I have always loved pecans. And toasted pecans? Gahhh. A revelation. There is something so deliciously earthy and fallish about them. So when you make homemade Pecan Sandies (tell yourself it’s really because you have to try out a Christmas gift cookie recipe. This is technically part of your holiday prep), I don’t think you should even look back. Tryout Christmas cookie calories don’t count.
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
Homemade Pecan Sandies
(Recipe adapted from Southern Living)
1 cup butter, softened (no substitutes)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
Decorating Ingredients, optional
1 beaten egg
1 cup turbinado sugar, mixed with 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
Extra pecans for garnishing tops
Beat softened butter in the bowl of your stand mixer until mixture is creamy (about 1 minute). Add in powdered sugar and gradually mix until well combined. Slowly stir in chopped pecans and vanilla. Gradually add dry ingredients until mixture resembles moist crumbs. Press dough into a log shape and wrap in wax paper before refrigerating for at least 4 hours or overnight.
When log is firm, unwrap wax paper and brush beaten egg over the sides of the log. Roll cookie log in turbinado sugar/chopped pecan mixture. Cut log into 1/4″ discs and brush tops with egg wash and a small sprinkling of chopped pecans, if desired.
Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Now, in pictures! 🙂
There is a reason that shortbread is so delicious. One word, baby.
Yes. Don’t get the margarine this time. Get pure, unadulterated butter. Sit in out on the counter to soften before you use it. Basically, this softening step accomplishes 2 purposes– you get to have softened butter (so it will cream more easily in your recipe), and you get to stare at the butter and drool, thinking about the cookies you are going to make. Win/win.
Beat your softened butter (wait– what has it ever done? Why are we BEATING IT????) for 1 minute. This helps to make everything creamy and LOOOOOVELY. Add in your powdered sugar. Start the beaters on low. Trust me on this. Otherwise you can start singing “White Christmas” a little bit early because your kitchen will be covered in powdered sugar snow. Don’t ask me how I know this.
Next, add in your magic. I mean . . . toasted pecans. Add in your toasted pecans and vanilla. Stir. Oooh and ahhh. Sneak a few pecans. You need brain food. I won’t tell anyone. Delicious, aren’t they?
This next part is a little tricky, simply because you are adding a LOT of dry to a LITTLE creamy. Add in your flour and baking powder little by little. Pretend you are introducing your boyfriend flour to your parents. Take it slow. Take it easy. Give them time to get acquainted and don’t rush.
Sloooooowwwwwly she turns. Slowly let the butter parents get used to the flour boyfriend. Eventually they will all work things out, and they will look something like this.
The dough won’t really feel like a cookie dough. It will be kind of like sticky(ish) crumbs. Pour those crumbs onto a piece of wax paper and kind of form them into a log shape. There will be some parts that won’t stick together, but don’t worry. When you chill these babies, they will be SO chill that they will finally want to hang out. You’re so smart. I love working with you.
Wrap up your cute little log in that waxed paper, like some kind of gigantic piece of dream cookie candy. Put your divine creation in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight. If you try to cut your cookies before the dough is hard, then you will get nice little pecan ovals instead of circles. If shape doesn’t matter to you, then go ahead. Be free. Break the rules and make cookies now. Brilliance comes in every shape.
Bake your cookies on parchment paper or a silpat mat at 350 for around 12-15 minutes. Every oven is a little different, and your baking time will depend on how thick you cut these gawwwwwgeous little babies. Basically you are looking for your cookies to be golden brown around the edges and a little bit brown(er) on top. When in doubt, use a spatula to flip a cookie over. When the bottom is golden brown, the cookies are done.
Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the silpat mat (those things are a revelation. Seriously. You will never make better cookies than when you use a silpat) and then gently place them onto a cooling rack to finish “chillin’.”
Of course, if you’re like me, you will smell those glorious toasted pecans. You will see that edge of caramelized sugar. You will smell the greatness. You will probably already have a steaming mug of coffee in your hand. And you will tell the kids the cookies aren’t ready because they are hot, which is technically true. And then . . . when no one is looking . . .
Hey. If you can’t find the evidence, then you can’t convict.
*munch, munch. Mmmmm. Evidence never tasted so good.
You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
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