Cinnamon Pecan Sandies

$4.86 recipe / $0.20 per cookie
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.60 from 15 votes
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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.

Cinnamon pecan sandies on a wooden plate with a glass of milk, a hand picking up one cookie

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.

Close up of Cinnamon Pecan Sandies on a wooden plate with whole pecans

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Cinnamon Pecan Sandies

4.60 from 15 votes
Rich, buttery, and nutty Cinnamon Pecan Sandies are the perfect easy cookie for dipping into a hot mug of cocoa or adding to your holiday cookie platter.
Close up of Cinnamon Pecan Sandies on a wooden plate with whole pecans
Servings 24 cookies
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature ($0.72)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar ($0.05)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract ($0.30)
  • 2 Tbsp water ($0.00)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 2 cups flour ($0.10)
  • 1 cup pecans ($3.52)
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon ($0.15)
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Instructions 

  • 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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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 147.34kcalCarbohydrates: 12.01gProtein: 1.38gFat: 10.3gSodium: 84.6mgFiber: 0.73g
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

A cinnamon pecan sandie broken in half held close to the camera to show the inside texture.

How to Make Cinnamon Pecan Sandies – Step by Step Photos

Creamed butter and sugar in a bowl with mixer beaters hovering over bowl

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 vanilla, salt, and water to creamed butter and sugar

Add 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp salt, and 2 Tbsp water to the creamed butter and sugar, then beat again until combined.

Beat flour into butter and sugar

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! :)

Cookie dough no pecans

This is what the cookie dough looks like after all the flour has been added. It’s soft, but not sticky.

Finely chopped pecans on a cutting board with a knife.

Finely chop 1 cup pecans.

Pecans added to cookie dough

Mix the chopped pecans into the cookie dough.

Add cinnamon to cookie dough

Sprinkle 1.5 tsp cinnamon onto the cookie dough.

Cinnamon folded into 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.

Shaped cookies on the baking sheet

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.

Baked Cinnamon Pecan Sandies close up

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!

Overhead view of a plate full of Cinnamon Pecan Sandies with a glass of milk and one cookie broke in half.

Let the cookies cool at least five minutes before serving!

A cinnamon pecan sandie being dunked into a glass of milk on a plate full of cookies

Love cinnamon? Try my Cinnamon Nut Swirl Mug Cake!

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Comments

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  1. I usually love there recipes from this site, but these cookies were not good at all. They were very dry, very bland. I was very disappointed. I will not be making these again!

  2. I wanted to love these cookies but was a bit disappointed. The pecan flavor comes through, but they also taste really flour-y. They’re all right, but no one in my family will eat them but me.

  3. I’ve looked at this recipe several times through the years, and this weekend while looking for a small batch not terribly sweet cookie recipe, it was time. So delicious, so easy, and with butter having been on sale lately, relatively inexpensive for a nut based cookie.

    Some people have asked about subs for the pecans. Hickory nuts–not usually commercially available–are pecan’s smaller cousins. They can be found in wooded areas in much of the US. With very hard shells, they are a pain to crack, but if you have hickory trees in a local park or wooded area, they are free–and delicious. They taste much like pecans. As children in Iowa, we collected them every fall from trees around our schoolyard, and they’re plentiful here in NC. Crack them while watching tv and you will be hard pressed not to eat them all.

    Although I haven’t used them in this recipe I often use hazelnuts in recipes–even “pecan” pie–as one of my grandsons is allergic to most tree nuts but can eat hazelnuts and almonds. They have more taste than almonds and are excellent in cookies. I’ve also tossed the shells in the smoker when smoking meats. Trader Joe’s always has them, and they are cheaper than some nuts.

    1. Scrambled my sentence order above–I toss hickory shells in the smoker, not hazelnut shells. Have to watch the edits more closely!

  4. These were delicious! So buttery and cinnamon-y. I got 18 cookies from scooping 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie. I liked them so much that I’m going to make these again for my family Christmas lunch!

  5. All I can say to this recipe is YES. I have never had these in this form – only with the powdered sugar coating and shaped round. Either way, these are just the best. Thank you for bringing the sweetness on this one!

  6. Delicious! I added two shakes of nutmeg because it is my favorite fall flavor.

    Also for a half cup of the flour I used home-ground whole wheat.

  7. These turned out so amazing!  I had walnuts on hand so I used those, and used almond extract instead of vanilla.  Phenomenal!