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”