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Pecan Sandies Recipe

I’ve included some videos below for those who prefer to watch rather than read.

Pecan sandies are a buttery, tender shortbread cookie with a delightful crunch from chopped pecans. They are easy to make and only require a few ingredients, making them perfect for baking beginners and seasoned pros alike.

Whether you enjoy them as a sweet treat with tea or as a holiday favorite, pecan sandies bring warmth and joy to any occasion. The blend of nutty pecans and rich, buttery dough makes these cookies simply irresistible. With just a little effort, you’ll have a delicious batch of cookies ready to share with friends and family.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Pecan Sandies are made with simple ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

Basic Ingredients:

  • Butter: 1 cup, softened. You can use margarine as a substitute.
  • White Sugar: 1 cup.
  • Confectioners’ Sugar: 1 cup.
  • Oil: 1 cup. Vegetable oil or canola oil works best.
  • Eggs: 2 large eggs.
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoon.
  • All-Purpose Flour: 4 cups.
  • Salt: 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Pecans: 1 cup, finely chopped and roasted.

Possible Substitutes:

  • Butter: If you are out of butter, you can use margarine or a butter-flavored shortening.
  • White Sugar: Although regular granulated sugar is standard, you can try coconut sugar for a slightly different flavor.
  • Confectioners’ Sugar: Powdered sugar is essential for the texture. If you don’t have it, you can grind regular sugar in a blender.
  • Oil: Any neutral oil like sunflower oil or even melted coconut oil can be used.
  • Eggs: A flaxseed mixture (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 3 tablespoons water) can replace one egg for a vegan version.
  • Vanilla Extract: Almond extract or maple syrup can add a unique twist.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Gluten-free all-purpose flour works if you need a gluten-free option.
  • Salt: Sea salt or kosher salt can be used. Reduce if using salted butter.
  • Pecans: Walnuts or almonds can be good replacements.

Feel free to experiment with different ingredients. Just make sure to keep the measurements close to the original for best results.


Preheat the Oven:
Set your oven to 350°F (175°C).

Cream Butter and Sugar:
In a large bowl, cream together 1 cup of unsalted butter and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix well.

Mix Dry Ingredients:
In another bowl, whisk together 2 cups of all-purpose flour and a pinch of salt. Gradually add this to the creamed butter mixture.

Add Pecans:
Fold in 1 cup of finely chopped pecans into the dough.

Chill the Dough:
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Shape the Dough:
Take tablespoons of dough and roll them into 1½-inch balls. Place them 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Flatten the Cookies:
Use the bottom of a glass to gently press each ball down to about ½-inch thickness. To avoid sticking, you can lightly wet the bottom of the glass.

Bake the Cookies:
Bake in the preheated oven for 15-17 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tips, Tricks & Storing

When making pecan sandies, using cold butter will help create a perfect texture. Cut the cold butter into cubes for easier mixing.

Cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. This usually takes about 3 to 6 minutes.

If you want an extra fine nut texture, pulse the pecans with a bit of flour in a food processor until it forms a flour-like texture.

Using parchment paper on your baking sheets can prevent sticking and make cleanup easier.


Baked cookies: Once cooled, store pecan sandies in an airtight container at room temperature. They remain fresh for up to 4 days.

Cookie dough: Shape the dough into a log and wrap it tightly with cling wrap. Refrigerate for up to 3 days before baking.

For long-term storage, arrange baked cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a zip-top bag and store in the freezer for up to a month.

Some quick tips:

  • Use a stand mixer to save time and ensure even mixing.
  • Scrape down the bowl periodically to incorporate all ingredients.
  • Chill the dough if it’s too soft to handle.

Enjoy your delicious pecan sandies!

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Pecan Sandies are a classic cookie, but you can tweak the recipe to make it your own. Try these ideas to add a fun twist:


Chocolate Dip: Melt some chocolate and dip half of each cookie in it. Let them cool on parchment paper until the chocolate hardens.

Spice It Up: Add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the dough for a warm, spicy flavor.

Gluten-Free: Substitute the regular flour with almond or coconut flour. You’ll get a nutty flavor that pairs well with the pecans.

Extra Crunchy: Add a handful of chopped walnuts or almonds along with the pecans.

Serving Suggestions

  • With Coffee or Tea: Pecan Sandies are perfect with your morning coffee or afternoon tea. The buttery, nutty flavor complements the bitterness of the drinks.

  • Ice Cream Sandwiches: Pair two cookies with a scoop of vanilla or butter pecan ice cream in the middle. Press them together gently and freeze until firm.

  • Holiday Treats: Garnish with a pecan half or drizzle some colored icing on top to make them festive for holiday gatherings.

  • Gift Idea: Pack them in a cute tin or decorative bag. They make wonderful homemade gifts for friends and family.

Enjoy trying out these variations and serving suggestions to make your Pecan Sandies even more delightful!