Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pecans, and cook, stirring constantly, 10 minutes or until pecans are toasted. Remove from heat. Cool completely.
Beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Stir in buttered pecans and vanilla. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.