Perfect Pecan Sandies




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Pecan Sandies cookies on a plate

Buttery Pecan Sandies are the official cookie of fall ~ feed hungry back to schoolers, or get a head start on your holiday cookie list. (But first, make a batch just for you.) These easy slice and bake shortbread cookies are fabulous!

pecan sandies on a plate

Slice and bake shortbread cookies are practically an art form here at tvfgi

So it’s about time I added pecan sandies to my collection! These simple slice and bake cookies follow the same tried and true formula as my other shortbread cookies, but with the important addition of lots of toasted pecans.  A good dose of vanilla and almond extract brings out the pecan flavor like nothing else.

Like so many traditional fall and holiday cookies, this recipe is a blast from the past, but in the best way.

  • French sablé (sanded) cookies are traditional shortbread cookies with a crumbly texture, similar to Mexican or Italian wedding cookies, which are also coated in powdered sugar.
  • The name ‘sandies’ is said to come from the color of the baked cookie.
  • Keebler starting commercially producing sandies in the 1950s and trademarked the name.
  • Some recipes include egg and make a softer, drop style cookie.
  • National Pecan Sandies day is June 23rd.

a plate of pecan sandy cookies

The beauty of slice and bake cookies is that you can prep the dough ahead of time

Simply wrap well and refrigerate the log of dough, then pull it out when you need it.  It’s positively luxurious to have readymade cookie dough waiting at your beck and call.

You can freeze the UNBAKED log of pecan sandies dough

  • Wrap it well in both plastic and foil.  When ready to use, defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

Freeze the BAKED pecan sandies cookies

  • Let the cookies cool completely before wrapping and freezing.  Let the cookies defrost on your countertop.

slicing a log of pecan sandies cookie dough

Tips for making Pecan Sandies

  • Toasting the nuts is essential ~ it makes the difference between soft bland nuts and crunchy, super ‘nutty’ nuts.  Trust me.
  • I use brown sugar (light or dark) for this recipe because it brings warm caramel flavors to the cookies.
  • Make a double batch and freeze a log for your holiday baking, these cookies are always the first to go at Christmas!

Pecan sandies on a baking sheet

Quick grocery list for pecan sandies

You might have everything in the pantry, I know I always do!

  • Pecans ~ buy the best you can afford, halves are always fresher than pre-chopped.
  • flour
  • brown sugar
  • butter
  • vanilla and almond extracts
  • salt
  • granulated sugar (optional)

a stack of pecan sandies

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Pecan Sandies cookies on a plate
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5 from 4 votes

Pecan Sandies Recipe

Buttery Pecan Sandies are the official cookie of fall ~ feed hungry back to schoolers, or get a head start on your holiday cookie list. These easy slice and bake shortbread cookies are fabulous!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Yield 18 -24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams)packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups (313 grams) all purpose flour ~ measure with the fluff/scoop/level method for accuracy
  • 1/2 cup (75 grams) chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar for rolling edges, optional.

Instructions

  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. I do this in a stand mixer, but you can use electric beaters, or a wooden spoon. Beat in the extracts and salt.
  • Gradually beat in the flour, on low, until combined. Fold in the pecans until evenly dispersed.
    making pecan sandies dough in stand mixer
  • Turn the dough out onto a large piece of parchment or plastic wrap and bring together into a smooth log. If your dough is crumbly, take a minute to bring it together.
    Dough for pecan sandies, on parchment paper
  • Form the dough into a 10 inch log, smoothing it out as best you can.
    forming pecan sandies dough into a 10 inch log
  • Wrap up in the paper or plastic tightly, twisting the ends to seal. Refrigerate for an hour.
    Wrapped log of slice and bake pecan sandy cookie dough
  • Preheat the oven to 325F Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  • Unwrap your log of dough and carefully slice into 1/3 - 1/2 inch slices. Your dough may crumble a bit on the edges, just push it back into shape with your fingers.
    slicing a log of pecan sandies cookie dough
  • If you like you can roll the outside edge of each cookie in the granulated sugar before placing it, 2 inches apart, on your cookie sheet. (Occasionally I will lightly coat the whole cookie with sugar, it gives a nice 'sandy' finish after baking.) Bake for about 20 minutes until just starting to turn golden around the edges.
    pecan sandies cookies on a baking sheet, ready to bake
  • Cool on a baking rack.
    Pecan sandies cooling on a baking rack

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8 Comments

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  • Reply
    Thea
    October 28, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    Sue, it’s about time that I made these as I have saved this recipe for months. I am wondering if you have used coconut sugar in place of brown sugar in recipes? It has the caramel/molasses flavor but not as moist. It is 1/2 the glycemic index as granulated or brown sugar, so would be really helpful in our family’s diet. Just wondered if you have tried. Thanks Sue!

  • Reply
    Zoe
    October 13, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    5 stars
    I made them a few days ago and they turned out great! I love the texture, the smell of butter, the way they melt in your mouth! Loved them!

  • Reply
    Carol
    September 30, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    I have not made these but want to know if you can freeze log them thaw before baking?

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 30, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      Yes, for sure.

  • Reply
    Alexandra
    September 28, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    5 stars
    Believe me – this is the first time ever I made cookies*!And these are fantastic! Everybody loved them! Sue, thank you so much….
    *(I make brownies and bars, though)

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 28, 2020 at 1:23 pm

      Wow really? Never made cookies before?? I’m glad these were your first 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa
    September 25, 2020 at 7:03 am

    Is it really only 1/2 cup of brown sugar into the dough? Checking ingredients before I make these.

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 25, 2020 at 7:11 am

      Yes, that’s right Lisa. Be sure to firmly pack your sugar, and if you want a little extra sweet touch, coat the unbaked cookies lightly in sugar before baking.