Rich buttery shortbread cookies filled with glorious pecans make up these perfect Pecan Sandies cookies! This popular cookie is usually more popular in cooler months, but we love it all year round! Just in case you love cookie recipes as much as I do, check out my super popular Chocolate Chip Cookie and Sugar Cookie recipes!
These cookies are basically shortbread cookies with chopped pecans. They are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. These cookies are buttery, rich, and super flavorful and are very easy to put together. So easy that even the kids can help! They are a perfect combination to satisfy many people’s sweet tooth.
Sugars: I used both granulated and confectioners’ sugar in this recipe. One thing you will notice is that we added extra granulated sugar when pressing them down as opposed to traditional confectioners’ sugar that is sprinkled on top. I did a little taste test in our house but ultimately the granulated sugar version won in the minds of my adorable taste testers.
Pecans: I purchased already chopped pecans from my local grocery store but you could also buy them whole and chop them yourself. If you happen to have a food processor you could easily (and quickly) get the pecans chopped fine enough for this cookie. Just be sure to use the “pulse” options so they are not too finely ground.
Do I Have to Chill the Cookie Dough?
In classic Pecan Sandies, the dough is usually rolled into a rounded log shape, then refrigerated overnight. The chilled dough is then sliced into individual cookies, placed on a cookie sheet, sprinkled with confectioners sugar, and baked. When I tested chilling the dough versus not chilling the dough, we didn’t taste a difference in the final cookie. So this version does not require any chilling!
Can You Freeze Pecan Sandies?
You can! If given the choice to freeze cookie dough or baked cookies, I would go with cookie dough. It’s simple to do and quite frankly, if I am baking the cookies, I can’t resist eating them all! My favorite way to freeze Pecan Sandie’s batter is to scoop the dough balls and then place them onto a baking sheet as close together as you can but make sure they don’t touch. Freeze for about 30 minutes and then transfer to freezer bags until ready to bake.
If you want to freeze a cookie that has already been baked, let them first cool completely and just make sure they are stored in an airtight freezer-safe bag or container.
- 1 cup (2 sticks / 226 g) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar, plus additional ⅓ cup for pressing
- ½ cup (62.5 g) confectioners' sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (256 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (109 g) pecans, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners' sugar together until smooth.
- Add egg and vanilla and beat until completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the egg mixture and mix until just incorporated.
- Fold in pecans, making sure they are fully incorporated.
- Using a 3-tablespoon cookie scoop, add dough to the lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie.
- Press a kitchen glass onto a damp paper towel, followed by dipping it into granulated sugar. Press the glass down onto the dough ball until the cookie is about ½-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
- Bake for 9–11 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies change to a dry look and the edges are a light golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let rest before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
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