With only four ingredients, Pecan Candy Cookies take just minutes to mix up and bake. Chock full of pecans, brown sugar meringue bakes into a crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside billowy cookie that literally melts in your mouth.
One of my Mamaw B’s holiday traditions was making candy and cookies to give to neighbors and friends. She was well-known in our little community for her sweet treats like peanut butter roll candy made with divinity, perfect chocolate and peanut butter fudge, and these sweet and crispy Pecan Candy Cookies.
Pecan Candy Cookies
Last week John and I met our girls in Nashville to attend the Amy Grant and Vince Gil Christmas Concert at The Ryman Auditorium — it was FANTASTIC and a really fun way to kick-off this year’s Christmas celebrations with our grown-up kids!
When we arrived at the concert, it was noticeably a mostly “middle-aged” crowd, but the girls still loved it. After all, they grew up listening to Amy Grant’s Christmas CD and Tender Tennessee Christmas.
Like the song, there’s just something about home, family, and traditions that make the holidays extra special. That’s why I’m so excited to share today’s heirloom recipe with you — my Mamaw B’s Pecan Candy Cookies.
Another tender Tennessee Christmas
The only Christmas for me
Where the love circles around us
Like the gifts around our tree. –Amy Grant
Tips for Making Pecan Candy Cookies
If you can whip up a proper meringue, then you could probably make these cookies with your eyes closed! The secret to making Pecan Candy Cookies is being sure the egg whites are whipped into stiff peaks before adding the other ingredients. Here are a few things to remember when making these cookies:
- When you make meringue for pies, the sugar is added as you are whipping the egg whites. This recipe is different, though, and the sugar is added after whipping the eggs.
- Use either a handheld mixer or a stand mixer for this recipe. Start with the mixer on a low speed and beat the egg white until frothy. Increase the speed and continue beating until the stiff peaks form.
- Test the egg white stiffness by lifting the beater from the bowl. The peaks of the egg whites should stand up and not fall back into the meringue.
- Next, use a rubber spatula to gently stir the brown sugar and sifted flour (to avoid lumps in the meringue) into the beaten egg white. Then gradually add the pecan halves, still stirring gently, until all the nuts are coated.
- While the cookies are baking, DO NOT OPEN the oven door. If you do, the meringue will fall before it sets.
More Heirloom Cookie Recipes!
The holidays are a special time to make family recipes and remember those who first shared them with us. You may enjoy these cookie recipes that have been in my recipe box for many years.
- Sand Tarts — Tasty little pecan butter cookies coated with powdered sugar
- Ginger Molasses Cookies — Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, these shaped cookies spiced with ginger and cinnamon make a yummy treat that’s not overly sweet.
- Sue’s Iced Chocolate Drop Cookies —Llightly sweet cookies with a chocolatey-cakey texture topped with a simple powdered sugar frosting.
- Even more cookie recipes!
Pecan Candy Cookies Recipe
My Mamaw B. moved in with us when I was a teenager and my time spent with her back then was priceless. While hanging out with Mamaw in the kitchen, I watched her put together plenty of delicious recipes and learned more about cooking—and life—than I realized at the time. I hope you enjoy her Pecan Candy Cookie recipe!
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This recipe was originally posted on December 8, 2014, and was updated on December 6, 2019.
- 1 egg white, stiffly beaten
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour, sifted
- 1-1/2 cups pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray .
- Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat one egg white until stiff peaks form.
- Gently stir the brown sugar and sifted flour into the beaten egg white.
- Gradually add the pecan halves, stirring just until coated. Don't dump them all in at once!
- Using a teaspoon or small cookie scoop, drop the cookie mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet about 1 inch apart (each cookie should have 2-3 pecan halves).
- Bake for 10 minutes. DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR. After 10 minutes, watch carefully, baking another 1 to2 minutes until lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and leave the cookies on the cookie sheet for one minute before gently removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Don't skip sifting the flour! This is important to avoid lumps in the cookie meringue.
- Store cookies in a sealed tin or plastic ziplock bag for 7 to 10 days.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 50 Total Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 3mg Carbohydrates: 6g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 5g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 1g
Sheila Thigpen, author of The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. A Southern girl living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters, are active in their church, love to travel, and are over-the-moon excited about becoming grandparents last year. Follow Sheila on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!