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Nov 13, 2019

Pecan Butterscotch Shortbread Cookies

These pecan butterscotch shortbread cookies, loaded with chopped toasted pecans, chopped milk chocolate, brown sugar, and butter, plus a secret ingredient, are soft and tender.

This post and recipe were created for Christmas Cookies Week! I was sent samples by some of the sponsor companies but as always opinions are 100% mine.

Pecan Butterscotch Shortbread Cookies

These pecan shortbread cookies will call your name from the cookie tin, enticing you back for "just one more."

It may seem early to start planning your holiday baking, but we are roaring toward the holidays. Thanksgiving comes a little later this year, which means there isn't much time until Christmas. I'm already stressing!

These cookies will definitely be on the "must make" list, along with these spicy speculoos, for cookie platters and cookie exchanges.

Pecan Butterscotch Shortbread Cookies with Scotch whisky

Ingredients you will need to make these Pecan Butterscotch Shortbread Cookies:

Besides flour, vanilla, and butter, you will also need brown sugar, cornstarch, and confectioner's sugar. All of these ingredients help tenderize these cookies. 

You'll also need some premium quality milk chocolate. 

You will also need good quality pecan pieces. I used some amazing pecans from one of our sponsors, Millican Pecans. After the recipe, be sure to enter to win a gorgeous pecan prize package. 

For more delicious recipes using Millican pecans, be sure to check out these peach shortcakes, this pecan brittle, and this Ukrainian caramel honey cake

Pecan Butterscotch Shortbread Cookies with Millican pecans

There's also the secret ingredient... Scotch whisky.

We never drink Scotch Whisky. However, way back in the cupboard was this unopened bottle of Scotch that someone gave us for our wedding 40 years ago. At the time, there was pretty much only one premium brand of Scotch. We kept putting it out every time we had a party, but no one ever opened it!

This is pretty much a 52 year old Scotch whiskey. Granted, only aged 12 years in the barrel, but when I opened it, it was perfectly fine. Now that the bottle has been opened, I may have to explore cocktails made with Scotch... or continue to set it out at parties and hope someone who loves the 1970's notices it and makes Scotch and soda or Scotch on the rocks.

Pecan Butterscotch Shortbread Cookies with Millican pecans and scotch whisky

How to Make Pecan Butterscotch Shortbread Cookies:

First, you beat the butter, brown sugar, and confectioner's sugar together with the salt. Next you beat in the Scotch whisky and vanilla. It will smell divine. 

Next, add the flour and cornstarch and mix the dough until just combined. Add in the pecans and chopped chocolate and mix briefly. 

Divide the dough and roll it out between pieces of parchment and chill for a couple of hours before cutting. 

Finally, cut the dough with a cookie cutter and place the cookies into a muffin tin. The cookies will kind of be suspended a bit in the bottom of the muffin cavities. but will expand in the oven. 

Pecan Butterscotch Shortbread Cookies recipe variation:

You can also use good quality white chocolate in these cookies. Both the milk chocolate and the white chocolate will help you deliver the butterscotch flavor you're looking for. 

Pecan Butterscotch Shortbread Cookies with Millican pecans baked in a muffin tin

How to toast pecans:

I toasted the pecans in a 350 degree oven on a baking sheet, watching them very closely so that they don't burn. This should take about 7 to ten minutes. 

You can also toast the pecans in a cast iron skillet or stainless steel skillet over medium heat, tossing them frequently until fragrant and lightly browned, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Tools you will need to make these cookies: 

Pecan Butterscotch Shortbread Cookies 

The butterscotch flavors in these cookies will captivate you. 

These pecan butterscotch shortbread cookies, loaded with chopped toasted pecans, chopped milk chocolate, brown sugar, and butter, plus a secret ingredient, are soft and tender.

Pecan Butterscotch Shortbread Cookies

Pecan Butterscotch Shortbread Cookies
Yield: 45 cookies
These pecan butterscotch shortbread cookies, loaded with chopped toasted pecans, chopped milk chocolate, brown sugar, and butter, plus a secret ingredient, are soft and tender.


  • 1 3/4 cups (238 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (32 grams) cornstarch
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into chunks and allowed to reach room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Scotch whisky
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2/3 cup (80 grams) chopped toasted pecans
  • 3 ounces excellent quality milk chocolate, finely chopped


How to cook Pecan Butterscotch Shortbread Cookies

  1. Whisk together the flour and cornstarch.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (you can also use a bowl with a hand mixer), mix the butter, brown sugar, confectioner's sugar, and the salt on medium low for about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the Scotch and vanilla and mix for 1 more minute.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of the mixer and pulse a few times until the flour won't spray all over your counter. Then, mix on low until the flour mixture is just incorporated.
  5. Add the pecans and chopped chocolate and pulse a few times.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper and divide in half. Form each half into a disk.
  7. Roll out each disk between two layers of parchment paper to 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate the dough for 2 hours. You can stack the dough in the refrigerator.
  8. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray regular muffin tins with spray oil.
  9. Cut the dough with a 2-inch round cookie cutter into rounds. Drop the rounds into the muffin tin. The dough will not drop all of the way to the bottom, but will adapt while baking.
  10. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool the cookies in the pans on wire racks for at least 20 minutes. Turn the cookies out by gently inverting the pans.
  11. While you are baking, gather up the scraps, roll them out, chill, cut, and bake. Be sure to chill the leftover dough, and work with cooled muffin tins.
  12. These cookies will be fine for 5 days stored in an airtight container.
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Cookies, Butterscotch, shortbread

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Created using The Recipes Generator

This recipe was adapted from Dorie's Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. It's an amazing book. It's loaded with seriously good shortbread cookies.

Thank you to Ellen of Family Around the Table and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures for hosting #ChristmasCookies Week And a huge thank you to our sponsors Adams Extract and Millican Pecan Company for supporting the bloggers and events like Christmas Cookies Week.

Check out today's cookie recipes:

Prize 1 - Millican Pecan Tower of Treats Gift Tins

Originally founded as the West Texas Pecan Nursery in the late 1800's, Millican Pecan is now in 5th generation ownership. Located in San Saba, TX, the family continues the tradition of pecan farming while also branching the business into the online world. The family also enjoys educating people about pecans. One winner will receive The Tower of Treats Gift Tins. The tower includes 3 decorative gift tins stacked on top of each other. The bottom tin includes our 2 lb. Chocolate Pecan Sampler, the middle tin is our Flavored Pecan Sampler and the top tin is a 8 oz. tin of Milk Chocolate Caramillicans (similar to Turtles). An $80 value.

Prize 2 - Adams Extract Prize Pack

Adams traces its beginnings back to Battle Creek, Michigan, when John A. Adams began making and selling his Green Plant Sarsaparilla extract, Adamur, in 1888. In 1905, he moved his family to Beeville, TX. At the time, most vanilla sold to pharmacies and was often labeled “Do not bake or freeze.” John A. Adams' wife yearned for a flavoring that wouldn’t bake or freeze out. He announced that he could produce a better vanilla than the one his wife was currently using. Working with just $6.71 worth of materials on top of an old icebox, John A. Adams discovered the formula he wanted. To test this product, his wife whipped up a cake for the family to try. “John, this is the BEST flavoring I have ever used,” she announced. “Well, that’s old man Adams BEST,” he responded.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Two (2) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. Bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Winners have 24 hours to respond once notified by email, or they forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be chosen. The #ChristmasCookies bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members living in the household cannot enter or win the giveaway. Entries will be verified. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter giveaway and contest is open only to US residents. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #ChristmasCookies posts or entry. Thank you to our sponsors Millican Pecan Company, and Adams Extracts and Flavorings for providing prizes.

Would you like to comment?

  1. These cookies make me want to overcome my hatred for all things butterscotch! They look so yummy! Whoever thought butterscotch-flavored penicillin was a good idea when I was a child was crazy!!!

  2. These look great. My favorite cookie is shortbread, of any kind.

  3. Oh that whisky can't hurt! True shortbread!

  4. Alrighty now, Karen, you've just upped the shortbread cookie game right here.

  5. Is it wrong that I fixated on the whisky? I need this for my cookie jar.

  6. my favorite cookie when made right is chocolate chip. I love when they are soft and warm right out of the oven.

  7. I love that you can see the buttery layers on the edges of these cookies. They look perfectly delicious for the holidays.

  8. I love shortbread cookies! I love the bit of booze added to these!

  9. Karen, I made these yesterday as a part of care package and they are delicious! Thank you so much for sharing. (Side note, you have two typos in one of your pictures.) Regardless, the recipe is a keeper!

    1. Oh dear. Hilarious. I'll have to fix that! Glad you like the cookies!


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