

Table spoon portions of pecan pie cookie dough in a mini muffin loaf
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm
Tassie press flattening pecan pie cookie dough portions into the muffin pan
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm
Thub flattening pecan pie cookie dough portions into the muffin pan
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Make the filling:

In a medium bowl, whisk the maple syrup, brown sugar, melted butter, granulated sugar, egg yolk, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon (if using) until combined and there are no lumps of sugar. Add the pecans and stir to coat the nuts in the maple syrup mixture.

Wet ingredients for the filling whisked together in a Bowl
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm
Chopped pecans added to the filling mixture in the bowl with a rubber spatula
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Divide the filling and bake:

Equally divide the pecan filling into each dough well, about a heaping 1/2 tablespoon each. 

Bake the cookies until puffed, the dough is golden to golden brown around the edges, and the filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes.

Pecan pie cookies filled with pecan filling
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Cool and serve:

Cool the tassies slightly in their pan set over a wire rack, about 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies directly to the rack to cool completely. If desired, very lightly dust with powdered sugar before serving. 

Leftover pecan pie cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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Pecan pie tassies on the muffin tin on a cooling rack
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm
Pecan pie tassies resting on the cooling rack
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm
Powdered sugar sprinkled onto pecan pie cookies on a cooling rack
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm
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