4-Ingredient Pecan Sandies

4.89 from 9 votes

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Pecan Sandies are the kind of cookies that make you smile. They’re buttery cookies, with crunchy pecans inside, and they have this amazing crumbly texture.

Read on and I’ll show you step-by-step how to make this Pecan Sandies Recipe by the legendary Thomas Keller, in just 25 minutes. Did I mention this easy cookie recipe uses only 4 ingredients?

A plate of pecan sandies on a cookie tray.

As a bonus, this is an easy, make-ahead cookie recipe that is perfect for the busy holiday season. Mix up a batch of the dough today and then freeze it until you are ready to bake these closer to Christmas.

What are Pecan Sandies?

If you love pecans than this is a great cookie to add to your holiday cookie exchange this year.  But like our easy pecan pie recipe and our turtle dream bars, you can make this classic cookie all year round.  I promise you won’t be judged!

A stack of cookies with pecans in the center.

This recipe comes from one of America’s most famous chefs, Thomas Keller. We’ve made several of his recipes before, including his simple roast chicken and these tasty chocolate brownies.

If you’ve never made homemade Pecan Sandies, you are in for a treat!  This homemade version of this cookie recipe is way better than the store-bought cookie counterparts from companies like the Keebler company.  

Making them at home is an easy baking task that brings out the best flavors, and the recipe is so simple that it might become one of your favorite things to bake!

These aren’t just any cookies; they’re a tradition, a buttery shortbread cookie filled with nutty goodness. They’re similar to Mexican wedding cookies and tea cookies but with a woody charm that makes them stand out on any cookie platter. 

Ingredients for Pecan Sandies

Like our Amish sugar cookies, and snowball cookies, these pecan sandies use a short list of simple ingredients. This helps make these the perfect recipe for first time bakers and cookie experts alike!

  • Unsalted Butter: At room temperature, it mixes smoothly, creating a base for our buttery cookies.
  • All Purpose Flour: We use this in almost all of our cookie recipes. I generally prefer baking with King Arthur Flour. It’s high quality and consistent so I always know what I’m getting.  I love using this for my cake recipes and for bread making too!
  • Pecans: Chopped, these add a woodland touch, giving a crunch with each bite of these crumbly cookies.
  • Powdered Sugar: Growing up, my mom always called this confectioners’ sugar. It’s one of those ingredient names that I always stumbled over, so I definitely prefer the term powdered sugar instead!.  We use this instead of brown sugar or white sugar that is commonly found in almost any type of cookie you can imagine. Using powdered sugar give these delicious pecan sandies a soft, sweetness that is a perfect match for their nutty flavor. You can also sprinkle a light layer on top of the cookies for a festive, wintry touch!

How to Make Pecan Sandies

(See the recipe card below for the complete directions.)

A tray of cookies with a ribbon.

The nice thing about this easy cookie recipe is that you don’t need a lot of equipment. There’s no food processor involved and no fancy paddle attachment or anything like that.  

If you want, you can use an electric hand mixer or you can just mix up a batch of these by hand.

Part One: Preparation

Preheat your oven to 350° F and get two cookie sheets ready by lining them with parchment paper.

Part Two: Mixing

Combine the flour and pecans together in a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir them together. Make sure the pecans are all covered in flour.

A bowl of flour and some pecans.

In a large bowl, combine the softened butter and sugar. Using an electric hand mixer, start at low speed, gradually increasing to medium speed until it’s well mixed.

Work the powdered sugar into the creamed butter until the mixture is nice and fluffy.

A hand-held mixer, creaming butter in a mixing bowl.

Add the flour and pecan mixture to the creamed butter and sugar.

Adding flour to some other ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Stir the flour and pecans into the rest of the mixture until it is just combined.

A wooden spoon stirring some cookie dough in a mixing bowl.

Step Three: Forming Cookies

Use a cookie scoop to form dough balls, then gently flatten them on the prepared baking sheet.

For uniform cookies, use a small cookie scoop. If you’re using a kitchen scale, you’ll want each of these to be about 30 grams, or 1 1/2 teaspoons.

Space them each about an inch and a half apart to allow for spreading while they bake.

Step Four: Baking

Bake until the bottom edges of the cookies are golden brown. Let them cool on a wire rack afterwards.

Pro Baking Tip

Use a small hand-held fine mesh strainer to evenly sprinkle powdered sugar over the baked pecan sandies. This will give a nice, even coat of “snow” on the cookies.

A baking sheet with a tray of baked cookies on them.
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Substitutions and Variations

  • Gluten Concerns: Try gluten-free flours for gluten-free pecan sandies that are just as mouthwatering!
  • Variations: Add chocolate chips for a different taste, turning them into chocolatey cookies that you’ll adore. This is a delcious alternative for those who have nut allergies.
  • Vanilla Extract: Add a cap full of this if you like. I find that it can elevate the nutty goodness of these little cookies.
Some pecan sandies

Common Questions

Can I prepare the dough in advance?

Yes! You can wrap it in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge, then continue the next day.

Top Tips for Success

  • Baking: Watch the cookies as they bake. You want a golden brown perfection, not an overbaked crunch.
  • Storing: Keep your cookies in an airtight container or freezer bags to maintain their delightful texture.
    Ready to create some baking magic? Get your ingredients and let’s turn them into some delightful pecan sandies cookies! Happy baking! 🍪
A stack of cookies with powdered sugar on them.

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Pecan Sandies

4.89 from 9 votes
Chewy, melt-in-your-mouth, Pecan Sandies, adpated from Thomas Keller. This easy cookie recipe features just 4 ingredients and takes just 25 minutes to make! These Pecan Sandies are perfect for holiday baking and cookie exchanges.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 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 15 minutes.
  • Set the pans on a cooling rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  • If desired, dust with powdered sugar.


Baking Notes
  • 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!

The Best Christmas Cookies

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. Michael, I love dipping these in coffee, milk, and tea! So glad you enjoyed them and yes; so easy to make!