Loaded with chopped pecans, these Pecan Candy Melt Cookies are prepared with cream cheese and topped with a single candy melt. A soft, nutty cookie with just the right amount of sweetness; and cute too!
Today, I want to post some fun and whimsical cookies. When it comes to Christmas baking, it’s a perfect time to get the kids involved. And, kids will love these Pecan Candy Melt Cookies!
Now, it might come as no surprise to my readers that I’m back with a third installment of Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas. Should you be new here, let me tell you a bit about how this works. This is my third annual Christmas cookie extravaganza. Like the previous two years, I will post a brand new Christmas cookie recipe for 24 consecutive days. Yes, that means Saturdays and Sundays too! For your reference, you can find links to the first two years further down the page.
Fresh off of my 12 Biscotti of Christmas series, I’m excited to get this new series started. Last year, I also did 12 Bundt Cakes of Christmas. Now, who’s ready to get started on this journey with me? Do you have all of the ingredients? Are you ready for a self-induced sugar coma? Is your apron on and your oven preheated? Good! Let’s get to it!
LOOKING FOR COOKIE INSPIRATION
I’ve had this cream cheese cookie recipe kicking around for sometime. But, I could never decide on the right time to share it. It’s a great cookie base, just as it is, and you can bake them without the candy melt. The problem with doing that is they taste wonderful, but look rather plain.
I thought about adding those red and green glace cherries to the top of the cookies, but I’ve done that before. The thought of placing a whole pecan on top crossed my mind, but I just recently posted my Mixed Nut Sugar Cookies. They would look too similar.
I was looking through my baking supply cupboard and saw the stash of candy melts. There were the red and green ones starring right back at me. I did a similar cookie last Valentine’s Day, but the base was completely different. Wanting so badly to get this pecan, cream cheese, cookie out there, I went with it. The results? Delicious and so pretty!
WHAT ARE CANDY MELTS?
Candy melts are a small, round disc that is made to emulate white chocolate. They come in a wide range of colours and are usually melted down and used in confections such as the coating on cake pops. I think the term candy melts is owned by Wilton, which is the only type I’ll use.
I use Wilton’s because I have used the brand many times before and have never been disappointed, but also because they have a lot of different colours to choose from. Oh, and the price is always good too!
If you cannot find candy melts, you can either order them online here, or you can use generic brands that can be found at your local baking supply store. The generic brands are sometimes called melting wafers. As you can see, I used red and green.
These cookies do not need to be topped with a candy melt at all. They are rolled in finely chopped pecans, and you can leave them just like that. Or, you can add one of those glace cherries if you wish.
Do you want to know something really great about Pecan Candy Melt Cookies? You can use almost any nut you like! Ground walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts would work very well in this recipe.
Once you have decided, it’s time to grind them. If you have opted to toast the nuts before, you must make sure they are completely cooled before you move forward. Warm nuts will most likely become pasty in the food processor. Cooled toasted nuts have firmed up and the natural oil has once again hardened.
Place the nuts into a food processor. We do not want nut flour or nut butter here! Literally, pulse the nuts two to three times maximum. What you want is a coarse sand-like consistency with quite visible chunks in it. Don’t worry about the consistency too much. The key here is to keep the nuts from becoming mushy or moist.
STORING, PACKAGING, AND FREEZING
If you plan to freeze these cookies, you certainly can! Once they are completely cooled, pile them into a clean, food-safe container. The container must be freezer friendly! You’ll want to ensure a very tight fitting lid too. (I use these quite often when freezing baked goods.) I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container before pushing the lid on. This helps to create a better seal. The goal is to keep all of that cookie freshness locked in! You can freeze these cookies for up to three months.
As I said, every day I will be posting a new recipe. If you miss one, don’t fret. You can find my entire collection of Christmas Recipes right here! There are over 100 Christmas recipes and counting. There’s something for everyone! Cheers!
Pecan Candy Melt Cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 48 candy melts
- In an mixing bowl, use a hand-held beater to combine the butter and cream cheese until well combined.
- Next, add the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Beat into the butter mixture.
- Add the flour, salt, and baking soda. Beat into the wet ingredients until just combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- Pour the chopped pecans into a shallow bowl. Set aside.
- Portion the chilled dough into 1 teaspoon portions. Working with one portion at a time, roll into a ball and roll into the chopped pecan. Place on the baking sheet. Continue rolling the cookie dough into balls and the pecans until the baking sheet is full. (Keep the balls at least 2 inches apart. You will need to bake these in batches.)
- Place a candy melt on top of each cookie ball and push it into the dough until the dough begins to puff up slightly over the side of the candy melt.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes. Carefully transfer to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling or until the candy melt re-hardens.