Beat butter at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating well. Add egg and vanilla, beating well.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture, beating well. Pat cherries between paper towels to remove excess moisture. Stir cherries and pecans into dough; cover and chill 2 hours.
Shape dough into two 1 1/2"-diameter, 8"-long rolls. Roll in colored sugar, if desired. Wrap rolls in wax paper and freeze until firm.
Unwrap frozen dough and slice into 1/4"-thick slices, using a sharp knife. Place on lightly greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 400° for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Let cool 1 minute on cookie sheets. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.