Recipe: Pecan Balls

Every December the air is filled with a special sense of wonder. The season is not like others.

A collective atmosphere of good will and joy is a feeling shared by most everyone. The holiday season has its own culture, which includes rich and varied traditions that take the form of rituals such as gift-giving, symbols such as Santa Claus and Christmas trees, and (perhaps, most importantly) foods such as cookies. What better way to celebrate than with cookies?


Spicy gingerbread men and rich buttery sugar cookies in the shape of trees, bells, and stars all abound during the holiday season. This recipe for Pecan Balls is a favorite here at ICE. The cookies are very simple. Hopefully, they’ll become one of your holiday traditions.


  • 1 1/4 pounds butter
  • 6 ounces sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 fluid ounce water
  • 1/2 fluid ounce vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 pounds flour
  • 1 1/4 pounds chopped pecan pieces
  • Confectioners’ sugar as needed


  1. Cream the butter with the sugar and salt. Add vanilla and water. Add flour and mix to incorporate. Then add the pecans. Do not overmix.
  2. Roll dough into walnut sized balls. Place on pan and bake at 325ºF for about 20 minutes.
  3. After completely cooled, roll in confectioners’ sugar.

Leave a comment with your favorite holiday tradition on this post and be entered for a chance to win a copy of Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table.

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