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This pecan sandies cookie recipe is a family favorite, and it’s become one of our traditional Christmas cookies every year. With its shortbread-like texture, I think they taste even BETTER a few days later.

Pecan Sandies in a pretty glass serving bowl.

How to Make Homemade Pecan Sandies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar or sucanat
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
  • 1 cup sugar or powdered sugar for rolling cookies (optional)

Instructions:

Cream softened butter together with sugar and vanilla.

Chopped pecans sitting atop the dough in the mixing bowl.

Chop or crush pecans into small pieces. I always just put the nuts into a plastic bag and use something like a hammer (yes, I have a kitchen hammer 😉 ) or a rolling pin to crush them into smaller pieces, but you can also use a nut chopper if you have one. The pecans for pecan sandies need to be in fairly fine pieces. Not a powder, but also not large chunks that will make the cookies fall apart.

To the bowl, add water, flour, pecans, and salt (if using). Mix well until dough forms. If the dough is still crumbly after mixing, just work it a few times by hand until it clings together. (You may need to gently press dough into each cookie shape too, depending on how dry it ends up being.)

Roll pecan sandies into teaspoon-sized balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees F for about 20-30 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown and firm.

Immediately remove from cookie sheets and roll in powdered or granulated sugar while cookies are still hot. (The sugar on the outside is optional. If you want a slightly less sweet cookie, just skip this step.)

Serve immediately or allow to cool before serving. May be stored in a covered airtight container at room temperature, and they travel fairly well too.

Pecan Sandies Tips & Tricks

How to Make Homemade, Corn-Free Powdered Sugar

This past Christmas, my dad discovered a quick and easy way to make homemade powdered sugar, and it doesn’t have any cornstarch in it! Simply put a cup or so of sugar into a Nutribullet blender and process for a few seconds, until the mixture is white and powdery. It worked perfectly!

Can You Make Pecan Sandies with Oil?

Could you? I suppose. But unfortunately, something about this recipe just needs real butter. I think I tried to make homemade pecan sandies without butter several years ago, and while I don’t remember specifics, I do vaguely recall not being impressed with the result (and I’ve never made them that way since, if that tells you anything).

How Long Do Pecan Sandies Last?

Not long once your family knows about them, haha. 🙂

In all seriousness, pecan sandie cookies will keep in an airtight container on the counter for at least several days, maybe up to a week or more. (They rarely last that long around here, so I really don’t know how long!)

Like I mentioned above, I actually think they taste better after sitting for a day or two, to let the flavors meld together. Leftover pecan sandies are amazing!

Are Pecan Sandies the Same as Mexican Wedding Cookies?

It is my understanding that yes, they are the same type of cookie, and I’ve heard my grandma refer to them by this name as well. (If someone out there knows a difference between the two types of cookies, feel free to correct me below!)

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Recipe Card

Pecan Sandies Cookies

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pecan Sandies
Servings: 3 dozen
Author: Rachel Abernathy

Equipment

  • Bowl
  • Kitchen mixer
  • Spatula
  • Nut chopper
  • Cookie sheets

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar or sucanat
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 tsp. salt optional
  • 1 cup sugar or powdered sugar for rolling cookies, optional

Instructions

  • Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla.
  • Add water, flour, chopped pecans, and salt. Mix well until dough forms, kneading together by hand if needed at the end.
  • Roll cookies into teaspoon-size balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets.
  • Bake at 300 degrees F for about 20-30 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown and firm.
  • Immediately remove from cookie sheets and roll in sugar if desired. Serve warm or cool.
Learn how to make easy (and delicious) homemade pecan sandie cookies! #pecansandies #RachelsRealFoodKitchen

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