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Pecan Sandies (+Video)

These Pecan Sandies are the perfect, slightly crumbly cookie with a light pecan flavor. They are such an easy cookie to make (and eat!)

A CLASSIC COOKIE RECIPE

Pecan Sandies are hands down one of my favorite cookies to make and eat. The cookie is so similar to a wedding cookie (I call them pecan butterballs) but without the powdered sugar. These cookies are way better than anything you can buy in the store and they freeze beautifully too! They’re deliciously sweet and crumbly, with a hint of nutty flavor from the pecans. These cookies are pretty enough to give as a gift and easy enough to make to just munch on at home!

A stack of Pecan Sandies with the top one missing a bite.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Why are sandies called sandies?

These cookies are called sandies because of the “sandy” crumbly texture that is similar to a shortbread cookie. This makes them stand out from traditional cookies which usually have a soft and chewy texture.

Do I have to process the nuts or can I use prechopped nuts?

You can find pre-chopped pecans (they will be called ‘pecan pieces’ on the bag) in the baking aisle of the grocery store. You’ll need to use about a cup of those. However, I think processing them yourself gives you a bit more control over the size you prefer. I think leaving some pieces a little larger really adds to the texture of these cookies.

What else can I add to the cookie batter?

Consider adding chocolate chips, different types of nuts, or a dusting of powdered sugar. You can also experiment with a powdered sugar glaze or drizzle some melted chocolate on top. Let your creativity take these treats to the next level!

Why are my cookies sticking to the glass when trying to flatten them out?

The most challenging part of making these cookies is the flattening process. Occasionally, the cookies tend to stick, but using a small amount of water, like moistening a kitchen towel or paper towel, and gently gliding it across the bottom of the glass does wonders. It is definitely helpful in making the process easier and faster.

Are pecan sandies shortbread cookies?

As I mentioned above, pecan sandies are very similar in texture to shortbread cookies. So if you love shortbread cookies then you will love these! They have a slightly crunchy, crumbly texture that melts-in-your-mouth.

How to store leftovers?

Store at room temperature for a maximum of one week, or freeze for up to three months.

Close up looking at a plate of homemade Pecan Sandies cookies.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • pecans – you don’t have to use pecans. That is the traditional nut obviously since they’re called Pecan Sandies but you could use walnuts, almonds or even macadamia nuts.
  • salted butter – you can use unsalted butter if that is all you have and then you’ll want to add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the batter.
  • powdered sugar – unlike most traditional cookie recipes that use granulated sugar, this one uses powdered sugar. This is what gives you that signature crumbly texture
  • vanilla extract – this one is pretty self explanatory. Use your favorite brand.
  • all-purpose flour – you could use self-rising flour but just leave out the additional baking powder.
  • baking powder – make sure your baking powder is fresh. If you don’t bake a lot, it is easy for baking powder to sit in your cabinet for a long time and become inactive. Make sure your baking powder is fresh and active before using.
Pecans, powdered sugar, butter, vanilla extract, baking powder and flour.

HOW TO MAKE PECAN SANDIES

Place the pecans into a food processor and pulse about 20 times. The pecans will still have some larger pieces but mostly very fine, like crumbs. Set aside. In the body of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until combined.

collage of two photos: pecans in a food processor; sticks of butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Add the vanilla and stir it in. Add the flour and baking powder, stir in well until combined, scrape down the sides and bottom as needed.

collage of two photos: vanilla a extract pour in with the creamed butter; flour and baking powder added to butter mixture in mixing bowl.

Finally, add the crushed pecans and stir them in until well distributed.

On a parchment paper lined sheet tray, take 2 tablespoon-sized (I use a cookie scoop for this) dollops of dough and roll them between your hands to form a ball. Place the balls onto the sheet tray closely together. Place the cookie dough balls into the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

collage of two photos: crushed pecans added to cookie dough batter in mixing bowl; cookie dough balls shown lined up on a cookie sheet.

Preheat the oven to 350°F—line sheet trays with parchment paper. Depending on how large they are, you might need two or three. Place the cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared sheet trays. Only work with one sheet tray at a time; place the remaining cookie dough balls back into the fridge.

Take something with a flat bottom, like a glass or measuring cup, and gently press down on the tops of the cookie dough balls until they are about ½ inch thick. Gently unstick the cookie dough ball from the bottom of the glass. I find wetting the bottom of the glass slightly before flattening each cookie helps it not to stick so badly. Bake for 13-15 minutes until they appear dry, and the edges are beginning to slightly brown. Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

collage of two photos: a glass jar smushing down the cookie dough ball; finished Pecan Sandies cookies cooling on a cooling rack.

Repeat with the remaining cookie dough. Allow to cool slightly then enjoy!

A plate of Pecan Sandies.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

A collection of Pecan Sandies on a plate.

Pecan Sandies (+Video)

These Pecan Sandies are the perfect, slightly crumbly cookie with a light pecan flavor. They are such an easy cookie to make (and eat!) 
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 26 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place the pecans into a food processor and pulse 20 times. The pecans will still have some larger pieces but mostly very fine, like crumbs. Set aside.
    pecans in a food processor.
  • In the body of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until combined.
    butter and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the vanilla and stir it in.
    A mixing bowl with butter, sugar and vanilla extract.
  • Add the flour and baking powder, stir in well until combined, scrape down the sides and bottom as needed.
    A mixing bowl with butter, sugar, vanilla extract, flour and baking powder
  • Finally, add the crushed pecans and stir them in until well distributed.
    Crushed pecans on top of the rest of the cookie dough batter.
  • On a parchment paper lined sheet tray, take 2 tablespoon-sized (I use a cookie scoop for this) dollops of dough and roll them between your hands to form a ball. Place the balls onto the sheet tray closely together.
  • Place the cookie dough balls into the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F—line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Place the cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared sheet trays. Only work with one sheet tray at a time; place the remaining cookie dough balls back into the fridge.
  • Take something with a flat bottom, like a glass or measuring cup, and gently press down on the tops of the cookie dough balls until they are about ½ inch thick. Gently unstick the cookie dough ball from the bottom of the glass. I find wetting the bottom of the glass slightly before flattening each cookie helps it not to stick so badly.
    A glass smashing a pecan sandie cookie on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes until they appear dry, and the edges are beginning to slightly brown.
  • Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.

Video

Notes

  • Please refer to my FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
  • You can purchase pecan pieces (they are the small pieces pf pecans) in the baking section of the grocery store. I think processing them yourself gives you a bit more control over the size that you want and I think leaving some of the pecan pieces a little larger adds a lot of texture to these cookies.
  • For a pretty presentation, you could try adding a half pecan and gently pressing it in to the tops of the cookies before baking
  • You could definitely add some chocolate chips or other nuts to these to send it even more over the top. Or, add a dusting of powdered sugar, powdered sugar glaze, melted chocolate, etc on top.
  • The trickiest part is the flattening process, sometimes the cookies want to stick but adding just a little water (like damping a kitchen towel or paper towel) and running it over the bottom of the glass is enough, really helps.
  • Keep at room temperature for up to 1 week, freeze for up to 3 months.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 57mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating




One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I made the pecan sandies and they were really good. I made one mistake – when I read 1 1/2 cups pecans I used that amount of the finely chopped pecans – not whole pecans. I love pecans so I think it only made them a little better, just a little more crumbly. The thing that really made them easy to flatten was I put a small piece of wax paper between the cookie and what are used to flatten them. and a piece of parchment paper would also work.