Pecan Sandies are addictive! Their delicious buttery flavor and sandy shortbread texture are impossible to resist. They’re just as good as Grandma’s cookies!
What Makes This Recipe Work
The classic crisp and buttery shortbread cookies are studded with fresh pecan pieces for an explosion of nuttiness in every bite. We love using brown sugar, vanilla and a smidge of almond extract for an updated flavor and a rich, heavenly aroma.
Ingredients and Tips
- Pecans – You want to use good pecans. It may seem like nuts are nuts are nuts, but it’s not true and you can absolutely taste the difference between a great pecan and a meh pecan. It’s best to avoid grocery store pecans, all or most of which were harvested years ago. I love Millican Pecans; they’re fresh from the orchard Grade 1 pecans. If you don’t mind chopping them, choose Pecan Halves. I also buy Chopped Pecan Pieces, a huge timesaver, and I use them in these cookies.
- Vanilla bean paste – The paste adds a little more vanilla oomph than vanilla extract and since it has the vanilla bean seeds (without having to scrape the pods yourself), it’s a fun little gourmet addition. I always use Taylor & Colledge.
- Almond extract paste – I love the concentrated flavor of almond paste and you only need half as much as a liquid almond extract. Again, I recommend Taylor & Colledge.
- Brown sugar – Use light brown sugar for a nice sandy color with just a hint of molasses. I always use Dixie Crystals.
Step 1: Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar together until smooth and creamy.
Step 2: Beat in vanilla paste and almond extract paste. Mix in flour, cinnamon and salt.
Step 3: Stir in pecans.
Step 4: Cover dough and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Step 5: Use a cookie scoop to scoop even amounts of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I really like this cookie scoop.
Step 6: Dip the bottom of a glass into granulated sugar then gently press down on the cookie balls to flatten to about 1/2-inch thickness. Sprinkle extra sugar over the top of the cookies.
Step 7: Bake cookies for 20 minutes, then remove with cookie spatula to wire rack to cool completely.
- The dusting of sugar on the top is optional but gives the cookies a bit of sparkle, and the hint of extra sweetness is just right.
- I like the imperfect shape of these pecan sandies cookies because it gives them a definite homemade feel. However, if you prefer a perfectly round circle, before chilling the dough, shape it into a round log. After chilling, you can cut 1/2-inch cookie slices from the log and place those on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle lightly with sugar.
- Feel free to adjust the amount of pecans in the recipe up or down (by about 1/4 cup).
Although toasting pecans intensifies the nutty flavor, I don’t like worrying about burning them during the baking process, so I use raw pecans. If you wanted to toast them, toast whole pecan halves and then chop them into pieces, but in this particular recipe, raw pecans work wonderfully well.
Once fully cooled, the cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. Pecan sandies may also be frozen in a freezer-safe storage bag or airtight container.
Welcome to #FallFlavors where more than 25 food bloggers are sharing recipes with favorite Fall flavors. Our sponsors, Millican Pecan, Dixie Crystals, Melissa’s Produce, Taylor & Colledge, Nairn’s, and Republic of Tea, have furnished participating bloggers with complimentary product to use in their recipe creations that they will be sharing this week. These same sponsors have generously offered prizes for our giveaway so be sure to enter and share with your friends so they can enter too. Be sure to follow our Fall Flavors Pinterest account for more inspiration.
Prize 1: Texas Pecan Candy Basket from Millican Pecan
The Millican Pecan Texas Pecan Candy Basket is loaded with a variety of pecan gifts. Includes 6 Milk Chocolate Pecan Clusters, 6 Milk Chocolate Caramillicans (similar to Turtles), 6 White Chocolate Caramillicans, 6 Pecan Pralines, and a 1/2 lb. Bag of Flavored Pecans! Every bit DELICIOUS! A $75 value.
Prize 2: Williams Sonoma Cleartouch Nonstick 6-Piece Bakeware Set from Dixie Crystals
Perfect for the occasional baker, our entry-level collection features a sturdy nonstick silicone coating at a great value. Aluminized steel, the material of choice for professional bakers, provides excellent heat transfer for even baking, so food turns out beautifully and releases easily, every time. 6-Piece Set includes: Half-sheet pan, 12-cup muffin pan, round cake pan, square cake pan, rectangular cake pan, loaf pan. An $80 value.
Prize 3: 3 Month Melissa’s Produce Gift Subscription
A stunning selection of the most delicious produce will be delivered once a month for 3 months. At Melissa’s, the produce is selected at their peak of perfection and packed by hand to ensure safe arrival. A $124 value.
Prize 4: A Red Dancing Leaves Teapot and a tin of Hot Apple Cider Tea from The Republic of Tea
Let the aroma of fresh apple and mulled cider spices envelop you as you sip this golden infusion. The crisp, lingering finish will leave you wanting more! A naturally-caffeine free blend of apples, cinnamon cloves and ginger. Reminiscent of apple cider, with the luscious aroma of cinnamon and cloves, make this cup the perfect accompaniment to the colors of the harvest season.
Embossed, windswept leaves whirl across this 20 oz ceramic teapot. Includes a stainless steel infuser. An exclusive design by The Republic of Tea. A $44 value
Prize 5: A selection of six flavors of Oat Crackers from Nairn’s
One winner will receive a box of each Nairn’s Original, Chocolate Chip, Stem Ginger Oat Grahams, Caramelized Onions, Rosemary & Sea Salt Flatbreads, and Oat Cracker. Nairn’s has been baking oats since 1896. They use simple, natural, and wholesome ingredients in their products. Minimum $25 value
Prize 6: A Selection of extracts from Taylor and Colledge.
One winner will receive a selection of extracts to include vanilla bean, almond, lemon, and lavender. In 1897, Taylor & Colledge won its first award for excellence in vanilla. Since then, the Taylor & Colledge commitment for unsurpassed quality has earned its reputation as one of the world’s finest producers of vanilla. Minimum of $25 value
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup light brown sugar packed
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- ½ teaspoon almond paste extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar on mecium speed until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and almond. Mix in flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir in pecans.
- Cover dough and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Scoop dough into 1 ½ tablespoon scoops on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Use the bottom of a glass to gently flatten dough into ½-inch-thick rounds. Sprinkle tops of cookies with a pinch of sugar. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove to cooling rack to cool completely.
- Dipping the bottom of the glass into sugar will help prevent the cookie dough from sticking when flattening the chilled dough.
More #FallFlavors Recipes Below:
Appetizers and Snacks
- Fall Charcuterie Board from The Fresh Cooky
Breakfast and Baked Goods
- Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes from SueBee Homemaker
- Pecan Butter Bread with Apple Cider Butter from That Recipe
Soups and Salads
- Gullah Chicken Stew from Family Around The Table
- Autumn Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner from Jen around the world
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts And Cipollini Onion Taco With Hatch Chili Cream from Magical Ingredients
- Apple Cider Caramel Dip from The Spiffy Cookie
- Butter Pecan Cake from Lemon Blossoms
- Chewy Pecan Butter Cookies from Soulfully Made
- Chocolate Chip Pecan Truffles from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Fresh Peach Pie from Hostess At Heart
- Honeybun Cake from House of Nash Eats
- Pecan Sandies from Eat Move Make