“These are fantastic!! I made the dough last night and sliced and baked them this morning…truly a delicious cookie that has earned a place on my Christmas cookie trays this year. Thank you!!!” ~Paula
shortbread cookies are a specialty of the Great Island kitchen!
Like so many traditional fall and holiday cookies, pecan sandies are a blast from the past. They’re a type of shortbread cookie famous for their delicate ‘sandy’ melt-in-your-mouth texture. This texture is achieved through the combination of butter, sugar, and flour in the cookie dough, which creates a tender and crumbly cookie when baked.
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.
did you know?
- French sablé (sanded) cookies are traditional shortbread cookies with a crumbly texture, similar to Mexican or Italian wedding cookies.
- The name “Sandies” comes from the cookie’s sandy, crumbly texture.
- Keebler starting commercially producing sandies in the 1950s and trademarked the name Pecan Sandies.
- Some recipes include egg and make a softer, drop style cookie.
- National Pecan Sandies day is June 23rd.
grocery list for pecan sandies
You might have everything in the pantry, I know I always do!
- buy the best you can afford, pecan halves are always fresher than pre-chopped.
- brown sugar
- vanilla and almond extracts
- the combination is one of the secrets to the perfect pecan sandy!
- granulated sugar (optional)
- rolling the edges of the cookies in granulated sugar gives them a tempting sparkle.
prep pecan sandy dough ahead
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.
freezing pecan sandies
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.
Tips for making Pecan Sandies
Toasting the nuts is essential ~ it makes the difference between soft bland nuts and crunchy, super ‘nutty’ nuts. Plus it intensifies the pecan flavor tenfold. 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!
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more classic shortbread recipes
- Scottish Shortbread
- Lemon Shortbread
- How to Make Pansy Topped Shortbread Cookies
- Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies
- Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies
- One Shortbread Cookie Dough = 12 Recipes!
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pecan Sandies Recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, measure with the fluff/scoop/level method for accuracy
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, for rolling edges, optional
- 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.
- 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.
- Form the dough into a 10 inch log, smoothing it out as best you can.
- Wrap up in the paper or plastic tightly, twisting the ends to seal. Refrigerate for an hour.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cool on a baking rack.