Recipe: Pecan Cherry Cookies

It doesn’t happen around here much, but I have a recipe for you today.  A Christmas cookie recipe – Pecan Cherry Cookies to be exact, and boy are they good!

It is the second week of December and in my house that means one thing – time to bake – bake Christmas cookies for my friend Karen’s annual cookie exchange party.   Over the years, this party has become more about getting together with good friends than the cookies – but who doesn’t like Christmas cookies?  They seem to be everywhere – even in the latest issue of Ladies Home Journal with Ina Garten on the cover?

Ina Garten cover of Ladies Home Journal

Did you see the article?  I would have loved to been one of the bloggers invited to her home in East Hampton, NY for a recent cookie exchange that was featured in the magazine.  Looks like they had a good time.   (If you are new to my blog – Ina is my favorite, even though I don’t enjoy cooking  – I love her and her style.  You could call me one of Ina’s non-foodie groupies – big time!)

Ina Garten and Food bloggers

Back to my reality and my friend Karen’s cookie exchange party.  In previous years, I have made cut out, iced, sprinkled, and even pretzel reindeers for the annual cookie exchange. None of them matched my expectations, but when I presented them in a pretty way, it made up for my lack of baking perfection.

This year I have decided – refrigerator cookies are just my style  – they are homemade and delicious, but don’t require a lot of time and fuss.  What Ina is all about, right?

These are not one of Ina’s recipes, but one that Karen made for her party a few years ago.  My family loved them dunked in a tall glass of cold milk and since then they have become a holiday staple in my house.


I received an email a few weeks ago from Lehigh Valley Dairy Farms inviting me to enter their Most Dunkable Cookie Contest.  I decided why not go for it since I am going to be making cookies any way.  My youngest is home and between she and Ed, they can go through a few gallons of this milk a week.  Milk and cookies  – nothing could be better.

I tweaked the recipe a little by rolling them in sanding sugar before baking instead of rolling in powered sugar after baking – they are just as good and dunkable either way.  (Sanding sugar is the colored sugar used to embellish baked goods.  It comes in lots of different colors. I used clear/white.  You can buy it at any grocery store in basic colors.  There is a store near me that sells it in every imaginable color and different size granule’s.)

Pecan Cherry Dunkers

These are so easy to make – mix all the ingredients and then roll into logs and refrigerate. When chilled, all that is left to do is slice and bake. Cut them about ¼” thick – perfect for dunking into a cold glass of milk or hot coffee or tea.

Printable .pdf of recipePecan Cherry Dunkers


Gather the ingredients:  1 cup butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 ¼ cups flour, 1 cup chopped pecans, 2 cups candied cherries, 2 cups sanding sugar.


Cream the butter and sugar.


Add the egg, flour, and vanilla.


Add the pecans and cherries.


Cut dough into thirds and roll each into a log. Cover with wax paper and refrigerate for 3 hours.


Once chilled, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Roll the edges or entire slice into sanding sugar.

Easy Christmas cookie recipes

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 325 for 12-15 minutes on the middle oven rack.


A Plateful of Pecan Cherry Cookies Just in Time for Christmas.

Now, I just have to hide them so we don’t eat them all before the cookie exchange party later in the week.



  1. Cheryl Brindle says

    Yum yum! Be sure to share the fun with a photo of the cookie party yet to come! Can’t wait.

  2. Judy says

    Would love to win the cookie cutters-I have quite a collection and would love this addition! The Peacan Cherry Dunkers look delish!

  3. Meg says

    Wow, these reminded me of Christmases with my Grandmama. I could almost taste these just looking at them! She would always allow us to “help” though I’m sure four girls were NO help. But she always had patience in making her cookies. she made these with just the pecans and they are great that way too! I’d long since lost the recipe so this is a Christmas present for me!! Thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays to all!

  4. Linda Southworth says

    What delectable looking cookies! I love cherry. Ok, I am going to have to make these but find out what sanding sugar is first! Thanks Diane!

  5. Lori D says

    Wow! All these years I have avoided candied cherries but these are now on my list. Just too beautiful to resist!

  6. Lori D says

    I liked the Lehigh Valley Dairy Farms FB page- they actually have some good info there…Thanks!

  7. Kerby says

    These look delicious! Have you done fresh cherries or dried cherries ever? And what about almonds instead of pecans? Maybe I’m just crazy??

  8. Rae Cicelske says

    Cookie cutters are fun and the grandkids just love cutout cookies, so yes I like cookie cutters

    • says

      Hi Rae –
      Congratulations! You won a set of the fall cookie cutters that I was giving away. If you send me your mailing address, I will make sure they get mailed to you. Happy Holidays!

  9. says


    These look AMAZING! Thank you so much for sending me the recipe! Anything by Ina is the best in my book!


  10. says

    Those cookies look absolutely yummy. Since we grow walnuts, I think I’ll try them in place of the pecans, too. And, yes, I do collect cookie cutter.

  11. cynthia says

    Hi, i will love to make this cookies as a gift for my coworkers, can you please describe the textur after baking, can i make the dough in advance. Thank you

    • says

      Hi Cynthia – Yes you can make the dough in advance since it has to be refrigerated first anyway. The dough can stay in there for awhile until you are ready to slice and bake. The texture is not soft nor rock hard – just in between – like the store bought cookies called – Pecan Sandies.

      • cynthia says

        Thank you very much for taking the time to answer me and for your patience,i will be making this cookies today, lets see …wish me luck… a let you know. once again thank you ..

        • cynthia says

          Hi, I just to let you know that i made this recipe .
          My family love them … so I made
          them as a gift for my coworkers.. of course
          i include a gif tag with the name of your blog
          in reference of where I get the recipe….
          they didn’t turn out in a perfect round log shape like yours but …
          my family didn’t care .. i think they didn’t notice because
          they turn out so good…. they just grab them from
          the plate and of course mouth full … who speak..jaja..

          thank you for sharing this recipe
          (i have some pictures but dont know how to uploaded to you)

  12. Nina says

    I have all my Mom’s cookie cutters. I cherish them and use them every Christmas Season. I use them with my grandkids now and they love to bake and decorate the cut-out cookies. I would love to win your Fall cookie cutters. Thanks for the chance to win.

  13. Sherri S says

    These look marvelous and I would like to try with almonds and candied cherries, maybe even adding some amaretto flavoring, in place of vanilla.

  14. Cari says

    Hi there! Don’t know if this has been mentioned yet but how many cookies does this make?

    • says

      Hi Cari – I got the recipe for these from a friend who has an annual cookie exchange party and copied the recipe as she wrote it. She didn’t include the amount on the recipe card. The amount of cookies depends on how large you form the dough into logs and how thick you cut them. When I make the recipe I get about 3 1/2 dozen. When my daughter makes them – hers are larger – she gets about 2 dozen. I will add this to the post. Happy Holidays


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