Gluten-Free Butter Pecan Cookies

Salty-sweet has been a popular dessert flavor combination for quite some time now, and these cookies embody it perfectly. The rich caramel-butterscotch cookies are studded with pecans for a touch of nuttiness; the sugar-salt coating on top adds its own perfectly complementary touch.

We know you’ll love this gluten-free version of our Salty-Sweet Butter Pecan Cookies recipe, a long-time favorite here on our site. Substituting Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour for the flour in that original yields delicious, nutty cookies that have just the right balance of salt and sweet. They're sure to be a hit with friends and family following a gluten-free diet. Enjoy!

18 mins
11 to 13 mins
35 mins
about 4 dozen 3" cookies, or 7 dozen 2 1/4" cookies
Gluten-Free Butter-Pecan Cookies - select to zoom
Gluten-Free Butter-Pecan Cookies - select to zoom
Gluten-Free Butter-Pecan Cookies - select to zoom


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  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

  2. Place the pecans in a single layer in a pan, and bake until they've darkened a bit and smell toasty, about 8 to 9 minutes. Set them aside to cool, then chop coarsely.

  3. In a large bowl, combine the sugars, butter, shortening, salt, baking soda, vanilla, flavor, and vinegar, beating until smooth and creamy.

  4. Beat in the egg, again beating until smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure everything is thoroughly combined.

  5. Mix in the flour, then the chips and toasted nuts.

  6. If you're going to refrigerate the dough, cover the bowl, and refrigerate for about 4 to 5 hours; or overnight. Cookie dough refrigerated for 3 1/2 to 4 hours will spread moderately; chilled overnight, it will spread much less.

  7. Mix the 1/3 cup sugar and salt for the coating, and put it in a bowl. Use a spoon (or a tablespoon cookie scoop) to scoop 1 1/2" balls of dough into the sugar/salt mixture, rolling to coat. Then transfer to the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2" between them on all sides; they'll spread quite a bit. Or use a teaspoon cookie scoop to scoop 1 1/4" balls of dough.

  8. Bake the cookies for 11 to 13 minutes — 11 minutes for smaller cookies, 13 for larger ones. Their edges will be chestnut brown and their tops a lighter golden brown. (For dough that's been refrigerated, add 30 seconds to 1 minute to those baking times.) Remove them from the oven, and cool on the pan until they're set enough to move without breaking. Repeat with the remaining dough.

  9. Store cookies, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • The sugar-salt coating can be made more or less assertive: your choice. Use the lesser amount of salt for a less adventuresome audience; the greater amount for those who love the salty/sweet experience. It's easy to make some of both; just divide the dough in half, and make the coating both ways, rolling half the cookies in the saltier coating, half in the milder.

  • Want to turn these cookies into moist, chewy bars? Read our blog post on how to make cookie bars.

  • Be aware: some of your baking ingredients can be a hidden source of gluten. Learn more at our blog post: For gluten-free baking, think beyond just flour. For additional information on King Arthur-produced products, read the complete details of our allergen program, including our contact-prevention practices.