Rating: 4 stars
1 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 0
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

This is a twist on the traditional pecan shortbread cookies, with a little fresh orange juice and zest added to the mixture. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.


Recipe Summary

15 mins
3 hrs 10 mins
3 hrs 55 mins
30 mins
24 cookies


Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract, orange juice, water, and orange zest; beat until blended. Add flour and pecans and mix with a spoon until blended but crumbly. Cover and place in the refrigerator until chilled, 3 hours to overnight.

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

  • Scoop up about a golf-ball-size of dough and press together into a ball. Flatten and smooth the edges, making sure the dough is firm and not flaky or crumbly, or else cookies will not rise or expand as they bake. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until edges are golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool, 8 to 10 minutes more.

  • Sift some confectioners' sugar into a small bowl. Drop a cookie into the sugar, shake the bowl, flip the cookie, and agitate again to cover in sugar. Repeat with remaining cookies, adding more sugar as necessary.

Cook's Notes:

Only use freshly squeezed orange juice and fresh or frozen orange zest (the dark part of the orange skin). A medium orange will easily yield the juice and zest required. Grate the orange with the fine part of a grater down to the lighter part of the skin.

Be sure to finely chop the pecans almost to a powder. You want the flavor and texture, but the size of the nuts needs to be small.

When the dough is initially made it will appear crumbly. Chilling the dough keeps the butter from blending completely with the flour and results in the "shortbread" texture of the cookie.

Nutrition Facts

168 calories; protein 1.6g; carbohydrates 15.5g; fat 11.3g; cholesterol 20.3mg; sodium 54.8mg. Full Nutrition