Pecan sandies are essentially a buttery shortbread filled with finely chopped pecans. With just a handful of ingredients shortbread cookies are buttery, crumbly cookies that are so easy to throw together.

A stack of pecan sandies on a sheet of baking paper

You’ll find loads of shortbread recipes on Sugar Salt Magic. Some of the most loved are these Chocolate Chip Shortbread, Dark Chocolate Shortbread and these Orange Pistachio Shortbread Cookies.

What you’ll need

These pecan sandies have just 5 ingredients and the first one is obvious.  

Flour, sugar, cornflour, butter and pecans sitting on a marble benchtop
  • Pecans: The pecans are toasted first, intensifying their nutty flavour.
  • Butter: As there are only 5 ingredients in these cookies, try to use a good quality butter – it will add the best flavour.
  • Flour and Cornflour (cornstarch): This recipe uses a combination of plain (all-purpose flour) and cornflour (cornstarch). The cornflour gives these cookies a more tender texture.
  • White sugar: Just regular white granulated sugar and not too much. This means these cookies are not super sweet. Just the perfect amount.

How to make pecan sandies

So easy to make, these can be finished baking within 45 minutes of starting.

A collage of 4 images showing the stages of making pecan sandie dough
  1. It’s optional but I recommend toasting the pecans first. Just 7-8 minutes on a baking tray at 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced.
  2. Beat together butter and sugar until it’s lightened and starting to look fluffy.
  3. Add the flour (image 1), then beat that in until the mixture looks like wet sand.
  4. Add the chopped pecans (image 2) then beat them in.
  5. Pull it together (image 3) then roll out the dough and cut out rounds.
  6. Place the rounds of dough on a baking tray (image 4) and chill for 10 minutes before baking.
A batch of pecan sandies on a sheet of baking paper

Tips & Variations

I’m all about customising recipes and this one pecan sandies recipe can be changed into an infinite number of flavours.

  • Nuts: Use your favourites – most nuts will work perfectly in this recipe. You can buy them already toasted, toast them yourself or skip it altogether.
  • Icing Sugar: You could toss the cookies in icing (powdered) sugar once they’ve cooled, like these Gingerbread Snowball Cookies, to make them look extra special
  • Other mix-ins: Swap the pecans for other things like dried fruit, or chocolate chips like these Chocolate Chip Shortbread.
  • Flour and cornstarch: The combo in the recipe is definitely my recommendation, however, if you have cake flour you can replace both with that. Or if you don’t have any cornflour / cornstarch, just replace that part with regular flour.
  • Sugar: You can use light brown sugar in place of the white sugar for a little extra flavour and complexity.

How to store them

Pecan sandies keep well stored in a cool spot, in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks.

This makes them, and any shortbread perfect for gifting. So why not wrap them up in a pretty gift box and give them away during the holidays? It’s such an easy and delicious edible gift.

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A batch of pecan sandies in a brown and gold gift box

More recipes you’ll love

A stack of pecan sandies on a sheet of baking paper

Pecan Sandies (Pecan Shortbread)

5 from 2 votes
A simple, 5 ingredient cookie, Pecan Sandies are essentially a pecan shortbread. With a texture that melts away in your mouth and a rich buttery, nutty flavour, these cookies are so easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 115 g unsalted butter, softened (1 stick / ½ cup)
  • 50 g caster (superfine) sugar (¼ cup / 1.8oz)
  • 130 g plain (all-purp) flour (1 cup / 4.5oz)
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) (20g / 0.7oz) (notes)
  • cup chopped pecans (40g / 1.4oz)
  • Optional: icing (powdered) sugar for dusting

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
  • Optional: Scatter the pecans on a baking tray and bake for 7-8 minutes to toast them, the let them cool.
  • In a medium bowl (or the bowl of a standmixer with paddle attachment), beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
  • Add the flour and cornflour and beat until it looks like wet sand.
  • Add the pecans and beat to incorporate. Pull the dough together with your hands.
  • Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper to about 8mm (⅓ inch), then use a 5cm (2 inch) cookie cutter to cut out circles.
  • Space about 2 inches apart on the baking trays then chill for 10 minutes.
  • Bake for around 14 minutes or until the edges start turning golden.
  • Let the cookies cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Optional: dust all over with icing (powdered) sugar.

Notes

  • I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons worldwide)
  • All ovens vary. Check 2-3 minutes before the recipe suggests and an oven thermometer is very handy
  • Always weigh ingredients like flour or sugar as different forms of measuring give different results. Kitchen scales are cheap and last forever, but if you can’t weigh use the spoon and level method – don’t tap it down.
Variations:
  • You can swap the cornflour for plain flour or swap both flours for cake flour.
  • You can use brown sugar if you prefer
  • Other varieties of nuts will work too.
For more cookie recipes, click here.
Have you tried this recipe?Rate or comment below and let us know how it was!
A stack of pecan sandies on a sheet of baking paper with pecans scattered around