Caramel Pecan Shortbread Recipe
Caramel Pecan Shortbread Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Caramel Pecan Shortbread Recipe

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My grandchildren look for Grandma's "candy bar cookies" every Christmas. I recommend doubling the recipe for these sweet treats because they go so fast. —Dorothy Buiter, Worth, Illinois
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 15 min./batch + cooling
MAKES:24 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 15 min./batch + cooling
MAKES: 24 servings


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 28 caramels
  • 6 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • ICING:
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pecan halves

Nutritional Facts

2 each: 260 calories, 14g fat (7g saturated fat), 23mg cholesterol, 136mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (23g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in milk and vanilla. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut into 2-in. x 1-in. strips. Place 1 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
  3. Bake at 325° for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  4. For filling, combine caramels and milk in a large saucepan. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until caramels are melted and smooth. Remove from the heat; stir in the butter, sugar and pecans. Cool for 5 minutes. Spread 1 teaspoon over each cookie.
  5. For icing, in a microwave-safe bowl, melt chips and milk; stir until smooth. Stir in the butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Spread 1 teaspoon icing on each cookie; top each with a pecan half. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 4 dozen.
Originally published as Caramel Pecan Shortbread in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2002, p35

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rpolen User ID: 7781146 242271
Reviewed Jan. 22, 2016

"I really tried to like these but the chocolate overpowered the taste of the caramel, which would not be a problem if it tasted good, but it didn't. This was also a very time consuming recipe and the end result was not worth it."

redcottagechronicles User ID: 7297725 234066
Reviewed Oct. 5, 2015

"Absolutely decadent! I made them exactly as the recipe called, but left the caramel mixture to cool a bit before spreading on each cookie. I placed a sheet of parchment below the cooling rack to catch any caramel that dripped off! I will be making these again, and again!"

skb cooking User ID: 5191780 60902
Reviewed Dec. 22, 2010

"a new found Christmas time treat. shortbread tastes better if slightly brown, don't under-bake"

sheinemann User ID: 4810526 83617
Reviewed Dec. 18, 2010

"I really didn't like these. They're very putzy to make, which is fine when the end result is worth it. These weren't. The caramel mixture was thin and messy, and the chocolate icing was... well... bad. And the cookie overall just wasn't anything to get excited about. Not worth the time, the mess, or the calories!"

FACSteacher User ID: 759865 86703
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2010

"These are good but very time consuming to make, if you follow the recipe. I think they are worth it for special occasions but not a quick treat. I used caramel from the TOH Caramel Marshmallow Treat recipe b/c I had it leftover and really liked it. Not sure what the caramel from this one is like but the other is so smooth. The combination of caramel, shortbread, pecans, and chocolate is fabulous! I added chopped pecans to the caramel as the recipe says but also just put plain caramel on some to see the difference. I preferred it without the pecans in the caramel and with just one on top of the bar. Hoping my company will like them for dessert this week!"

schaumann1 User ID: 3641492 60901
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2010

"This is an excellent cookie and caramel recipe, but I should've taken others advice regarding the chocolate. Don't bother using the chocolate recipe provided! It seems extremely greasy and overpowering for the shortbread. I would definitely make these cookies again but use a simple chocolate glaze."

lindawenger User ID: 4072014 205298
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2010

"I made these yesterday and was disappointed with the chocolate frosting. Mine turned sludgy, and the butter would not incorporate. I tossed it out and made a chocolate glaze out of just some choclate chips and milk with a drop or two of vanilla. Fewer calories and a nice glossy appearance. The cookies tasted good, and I will make them again.

Just a note: I had a little bit of the carmel mixture left over and we ate it with some apple slices. It makes a yummy apple dip."

debstub User ID: 2934557 120987
Reviewed Dec. 7, 2010

"I see there are quite a few others who don't want to mess with individual cookies but would rather make it in a pan. I did that (and used the buttered foil suggestion) but found that my 10x13 was a little too big for me to be able to spread the dough out to the corner edges. I would make 1 1/2 the recipe or maybe 1 1/4. I had plenty of the filling and icing so I wouldn't make any extra of that but they are delicious!!"

texarkanalady User ID: 271870 132765
Reviewed Dec. 6, 2010

"I haven't tried these yet but they sound wonderful. I too would like to make a pan of them. Would anyone guess how long they would need to bake? I am assuming they would fill 9X13 pan?"

happy2day User ID: 1881846 132764
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2010

"I made these yesterday, and the kids ate them all up already. Next time, I will try making one big batch on a pan, instead of making all the little ones, one at a time."

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