Pecan and Cranberry Cookies

I’m just going to say it now: these Pecan and Cranberry Cookies might be the most perfect Christmas cookies ever.

Technically, they’re called wedding cookies – crumbly rounds of pecan cookies rolled in powdered sugar that are often served at Southern weddings.

But to make it more festive, I added cranberries, a favorite holiday ingredient. And after rolling them in powdered sugar, I realized they look like adorable little snow globes in winter white. So I figured they’re now even more suited to be Christmas cookies.

And they really are perfect: rich, buttery balls with chopped pecans and chopped cranberries, dusted in confectioner’s sugar. They have just the right amount of sweetness, with a texture that straddles the balance between delicateness and sturdiness. Each bite will leave a dusting of powdered sugar on your fingers and lips, each bite will melt in your mouth and coax out some mmm-mmms.

These would be wonderful on holiday platters, a bright and buttery complement to chewy cookies and other chocolate-laden treats.  The cranberries add a little tartness, and the pecans make such a supple, rich taste.

I only used one bowl to make these cookies, but admittedly it does take a little more time to make them compared to my other cookie recipes.  These cookies have longer baking times, and you’ll need to roll each cookie in powdered sugar individually. But it’s still pretty easy! No eggs, no mixer, no chilling the dough. Just a lot of elbow grease and patience, especially if you’re making several batches at once. The hardest part for me was finely chopping the pecans and cranberries – and that’s not even hard, by any baking standard.

Actually, I take that back. The hardest part for me was not inhaling several cookies at once.

Wedding Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Pecan Cookies, Pecan Cranberry Shortbread Balls, Pecan and Cranberry Cookies, it doesn’t really matter what they’re called. And though they might be a little messy to eat – you’ll leave a trail of the powdered sugar everywhere – each crumbly, buttery bite is worth it.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Pecan and Cranberry Cookies


12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 275 F.
  2. In a big mixing bowl, whip together butter and 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar, until soft and fluffy. Add flour in four batches, mixing until well combined. Stir in pecans, cranberries, vanilla, and salt.
  3. Using a standard cookie scoop (or a heaping 1 tablespoon of dough), portion out dough on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake in the middle rack one sheet at a time, for 30 minutes, rotating sheets halfway.
  4. Let cookies cool completely. Place remaining 1 cup confectioner's sugar in a shallow dish and roll each cookie in sugar until well coated.

adapted from a Saveur recipe


I hope you make these cookies, enjoy them with some family and friends, and relish all the powdery goodness!


32 Responses to “Pecan and Cranberry Cookies”

  1. #
    Megan posted December 6, 2013 at 8:52 am

    They do look absolutely perfect for Christmas. I’ve had something similar but without the cranberries — what a great addition!

  2. #
    Erica @ In and Around Town posted December 6, 2013 at 11:32 am

    What a great texture, flavor and color combination! Sound similar to Mexican Wedding Cookies

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted December 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      Yes, Mexican Wedding Cookies! I forgot to write that…

  3. #
    Monica posted December 6, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I love seeing all these fabulous cookies this time of year! I’m glad these turned out so well. I’ve been wanting to make almond crescents, wedding cookies, and similar for ages. So hard to narrow down the list and you are not helping. : )

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted December 6, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      Hehe thanks Monica. Good luck planning all your holiday baking ;)

  4. #
    Michelle Lahey posted December 6, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    These types of cookies are my absolute favorite, especially this time of year. I love the addition of cranberries in these!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted December 6, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      Thank you! Everyone who tried them loved them!

  5. #
    Dana @ Simply Romanesco posted December 6, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    These cookies are adorable, delicious and perfect for Christmas and the holiday season! And I love the combination of flavors :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted December 6, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      Thank you! There’s something so decadent about desserts with pecans… and lots of butter! ;)

  6. #
    Jersey Girl Cooks posted December 6, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Love these cookies and adding cranberries is a nice holiday idea.

  7. #
    Eva @ Eva Bakes posted December 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Yum! I am definitely *that girl* who licks my fingers from all the powdered sugar after eating these cookies. Heh heh. =)

  8. #
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs posted December 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Aww powdered sugar makes these so pretty! And I bet they’re delish as well, I love them! :)

  9. #
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl posted December 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    I love the powdered sugar on this delicious cookies, definitely puts me in the holiday spirit!

  10. #
    christina posted December 6, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    omg they’re like the amazing upgraded version of wedding cookies. YUM!

  11. #
    ATasteOfMadness posted December 6, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    What a coincidence! I made some cookies like these without cranberries a few days ago, but haven’t posted them yet. Too bad I didn’t wait up, then I would have put some cranberries in them too. Darn!

  12. #
    Amy (Savory Moments) posted December 7, 2013 at 7:56 am

    My great-grandmother used to make these every year for Christmas and my mom still does sometimes. I should make them this year — they are delicious! I definitely like the idea of adding cranberries!

  13. #
    Liz posted December 7, 2013 at 9:18 am

    I just made a version of these with toffee. Now I need to add cranberries…what a yummy addition!

  14. #
    Cailee @ posted December 7, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Wow!! These look so pretty! they are like little tasty snowballs! YUM! And I love cranberry with nuts!!

  15. #
    Sherri S posted December 7, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Here’s an idea; make with chopped almonds, candied cherries and amaretto flavoring! Also looks nice for Christmas.

  16. #
    yummychunklet posted December 7, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Lovely looking winter cookies!

  17. #
    vicky and Ruth @ May I have that recipe? posted December 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    WOW! they look that they will melt in your mouth. Love that you added the crunch of the pecans and the chewiness of the cranberries.

  18. #
    Sarah & Arkadi posted December 8, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    These look so heavenly!

  19. #
    Joanne posted December 9, 2013 at 7:12 am

    These are one of my favorite Christmas cookies!! And I kind of love that almost every culture has a version of them. The cranberry mix in is so fun!

  20. #
    Natalie posted December 9, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Great holiday cookies, they look delicious!

  21. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes posted December 9, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Yes, these DO look like the perfect Christmas cookie!!

  22. #
    Simply Life posted December 9, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    For several years, I always avoided these cookies- but recently I’ve rediscovered them and looove their sweet flavor! This looks great!

  23. #
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen posted December 9, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    They look so festive! One of my mom’s friends always makes something that looks really similar to these around Christmas and they’re always so buttery and delicious. I love the idea of adding cranberries!

  24. #
    Chocolate Shavings posted December 10, 2013 at 6:57 am

    These sounds lovely, and a great addition to any cookie platter at this time of year!

  25. #
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert posted December 11, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I bet that tiny bite of tart cranberry is really terrific in this sweet buttery cookie. Very nice!

  26. #
    Amy @ Elephant Eats posted December 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Mmm, I love cookies like these that are coated in powdered sugar. They look so buttery and delicious! I’m excited to start on my holiday baking this weekend!

  27. #
    Sacha posted December 17, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    I love wedding cooking. I think that the addition of the tart cranberries to the buttery cookie is a great contrast to the sweet powdered sugar coating. They’re like little Christmas snowballs!



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