"These ultra light and delicate meltaway cookies are flavored with chopped pecans and rolled in powdered sugar. They make great gifts or quick fix to satisfy your sweet tooth. You can bake them in a classic half-moon shape or roll them into balls - whichever you like best!"
I went a little crazy with baking last holiday season, and out of all the batches of cookies that I made, these meltaway cookies were the breakout favorites.
And if I had to guess, I’d say that was probably due to the light texture of a meltaway coupled with a delicate crunch of chopped pecans.
I mean, even typing that sentence makes me want to whip up another batch. Which is also another thing I love about these cookies: they’re not just a holiday cookie. They’re a perfect fit for any event or craving all year long.
What is a meltaway cookie?
This cookie can come in a variety of different flavors, but there’s one thing that always links them together:
The soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
The consistency is light like a Mexican wedding cookie with a slight resemblance to shortbread. In short, these cookies are very light and dry (yet still soft) and the combination is what makes them melt in your mouth.
Do you need to chill the cookie dough?
This particular recipe calls for chilling (or freezing) the cookie dough before baking, and for good reason. I know it can be frustrating to put your baking on hold, but when it comes to cookies, it’s totally worth the impact it as on your baking.
Chilling the dough helps a cookie keep its shape and prevent it from spreading while baking. Essentially, you chill the dough to chill the butter, as the firmness of the butter before baking will dictate how the dough reacts to when exposed to high heat.
If you’re curious about all the specifics behind this, check out this article: Chilling Cookie Dough: Does it Make a Difference?
Can you freeze meltaway cookies?
Due to the delicate and light texture of these cookies, I would not recommend freezing the baked cookies.
However, you can freeze the unbaked dough for up to three months. You can either freeze the whole dough ball or shape the cookies so they’re ready to bake. When ready to bake, let the dough thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then continue preparing the cookies as written in the recipe instructions.
Notes & tips for meltaway cookies
- If you’re doing a lot of holiday baking, I highly recommend having some silicone baking mats or silicone baking mats on hand. Baking cookies takes enough time without having to cut or measure parchment paper.
- Plus, some quality baking sheets are a must for a cookie baking extravaganza!
- For this recipe, I highly recommend using a stand mixer or a hand mixer. This recipe would be difficult to make by hand with a whisk.
- If you follow this recipe as it’s written, it says to remove the dough from the mixing bowl and wrap it in plastic wrap. I’ve found this to be the best for chilling dough, and if you’re baking a lot of cookies, it also helps you save valuable space in your refrigerator. However, if you really don’t want to deal with the plastic wrap, you could just cover the mixing bowl and chill it that way.
Pecan Meltaway Cookies
These ultra light and delicate meltaway cookies are flavored with chopped pecans and rolled in powdered sugar. They make great gifts or quick fix to satisfy your sweet tooth. You can bake them in a classic half-moon shape or roll them into balls - whichever you like best!
Drop mixer speed to low and add vanilla, mixing thoroughly, about 1 minute.
Keeping speed on low, quickly add flour to mixer, scooping in about 1/3 to 1/2 cup at a time. Stop mixing once dough looks smooth and uniform. Be careful not to overmix.
Turn off mixer and add ground/chopped pecans to bowl. Use a spoon or spatula to gently fold pecans into the dough.
Remove dough from bowl and place on a piece of plastic wrap. Firmly wrap dough and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Unwrap dough and use your fingers to pinch off 1-2 tablespoons, then roll dough into a ball. You can either bake these cookies as round balls or you can shape the dough into little crescent moons - either is okay. Repeat this step until all the cookie dough batter is used, spacing cookies 2 inches apart.
Bake cookies for 18-20 minutes or until bottoms of cookies begin to turn a light golden color. If baking two cookie sheets at once, rotate baking sheets halfway through cooking time.
Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Once cookies are cooled, put remaining 1/3 cup powdered sugar in a bowl. Dip cookies in powdered sugar, tossing them to coat completely. Repeat this setup until every cookie is coated.
Serve cookies immediately or store cookies in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 5 days. As cookies rest, they may absorb the powdered sugar; this is normal. If this happens, just coat them with more powdered sugar for a freshly-made look.