Toasted Pecan Brown Sugar Spice Cookies

These toasted pecan cookies are going to make Santa really, really happy! This family heirloom recipe, made with brown sugar, toasted pecans, cinnamon and a hint of ginger, is perfect for winter baking! The whole house smells warm and cozy when these are in the oven! The crispy edges and chewy center have plenty of pecans in every bite! You won’t see any crumbs left on Santa’s plate when you put these out! 🎄🎄🎄

We especially love these easy pecan cookies, because they smell divine coming out of the oven, and even long after they’ve cooled, you can still smell the cinnamon and spice. Even though there is a hint of powdered ginger, it really doesn’t taste at all like a ginger cookie, but rather a spice cookie because of the cinnamon. These cookies freeze very well, so if you plan to bake ahead of time for your holiday cookies, you can store them in the freezer for a couple of weeks.

This cookie originally had the name Bachelor Button on our old family recipe card, but when we started researching why, it seemed freakishly outdated. Apparently the cookies, often made with a thumbprint, somehow reminded someone of the $1 annual “bachelor” tax passed by the state of Missouri in 1821 to encourage men between the ages of 21 and 50 to get married! That would never fly nowadays! However Missouri was not alone, Montana also imposed a $3 annual bachelor’s tax, but it all seemed to have its origins in 9 AD, when Roman Emperor Augustus imposed the Lex Papia Poppaea, which taxed single men and married couples who did not have children. The tax was for the purpose of encouraging procreation, but was also found to be a great source of revenue for the state!

Now, we really have no direct connection between the bachelor tax and these delicious cookies, but that’s as much information as we could find! Besides all of this crazy history, when we researched Bachelor Button cookies, there was really no central theme around these cookies. Some were made with dried fruit or oatmeal, others with frosting, some with thumbprints and others no indentation at all! So, we thought it was high time this cookie got a new name, more reflective of it’s make up!

We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Toasted Pecan Brown Sugar Spice Cookies

Made with brown sugar, toasted pecans, cinnamon and a hint of ginger, these cookies have crispy edges, chewy centers and plenty of pecans in every bite.
Servings 30 Cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes


  • 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature 1 1/2 sticks, or 6 oz. or 12 tablespoons
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. powdered ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 30 pecan halves, toasted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar for rolling dough balls in


  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
  • Toast pecans on a baking sheet for 5-7 minutes. Cool to room temp. Chop enough to make 1 cup chopped and reserve 30 halves for topping each cookie.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar together with a beater until fluffy.
  • Add unbeaten egg and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Stir in vanilla.
  • Sift flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir into butter mixture.
  • Stir in chopped pecans.
  • Roll dough into small balls, about 1 1/4-inch in diameter. Roll each of the balls in the granulated sugar and place on baking sheet.
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  • Using a dinner fork, indent the prongs into the top of each dough ball, flattening the cookies to about 1/4-inch thick and 2-inches in diameter.
  • Place one pecan half in the center of each cookie.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are just turning brown and the cookie is done in the center.
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Course: Dessert
Keyword: brown sugar cookies, cookie recipes, toasted pecans

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