Swedish Butter Cookies

The recipe for these smör bullar—light, crumbly pecan cookies similar to Mexican wedding cakes—comes from the terrific Swedish cook Marge Peterson. Slideshow:  More Cookie Recipes 

Swedish Butter Cookies
Photo: © Chris Court
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hr


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 325° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter with the 1/4 cup of confectioners' sugar and the vanilla at medium speed until smooth and pale, about 2 minutes. Mix in the flour and pecans at low speed. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.

  2. Roll tablespoons of the dough into balls and arrange them on the prepared baking sheets 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, until cooked through and lightly golden on the bottom. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool slightly. Coat the warm cookies with confectioners' sugar and let cool completely. Sift more confectioners' sugar over them and serve.

Make Ahead

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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