Pecan Sandies Cookies

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Pecan Sandies Cookies are soft, sweet shortbread with an irresistibly nutty crunch! With a classic vanilla and almond flavor and delicate, crumbly texture, my Pecan Sandies recipe creates the perfect anytime treat that will simply melt in your mouth! 

pecan sandies cookies,

Pecan Sandies Cookies

Shortbreads are beyond simple to make, and they’re a super satisfying snack or dessert.

With my Pecan Shortbread recipe, you can make the perfect batch of 24 cookies with a flavor that is so much better than store bought!!

Not only that, but this shortbread recipe takes just 30 minutes to make!

If you’re looking for great Christmas cookie ideas, cranberry shortbread is perfect! Fantastically fruity and buttery soft, they’re perfect for a cookie exchange! We also have a monster cookie recipe that is a favorite during the holidays.

Pecan Sandies Cookies ingredients

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Unsalted Butter – Let the butter come to room temperature before using.

    And if you opt for salted butter, then omit the salt from this recipe.
  • Granulated Sugar – I use white sugar to maintain the classically sandy texture of pecan sandies.

    For a smoother texture and slight molasses flavor, you can substitute ¼ cup brown sugar for ¼ cup of white.
  • Pecans – This nut is the classic variety for the shortbread cookies.

    But if they’re not your thing, really any nut will do. Finely chopped walnuts are a good option. 
chopped pecans on wood board

Pecan Sandies Recipe FAQ

Why are they called Pecan Sandies?

Sandies are named for their unique texture. Instead of a moist, cakey cookie, pecan sandies cookies are almost sand-like. 

What are Pecan Sandies made of?

This homemade version is a basic shortbread dough containing butter, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, flour, and just a pinch of salt. Plus, chopped pecans, of course. None of the artificial ingredients or chemical preservatives that you might find in a store bought variety!

How many calories are in a Pecan Sandie cookie?

This Pecan Sandies recipe creates 2 dozen (2 ½ inch) cookies, with 249 calories each. To reduce the calories, use a smaller sized cookie cutter.

pecan sandies recipe in stand mixer

Recipe Tips

  1. Be sure to chill the dough.
    Chilled dough spreads far less while baking, so your cookies will keep their shape and height better.

    It only needs to chill for 30 minutes, but feel free to chill it overnight.

Pro Tip for Rolling Cut-Out Cookie Dough

If you are new at making cut-out cookies, it can be hard to judge the thickness of the dough. This is my tip:

  1. Go to a craft store and purchase two dowel rods, one in ¼ -inch thickness and one in ½ -inch thickness. 
  2. Cut each dowel rod in half.
  3. Using the thickness of your choice, lay one half on each side of your dough, rolling pin width apart.

    The rods will act as the perfect “frame” for you to roll the dough to your desired thickness!
pecan sandies ready to bake

Pecan Shortbread Topping Ideas

A topping of chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, or sugar cookie icing would be a scrumptious addition to your pecan shortbread cookies!

Extra chopped nuts can be sprinkled right on top, or just a dusting of powdered sugar.

Storing and Freezing Pecan Shortbread Cookies

The shortbread dough used to make these cookies can be kept in the fridge for up to a day, or frozen for a couple of months.

Either way, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, or store in an airtight container. Let frozen dough thaw in the fridge before baking, though.

pecan sandies recipe on wood board

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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pecan shortbread cookies closeup

pecan sandies cookies closeup.

Pecan Sandies Cookies

Donna Elick
Pecan Sandies Cookies are soft, nutty shortbread that will melt in your mouth! This Pecan Sandies recipe is a fun idea for Christmas treats!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Chill Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method Oven
Servings 24 (2.5-inch) cookies

Ingredients
 

  • 12 ounces unsalted butter, softened, but still cold
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting rolling surface
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans

Instructions
 

  • Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer and large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and both extracts on high speed, just until combined. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, incorporate the flour mixture into the bowl with the butter/sugar mixture, just until combined.
    Do not over mix or your cookies will be too dry.
  • Add the chopped pecans and continue mixing on low speed until the dough starts to come together.
    If dough is too crumbly, with the mixer running, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, until the dough comes together. If it is too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time.
  • Turn dough out onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • After chilling, transfer dough to a lightly floured surface.
    Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough to ¼ to ½-inch thick. *See Notes
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Meanwhile, cut out cookies using a plain or fluted 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, or use any size/shape of cutter you desire. Gather unused dough and re-roll as necessary.
  • Transfer the unbaked shortbread cookies to an ungreased baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.
    Remove pan from oven and allow cookies to sit on pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and allow them to cool to room temperature.

Donna’s Notes

Pro Tip for Rolling Cookie Dough

If you are new at rolling out cookie dough, it can be hard to judge the thickness. This is my tip:
  1. Go to a craft store and purchase two dowel rods, one in ¼ -inch thickness and one in ½ -inch thickness. 
  2. Cut each dowel rod in half.
  3. Using the thickness of your choice, lay one half on each side of your dough, rolling pin width apart. The rods will act as the perfect “frame” for you to roll the dough to your desired thickness!
This Pecan Sandies recipe creates 2 dozen (2 ½ inch) cookies, with 249 calories each. To reduce the calories, use a smaller sized cookie cutter.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 249cal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 26mg | Sugar: 9g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
pecan sandies recipe.

Originally Published August 2011, updated and republished September 2022

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35 Comments

  1. what kind of sugar did you use.. most shortbread call for icing sugar and it looks like regular white sugar in photo

  2. This is the best shortbread recipe I have found. The cooking time is a little long. About 17 minutes made them perfect and them I dipped them in powdered sugar while they were still hot. Yummy!!!

  3. Very good! Made them today. Ended up adding 1/2 cup coconut / almond milk to get them slightly wetter.

  4. 5 stars
    I love shortbread cookies, they’re a classic and the pecan is a perfect addition. Definitely making these for the holidays.

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