Meltaway Pecan Nut Ball Cookies

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plate of baked pecan melts covered in powder sugar

Pecan nut ball cookies are my favorite Christmas cookie.   I have enjoyed them while growing up, with one exception.

History of Our Family Recipe

Growing up this recipe was made with dried dates.  I’m not a fan of dried dates, so I have removed them from the recipe.  If you do add dates (about 1/2 cup and reduce pecans by 1/2 cup), they will give a chewiness to the recipe.  We also make a delicious cinnamon roll too.

This would be perfect cookie to give for gifts to your family and friends. Pecan nut ball cookies are small cookies that are ate in two bites.  I love eating them with coffee or milk, the melt in your mouth.

If you want to add a fruit of some kind, add 1 cup of fruit chopped into your recipe in place of the nuts.  You can even put in the dates (or raisins) to add an additional layer of texture and flavor. (about 1/2 cup chopped raisins/dates)

How Chopped Are the Nuts?

bowl of cookie dough with chopped pecans

You want to chopped the nuts, a little more than a rough chop.  If they are too big, they may stick out of the cookie and it won’t be as round.

Do You Need to Refrigerate the Cookies?

You do need to put the cookie dough into the fridge after mixing together.  This allows the butter, flour and nuts to stick together.  This will make it easier to roll into balls and the butter will melt slowly and create crisp cookies. Once the dough is chilled, you roll out the cookies and bake them. The dough does not need to go back into the fridge after you roll them out.

You can place the dough back into the fridge as you wait for a batch of the cookies to bake if your house is warm.

chilled dough in bowl

Can You Freeze The Meltaway Dough?

The dough can be frozen, but it is dry in nature and could dehydrate while in the freezer and need water when thawed. It may be better to form into balls and then freeze for easier manipulation into cookies.

rolled cookie dough on baking sheet

How Many Cookies Does This Recipe Make?

We typically get about 2 dozen cookies from the recipe.

rolling pecan melts into powder sugar
plate of baked pecan melts covered in powder sugar
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Pecan Nut Balls

Cookie making is a family tradition at the holidays. Make these pecan nut ball cookies and share memories with your family.
Course: Baking, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Regina Sober


  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (for outside of cookies)


  • In a large bowl, mix the soft butter, sugar and vanilla.
  • Once incorporated, add the flour and pecans and mix thorough.
  • Allow the dough to chill for 1-2 hours.
  • Once chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Round teaspoon size balls onto your cookie sheet. 
  • These don't have to be perfect, you can roll them in your hands to make them round.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and roll in powder sugar and set aside to cool.
  • Repeat until all cookies are done.


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Cookie making is a family tradition at the holidays. Make these pecan nut ball cookies and share memories with your family.

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    1. They are chopped up Brenda, I’d almost say she could have them since they are so chopped up, but you are the mom. 🙂 Enjoy!

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