I’m not a huge cookie person (I’d rather have a chunk of cheese 🧀), but I looooove pecan sandies! I think I love them because they’re not too sweet. They’re rich, buttery, and nutty, with just a little hint of sweetness. The perfect cookie for savory food lovers, like myself. But this time, I decided to go one step further and make my pecan sandies a little extra cozy by swirling in a heavy dose of warm cinnamon. Dipping these Cinnamon Pecan Sandies into a hot mug of cocoa or coffee, while wrapped in a cozy sweater might actually make me like winter. Maybe. We’ll see. I might have to make a second batch just to make sure.
What are Pecan Sandies?
If you’re not familiar with this nutty cookie, they’re basically shortbread filled to the brim with chopped pecans. They’re also very similar to Mexican Wedding Cookies. Pecan Sandies are a little crumbly, but melt in your mouth with their buttery flavor. They’re not very sweet, making them a perfect contrast to other super sweet cookies on holiday cookie platters.
Can I Make the Dough Ahead of Time?
Yes, you can prepare the dough for these Cinnamon Pecan Sandies ahead and store it in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly in plastic, for a few days, or freeze the dough for longer storage.
Can I Substitute the Pecans?
Yes. While pecans are the classic choice here, I think there are several other nuts that would also be delicious. Walnuts, pistachios, and macadamia would all be awesome.
Cinnamon Pecan Sandies
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Add the room temperature butter and powdered sugar to a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the two together until light and creamy (start on low speed to prevent spraying powdered sugar, increase to high once the sugar and butter are combined).
- Add the vanilla extract, water, and salt and beat until combined.
- Finally, begin to add the flour, beating on low speed, adding 1/2 cup at a time, until all of the flour is incorporated.
- Finely chop the pecans, then briefly mix them into the cookie dough. Finally, sprinkle the cinnamon over the cookie dough and use your hands to fold the dough onto itself 3-4 times, or just enough to create swirls of cinnamon throughout the dough, but not have it evenly mixed.
- Divide and shape the cookie dough into 24 balls, about 2 Tbsp each. Place the shaped dough onto the cookie sheets then use the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass to press the dough balls into thick discs.
- Bake the pecan sandies for 22-25 minutes, or until the cookies are barely golden on the edges. The appearance of the cookies won't change much after baking. Allow the cookies to cool slightly before serving.
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!
How to Make Cinnamon Pecan Sandies – Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Beat together 1 cup room temperature butter (two 8-Tbsp sticks) and 3/4 cup powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Make sure to start your mixer on low speed until the powdered sugar is worked into the butter, or else you’ll spray sugar everywhere!
Add 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp salt, and 2 Tbsp water to the creamed butter and sugar, then beat again until combined.
Begin beating in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until 2 cups have been incorporated. Again, use a lower speed to prevent spraying flour all over! :)
This is what the cookie dough looks like after all the flour has been added. It’s soft, but not sticky.
Finely chop 1 cup pecans.
Mix the chopped pecans into the cookie dough.
Sprinkle 1.5 tsp cinnamon onto the cookie dough.
Use your hands to fold the dough onto itself 3-4 times or just until there are swirls of cinnamon throughout the dough, but the cinnamon is not yet evenly mixed in.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide and shape the cookie dough into 24 ping pong sized balls. Place the shaped balls on the cookie sheets, then use the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass to press the balls into thick discs.
Bake the Cinnamon Pecan Sandies for 22-25 minutes, or until they are just slightly golden on the edges. The appearance of the cookies won’t change much as they bake. The above photo is AFTER baking!
Let the cookies cool at least five minutes before serving!
Love cinnamon? Try my Cinnamon Nut Swirl Mug Cake!