Pecan Sandies

4.80 from 5 votes

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Pecan Sandies Recipe – Thomas Keller-Inspired Cookies by Platter Talk

three pecan sandies stacked up

What are they?

A couple of weeks ago I observed what many have since referred to as a “milestone” birthday.  I didn’t think of my 50th as a milestone per say, although I did comment to my 10 year-old son Isaiah that, “Fifty sounds so old.”  As he often does, our fourth grader who often effectively comes off as someone in their mid-twenties, very matter-of-factly responded to me, “Dad, let’s save this conversation for when you turn seventy.”

pecans getting chopped

pecan sandies rolled on a cookie sheet pecan sandies on a tray

Thank goodness for kids, eh?  And friends.  Fortunately, we are blessed with an abundance of both and my recent birthday was a good reminder of this fact.  One of the many wonderful gifts I received came from our good friend, Lane.   He has an uncanny knack for always hitting the bullseye.  Once again, he was spot on with his gift to me:  Thomas Keller’s “Bouchon Bakery.”

powdered sugar getting dusted over cookies

The book is beautiful.  I think a lot of people would use it as a coffee table book but I’ll be using it as a kitchen resource and an ornament in our living room.  It’s filled with beautiful photos, anecdotes from many of the chefs who work at Keller’s Bouchon Bakery, and a great deal of practical instruction.

pecans on a scale

One of the book’s first pieces of advice is for bakers to throw out their measuring cups and measuring spoons and replace them with a kitchen food scale.  The rationale offered centers around the variations that can exist between the methods and techniques among individuals when measuring ingredients.  For instance, a cup of flour measured can vary greatly depending on how much it is packed.  Similarly, different size crystals of salt (Kosher vs. table for example) affects the total amount in a given recipe depending on how it is measured.  A scale takes away these potential variables.  One gram equals one gram no matter how it is packed or what size crystal is being used.  I’ve been baking for over 40 years now and have never used one of these devices, until last night.  I picked up a scale for the kitchen and I have to say, I love it.

a close up of some pecan sandies

The recipes in Bouchon Bakery are very “approachable” to a non-professional chef, like myself.  I decided to start with the book’s very first recipe.  These pecan sandies have just a few ingredients and the process is basic and simple.

A close up of a pecan sandy

Keller features this initial recipe as a tribute to his mom, who made these frequently for the now world-famous chef and his siblings.  The first challenged I faced was realizing that my stand mixer was at our cottage and not at our home in town where I was making these.  It didn’t take me long to deduce that in all likelihood, Thomas Keller’s mom worked without a stand mixer and for this recipe, I would as well.

pecan sandies on a board

Not having a stand mixer did not prove to be a challenge at all.  Keeping these pecan sandies around once they came out of the oven was another story.  I’m not sure if  I have ever tasted a pecan sandy prior to today, none of our kids had.  We all loved them.  Part cookie, part short bread, these sandies are part savory and part sweet – a genuine confluence of flavor and texture.

a stack of pecan sandies

Thomas Keller’s mom clearly got it right when she learned that these treats are great to have around.  They are simple, they are delightful, and easy to make with minimal fuss.  If you have never had a pecan sandy, don’t delay.  If you have had them before, try this recipe.  I would love to know how you and your family like them – they were a hit in our house.  For these I say, thank you, Mrs. Keller and thank you Lane.

A half eaten cookie.

Pecan Sandies

4.80 from 5 votes
adpated from Thomas Keller
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Yield: 15 servings


  • 250 Grams Flour, 1 3/4 cups + 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • 80 Grams Pecans, 3/4 cup, Coarse chop
  • 170 Grams Butter, 6 oz. Unsalted, at room temperature.
  • 90 Grams Powdered Sugar, 3/4 cup + 1 3/4 teaspoons
  • Additional powdered sugar for dusting, optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Combine flour and pecans in medium bowl and stir.
  • Place butter in separate bowl mix until smooth.
  • Add the powdered sugar, mix until fluffy.
  • Add flour and pecans to butter and sugar mixture, mix until just combined.
  • Roll dough into 30 gram/1 1/2 teaspoon portions.
  • Arrange on cookie sheets, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between them.
  • Press balls into 2-inch disks.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
  • Set the pans on a cooling rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  • If desired, dust with powdered sugar.


  • I cut back a bit on the butter, using 4 ounces instead of 6. To make up for the lost moisture in the dough, I added a couple of tablespoons of milk and an approximately equal amount of water.
  • For convection ovens, decrease the temperature by 25 degrees.  Convection ovens will provide a more even browning of these sandies. However, they will not spread as much when compared to a conventional oven.
  • The thicker the sandies, the longer the baking time required. Conversely, the "flatter" the disks, the shorter the time.
    Store unused cookies in a sealed container.


Calories: 202kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 81mg, Potassium: 42mg, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 285IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 0.9mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!

For another incredible recipe from Thomas Keller, take a look at these Brownies, prepared by Platter Talk!

A close up of a brownie.

pecan sandies

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Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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  1. 5 stars
    Another delicious recipe as usual! My daughter loves cookies like this…we will have to try them. And pick up a kitchen scale…I must say there is not a scale to be had in this house, not in the kitchen or anywhere else. I think I could break down for the kitchen though. 🙂 Pinning and sharing!

  2. Pecan Sandies are one of my all-time favorite cookies. Love this recipe, Dan…the perfect comfort food cookie in my book. So buttery, shortbread-y and nutty. Thanks for sharing and I hope you and your family had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

    1. Stacy,
      These are now a favoite of mine as well!! Thanks so much for the great comments and I hope this finds both you and the Big Lug feeling better!

  3. Pecan sandies are such a classic! You did well with this simple Southern treat, Dan. Your sandies look so scrumptious, buttery and easy to make. I can’t wait to try them!

    1. Georgia,
      I”m thinking your first name alone qualifies you to assess the outcome of this post! Thanks for the kind comments, these sandies exceeded my expectations!

  4. I love how your Isaiah thinks! Happy Belated Birthday Dan – am so glad you were surrounded by family and friends that love you!
    Thanks for sharing that wonderful tip about the scle vs spoons/cups etc – it had never occurred to me before.
    And thanks for sharing these – they look so light and fluffy – but (like all sweets) they would not be laying around long in our house – and theres only 2 of us!

  5. That is one of my favorite cookbooks and I’m absolutely positive you will love it!! Your pecan sandies turned out fantastically! Happy belated birthday!

    1. Joanne, I could not believe how good these are! Thanks for stopping by and of course for the birthday wishes!

  6. WE LOVE Pecan sandies!! These are so Yummy! In fact, Anna makes them every year for Christmas. Glad you are enjoying the new scale. And don’t fret over the “50” thing. Its the new “35” these days! Have a great day!

    1. If I had room for another gadget in my kitchen it would be a scale. As it is I am donating everything except my electric skillet, coffee pot , toaster, and rotisserie oven. I love these cookies! We call them Russian tea cakes and they are marvelous! I will be trying your version of this classic recipe over the weekend to serve to our guests on Sunday. Thanks for sharing….. Candy

      1. Thanks for your great comments, Candy. Since putting adding a scale to my kitchen counter I have grown to love it and use it more almost every time I bake. I’m not sure if I enjoy the precision or just fiddling with the buttons, toggling between metric and conventional units etc. Either way, these cookies are quite simple and every bit as wonderful in taste. I hope you enjoy.