Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Add pecans and ½ cup sugar in the work bowl of a food processor and process until ground. Add remaining sugar, flour, and salt. Pulse 2-3 times to combine.
Add butter and pulse until combined. The dough will resemble sand.
Transfer dough onto a workspace and knead until the dough comes together. It will be very crumbly at first, but will come together.
Place dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it out to ¼-in thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut desired shape (I used a tree shape).
Transfer cut out cookies to prepared baking sheets, space about 1 inch apart. Bake 12-15 minutes. Remove the pans from oven and let cookies cool completely before decorating.