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Pecan Finger Cookies

Decadently rich, Buttery Pecan Finger Cookies with an easy no chill cookie dough. An old fashioned quick and easy shortbread Christmas cookie recipe to fill up your holiday dessert platters and trays.
Pecan Fingers - Slender pecan finger covered and rolled in powdered sugar. Stacked in a golden wooden crate with fake cranberry in the corner. Green tree garland in the background. Text in bottom right corner reads classic pecan fingers.

The BEST southern PECAN FINGER COOKIES recipe. Easy shortbread pecan fingernut or lady finger cookies made with easy ingredients, real butter, and holiday pecans. A traditional Christmas cookie recipe.

Every Christmas it’s a tradition to bake pecan fingers with my mom. Growing up, they were not my favorite cookie, but I have grown fond of them and now bake them year-round and make a dozen batches every Christmas to hand out to family and friends.

Pecan fingers are an old-fashioned southern delight. You’ll find this decadent dessert at local grocery stores and bakery shops and just about everyone’s grandma has a secret family recipe. In fact, they are so popular that you’ll find these cookies often called ladyfinger cookies, Russian tea cookies, nutty fingers, pecan sandies, nut crescent cookies, pecan snowball cookies, and pecan shortbread cookies. They are especially popular during the Christmas holiday season. I’ve even baked them for Thanksgiving in place of pies because most don’t eat them and the cookies are always the first thing gone off the table.

Easy Pecan Fingers - Pecan fingers in a wooden crate. An overhead image of the cookies stacked and laid out with a white and black striped scarf underneath. A green ornament, brown rustic bell and fake cranberries balls in crate.

HOW TO MAKE PECAN FINGERS FROM SCRATCH

  1. Cream butter, powdered sugar, and granulated sugar.
  2. Beat in vanilla extract, and salt.
  3. Slowly mix in flour.
  4. Mix in chopped pecans.
  5. Use a 1 tbsp cookie scoop to scoop even size cookie dough balls.
  6. Roll dough into a log that is about 3 inches long by 2 inches wide.
  7. Bake in 325°F oven for 16-20 minutes.
  8. Allow cookies to cool on a rack.
  9. Roll in a bowl of powdered sugar.

REFRIGERATION: The pecan fingers cookie dough does not need any chilling before baking. That’s what makes this recipe incredible around the holiday season is that it can be baked the same day. NOTE: It is perfectly safe to refrigerate the dough for up to 4 days. Just remove it from the fridge and let it sit for 15 minutes before using it. The dough also freezes well.

Classic Pecan Fingers recipe - Slender pecan finger covered and rolled in powdered sugar. Stacked in a golden wooden crate with fake cranberry in the corner. Green tree garland in the background. Text in bottom right corner reads classic pecan fingers. A closer up image of photo 1

PECAN FINGER INGREDIENTS

■ PECANS: Use fresh pecans if it’s the first of the season you are using them. Pecans go bad so be sure to taste them (any bags you have in the pantry) first before using them in the finger recipe. Finely chop them or ground them in the food processor. TIP: Do not substitute pecans for walnuts.

■ BUTTER: I always stock up on good quality butter like Land of Lakes right around Thanksgiving when it’s on sale for the season. For the holidays, be sure to use real butter, not margarine, and not shortening. As long as you are using the right quantities of fat to flour ratio, shortening won’t need to be used unless for texture.

■ GOOD VANILLA EXTRACT: A good quality vanilla extract is best for these shortbread cookies. You’ll really be able to taste the vanilla, too so it’s best to use one you really like. I like to use this Mexican vanilla for all of my baking.

■ SUGARS: Powdered sugar and granulated sugar give this cookie just the right amount of sweetness without going overboard.

■ FLOUR: Dough will be very thick once all the flour is added to the batch. If it is very sticky, add a tablespoon more in at a time but for the most part, the dough should be thick and hold its structure.

Classic Pecan Fingers Cookie Recipe - Pecan fingers in a wooden crate. An overhead image of the cookies stacked and laid out with a white and black striped scarf underneath. A green ornament, brown rustic bell and fake cranberries balls in crate.
Text in center reads classic pecan (best southern cookie recipe fingers) in a white border with blue print.

HOW TO SERVE PECAN FINGERS

Pecan fingers are delicious with a cup of coffee or tea. I love to dunk the end of the cookie into a steaming cup as it melts in my mouth. In the south, and in the midwest, it’s perfectly acceptable to have them for both breakfast and dessert, at least in my family,

During the month of December, you’ll find me in the kitchen baking up a storm with these classic and traditional holiday recipes.

Pecan Butter Fingers - Pecan fingers on a wooden board. Rolled in powdered sugar with a string of fake cranberry balls in the background with a green and gold ornament. Spread on a white scarf with black stripes.

POPULAR CHRISTMAS COOKIE RECIPE FLAVORS

Lady Pecan Finger Cookies - Pecan fingers stacked on top of each other with a bite taken in the center. Text in center reads lady (classic Christmas recipe) finger cookies. Second image in an overhead view of pecan fingers stacked in a wooden tray with a brown bell and white scarf.
Classic Pecan Fingers recipe - Slender pecan finger covered and rolled in powdered sugar. Stacked in a golden wooden crate with fake cranberry in the corner. Green tree garland in the background. Text in bottom right corner reads classic pecan fingers. A closer up image of photo 1

Pecan Finger Cookies

Decadently rich, Buttery Pecan Finger Cookies with an easy no chill cookie dough. An old fashioned quick and easy shortbread Christmas cookie recipe to fill up your holiday dessert platters and trays.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 32
Calories 157 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature 2 sticks
  • cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 1⅓ cups pecans finely ground/chopped about 2¼ cups whole pecans
  • 2 cups powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy; about 3-5 minutes.
  • Mix in vanilla extract and salt.
  • Slowly mix in flour just until combined. Wipe down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Turn up mixer to high and mix for 30 seconds.
  • Mix in pecans until combined.
  • Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl with a spatula.
  • Scoop 1 tbsp cookie dough and roll dough into a 3-inch long finger by 2-inches wide. Space 1½ inches apart on cookie sheet.
  • Bake in oven for 16-20 minutes.
  • Allow to cool slightly then transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Once completely cool roll in a bowl of powdered sugar, slightly pressing the sugar into the finger.

Nutrition

Calories: 157kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 1gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 87mgPotassium: 28mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 180IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate and it’s accuracy is not guaranteed to be exact.

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Christmas Pecan Fingers - Pecan Fingers stacked in a wooden crate and rolled in powdered sugar.
Best Pecan Finger Cookies - Pecan fingers rolled in powdered sugar in a wooden crate stacked on a white scarf with christmas decor. Text in center reads classic pecan quick and easy christmas cookie recipe fingers. Second image is the pecan cookies stacked again with a bite out of the center of a few.

8 Responses

    1. It sounds like your cookie dough is a bit too dry, which can happen with recipes like the Pecan Finger Cookies. Here are a few tips to fix it:

      Add More Moisture: Since the dough is crumbly, it might need a bit more moisture. You can try adding a small amount of room temperature butter, one tablespoon at a time, and mix it until the dough comes together. Be careful not to add too much, as this can make the dough too greasy.

      Check Measurements: Ensure that all the ingredients were measured correctly. Sometimes, adding too much flour or not enough butter can cause the dough to be dry. The recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, ⅓ cup of granulated sugar, ½ cup of powdered sugar, and 2¼ cups of all-purpose flour.

      Mixing Technique: Make sure that the butter and sugars were creamed together properly until light and fluffy. This process incorporates air and helps to bind the ingredients together.

      Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure that your butter was at room temperature when you started. If it was too cold, it might not have mixed evenly with the other ingredients.

      Quality of Ingredients: The quality of flour and butter can affect the dough. If the flour is too absorbent, it can make the dough dry.

      Dough Handling: Overworking the dough can sometimes cause it to become dry and crumbly. Try to mix it just until the ingredients are combined.

  1. 5 stars
    They are so good! I made them to take to our Ladies Birthday Party. How should they be stored?

    1. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the Pecan Finger Cookies for your Ladies Birthday Party! To keep these delightful treats fresh and delicious, here’s how you should store them:

      Cooling: Allow the cookies to cool completely on a cooling rack before storing them. This helps prevent any moisture buildup.

      Airtight Container: Place the cooled cookies in an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid. Make sure the container is clean and dry before adding the cookies.

      Layering: If you need to stack the cookies in the container, place a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper between the layers to prevent them from sticking together.

      Room Temperature: Store the container of cookies at room temperature in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Avoid storing them in the refrigerator as it can affect their texture.

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