Homemade Pecan Sandies are as easy as they are delicious!

Studded with crunchy pecans, this light, and buttery shortbread cookie is the perfect dessert to make!

Pecan Sandies have a fine, crumbly texture that makes them a melt-in-your-mouth delicious treat anytime.

A stack of pecan sandies with a bite on a wood board

What Are Pecan Sandies?

“Sandies” is a cookie made with basic ingredients, similar to a sugar cookie or shortbread cookie.

  • Love pecans? Pecan Sandies are a shortbread-style cookie recipe loaded with crushed pecans for a nutty crunch.
  • A food processor quickly mixes and chops all the ingredients.
  • If you love snowball cookies, you’ll love the texture of these pecan sandies. And you can shape them like snowballs, too!
  • Make the dough ahead of time, store it in the fridge or freezer, and bake when you’re ready.
  • Serve plain or dust with powdered sugar and serve as a dainty tea party dessert.
ingredients to make Pecan Sandies on a baking shee

Ingredients in Pecan Sandies

Pecan Sandies are made from a simple butter-based dough much like shortbread.

  • Pecans – To add an extra layer of flavor, make sure to use whole pecans that can be toasted before using them in the recipe.
  • Flour – This cookie recipe calls for all-purpose flour.
  • Butter – To ensure consistent results, I recommend using unsalted butter and adding your own salt. Different brands contain different amounts of salt.
  • Powdered sugar – For a crumbly texture, use powdered sugar which is finer than granulated sugar and blends easily.
  • Vanilla extract – A little bit of vanilla extract goes a long way in adding flavor to these cookies.

How to Make Pecan Sandies

Homemade Pecan Sandies are so easy to make!

  1. Toast pecans, cool, and pulse in a food processor per the recipe below.
  2. Cream butter & sugar until smooth; add in the pecans and flour.
  3. Chill for a couple of hours (or days!).
  4. Form into cookies

Pro Tips for Pecan Sandies

  • For the best flavor, use unsalted butter and add your own salt.
  • To save time on grinding the pecans (or if you don’t have a food processor), start with chopped instead of whole pecans. They can still be toasted in a small non-stick skillet over medium heat until fragrant.

No food processor? No Problem!

To make these delicious Pecan Sandies without a food processor, start by very finely chopping the pecans before adding them to the dough.

You can chop them by hand, or you can add a few pecans to a blender or food processor and pulse them until they’re finely chopped. Then, use a pastry cutter or fork to cut in the butter and mix the dough. Remember, the dough will be crumbly but should come together when you roll it into balls.

How to Store Sandies

Keep Pecan Sandies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days. The dough can be frozen in a zippered bag for up to 3 months. To bake a few cookies at a time, simply freeze unbaked slices and then put them in a zippered bag, then only bake what you need.

More Cookie Favorites

Did your family love these Pecan Sandies? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

A stack of pecan sandies with a bite on a wood board
4.94 from 83 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Pecan Sandies

Made with simple ingredients, these buttery shortbread cookies are packed with toasted pecan flavor!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 27 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
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Ingredients  

  • 1 ¼ cups pecans divided
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Place pecans on a pan and cook for 7-8 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Cool completely.
  • Place the cooled pecans in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Remove 3 tablespoons of the pecans and set aside.
  • Add flour and salt to the food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar with a mixer until fluffy. Mix in water and vanilla.
  • Add the flour and pecans a bit at a time until incorporated.
  • Scoop the dough into 1" balls and lightly flatten. Roll the edges in the reserved pecans.
  • Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Cool the cookies completely and dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Notes

Toasting pecans is optional, but it adds lots of flavor to these cookies.
The texture of these cookies is crumbly, much like a shortbread cookie.
The dough can be chilled and baked from chilled, you will need to add about 2 minutes baking time.
Instead of forming individual cookies, the dough can be rolled into a 2-inch thick log, chilled for 4 hours, and sliced before baking.
No Food Processor? Start with chopped instead of whole pecans, and if needed chop them more finely before using. To toast chopped pecans, place them in a small skillet over medium heat and cook while stirring until fragrant.
4.94 from 83 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 152 | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 239IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine American
pile of Pecan Sandies with a title
sheet pan with Pecan Sandies and a title
close up of Pecan Sandies with a bite taken out of one and writing
cooked Pecan Sandies on a sheet pan and in a stack with writing

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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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Comments

  1. I tossed my pecans in a table spoon of vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup prior to roasting them in the oven to give them a little sweet coating Continued the recipe as normal they were magnificent.5 stars

  2. Thank you for this recipe! The Sandies are the best I’ve ever tasted and came out perfect on my first try. I am amazed by the flavors that come together and melt in my mouth. These are giftable! but I have a feeling they won’t make it out of my kitchen.5 stars

  3. Just pulled these out of the oven, and they’re absolutely delicious! No notes—this recipe is definitely a keeper!5 stars

  4. I guess I’m a sucker for pecan sandies my. Grand daughter and l made them me mostly eat all. All most before they were cool . Good times with grand dad an grand daughter.5 stars

  5. These are very crumbly right out of the oven. I put them in the fridge (the ones my husband hadn’t managed to eat yet) and they were perfect when fully chilled. Now I have to make another batch because only two actually made it into the fridge.

  6. These have to be the worst cookies I have ever baked. They all fall apart on the cookie sheet, can barely get them off, I tossed most in the trash. Those I did taste were true to the name sandies, felt like sand in your mouth. NEVER again will I waste my money on these. Good luck if you try! Rate 0

    1. On no, I am so sorry to hear that, Marcia! This recipe has always been a success for us so I am not sure what went wrong.

  7. they are as advertised…..crumbly texture. I was looking for something closer to the commercial product. I’ve made shortbread before and these are much more flour-y….not crisp. I think I’ll try adding pecans to my old shortbread standby.4 stars

  8. I made these cookies for Mother’s Day since my Mom is a big pecan sandies fan. I have heard several times since then from both my parents (my Mom was kind and shared….) how great these cookies are and how everyone they’ve shared them with raved about them too. So I now have the batch I made for Father’s Day cooling as I write this.

    I will say that I struggled to get the pecans to adhere to the sides of the cookies so I just sprinkled them on top. While I set aside the amount of chopped pecans the recipe called for, I did not have enough for all the cookies, especially when I rolled the sides which used a lot of them.

    I highly recommend roasting the pecans before making these per the instructions in the recipe. it really adds to the depth of flavor.

    Thanks for a great recipe, Holly!

  9. Can I make these with gluten free flour like almond or rice? my granddaughter is gluten intolerant.

    1. I haven’t tried either of those flours so I can’t say for sure how they would turn out. I recommend using an all purpose gluten free flour for the best results Becky. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

  10. Absolutely wonderful cookies. Followed the recipe exactly and they turned out great. Took the suggestion to roll dough into a log and cool for 4 hours. This made it a breeze to get uniform shape and size. Definitely adding to my recipes.5 stars