Pecan Sandies

Growing up, Keebler Pecan Sandies were a regular cookie stocked in our kitchen cabinets. My mother loved them, although I didn’t particularly care for them because they were pretty plain tasting to me and Nutter Butters and Double Stuff Oreos were more to my liking. (Aren’t all kids that way?)

Somewhere along the line, I grew up and the tasting tables have turned. When I ran across this recipe on Smitten Kitchen I had to give it a try. This version is decidedly more grown up in flavor. It’s rich and buttery and because the pecans are roasted before use, the nut flavor really stands out.

Roasted Pecans

It’s also got slightly more salt than a cookie usually has so the light sweetness is balanced out with equally light saltiness and the turbinado sugar sprinkled on top provides a little crunch. Since these are so rich, the cookies were cut into 1 inch squares so as to not be so overwhelming when eaten. Add some cold milk you’re all set. I think these would especially hit the spot once the weather starts to get colder.

Pecan Sandies

Pecan Sandies
from The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern via Smitten Kitchen

Makes approx 12 dozen, one-inch square cookies (sounds like a lot but they will move FAST)

1 cup pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons turbinado (raw) sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts out in one layer on a baking sheet and bake them, stirring occasionally, until they are well browned, 10 to 13 minutes (they will smell toasted and nutty). Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.

In a food processor, grind the nuts with 1/4 cup of the flour. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Sift together the remaining 1 3/4 cups of flour, the salt, and the baking powder, and add it to the dough, mixing until just combined. Stir in the nut mixture. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Roll the dough between two sheets of wax paper to 3/16 inch thick (a rectangle approximately 10 x 14 inches). Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1-inch squares. Sprinkle the cookies with the turbinado sugar. Place them 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Prick the cookies with a fork and bake until pale golden all over, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.