Pecan Sandies

Scrumptious pecan filled butter cookies made even better with a crackly sugar topping! Try this melt in your mouth cookie recipe for classic Pecan Sandies. You’ll want to keep a tin of these cookies handy all year long!

Love Pecans? Pecan Pie can be a favorite holiday treat…but year round we make these delicious Pecan Pie Truffles. Store in the freezer for a quick, popable treat!

Pecan sandies stacked on baking sheet.

Why these Cookies are Amazing

Pecan Sandies are deceptively delicious. At first glance, they seem like your typical butter cookie.

You know, the generic kind you get in those big holiday cookie tins at any supermarket or drug store. Good, but not earth shattering.

These cookies? They’re the absolute perfect pecan cookie!

Made with real butter and powdered sugar, Pecan Sandies have a fine crumb, toasty nut flavor and a delicate crunch, similar to a shortbread cookie.

This cookie is crispy when you bite into it with a soft buttery taste that almost melts in your mouth.

Whether you call these snowball cookies, Mexican wedding cookies, or pecan sandies, just be sure to make a double batch today!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed for pecan sandies cookies.
  • Unsalted Butter – Real butter is essential for these cookies and I prefer unsalted so I can control the amount of salt in the cookies. Use our guide on how to soften butter quickly.
  • Vanilla Extract – Homemade Vanilla Extract is especially delicious!
  • Pecans – Chop the nuts finely (but not into powder) before using in the recipe.
  • Powdered sugar – Using powdered sugar (or confectioner’s sugar) gives the cookies that light crispy texture. Do NOT sub for granulated sugar!
  • TOPPING– use a glass dipped in granulated sugar to smash these cookies before baking (like I do in my Swig sugar cookie recipe). Or skip that step and dust with powdered sugar after cooling.

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make pecan sandies.

Make the cookie dough.

First, you’ll make a crumbly dough by combining the powdered sugar and butter, then adding the vanilla, flour and kosher salt. From here, use your hands to incorporate the pecans into the dough.

The warmth of your hands will help the dough stick together and form a ball. Scoop the dough by the spoonful onto a cookie sheet.

Flatten the cookies and bake.

Dampen the rim of a drinking glass then press it into a plate of granulated sugar. Use the sugared glass to flatten the cookies into disks then bake until the edges of the cookies are light brown.

Tips and Tricks

  • Use soft butter: If you forget to let your butter sit at room temperature for a bit before making the cookies, you can speed up the softening process in the microwave. Place unwrapped sticks of butter in the microwave at 50% power for 5 seconds at a time until it’s soft enough to work with.
  • Bake time: As written, this recipe will make a light and crumbly cookie. If you want a harder crunchier cookie, you can leave them in the oven for another minute or two. Just keep a close eye on them because these delicate treats can burn quickly!
  • Topping: My family likes the taste and texture of the granulated sugar topping. If you prefer, you can skip it and add more powdered sugar to the tops of the cooled baked cookies instead.
  • Chai: add some homemade chai spice into the cookies to make a delicious chai cookie instead!
Pecan sandies on cookie sheet, some dusted with powdered sugar.

Recipe FAQs

How finely chopped do the pecans need to be in Pecan Sandies?

For Pecan Sandies, the pecan pieces should be small but not pulverized into powder. I use the bags of pecan halves and pieces and chop them until they’re small but not crumb-like. It’s okay if you have some different sized pieces of nuts and they don’t need to be uniform in this recipe as long as the pieces are small enough to combine into the dough.

How do you store Pecan Sandies?

Store Pecan Sandies in an airtight container at room temperature. You can store them in ziploc bags, but they break and crumble easily so be careful when transporting them!

Can you freeze Pecan Sandies?

Yes you can freeze pecan sandies. The high butter content makes these great for freezing. Let thaw completely at room temperature before serving.

Pecan sandies cooled on parchment paper.

Favorite Cookies

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Pecan Sandies

4.74 from 52 votes
By: Aimee
Light and crumbly Pecan Sandies may look simple but don't let that fool you; these easy-to-make cookies are filled with irresistible buttery pecan flavor. You won't be able to eat just one!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies


  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup pecans finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
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  • Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  • Cream butter and powdered sugar together in a large bowl. Add flour, salt and vanilla. It becomes very crumbly. Use your hands to mix in the chopped pecans, until it becomes a ball.
  • Using a 2Tbsp cookie scoop, scoop dough and place on baking sheet with parchment paper, about 2 inches apart.
  • Dampen a paper towel and press a glass (or measuring cup with flat bottom) onto the paper towel. Then dip the glass in the reserved granulated sugar. Press glass onto cookie dough to flatted until about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Bake cookies for 11-13 minutes, just until lightly browned on edges. Remove and cool completely.


  • Use soft butter. Cold butter will be hard to work into the dough and the cookie texture will be off. Did you forget to put your butter out at room temperature in advance? You can soften it with a few seconds in the microwave at 50% power!
  • This recipe makes cookies that are lightly crispy and crumbly. That means you’re going to take them out of the oven before they’re browned. If you want a crunchier cookie, feel free to leave the cookies in the oven for another minute or two. Just keep a close eye on them! They can burn quickly.
  • You can also skip the granulated sugar and sprinkle with powdered sugar after cooling instead. My family prefers the texture and flavor of the granulated sugar.


Serving: 1cookies, Calories: 142kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 26mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

Light and crumbly Pecan Sandies may look simple but don’t let that fool you; these easy-to-make cookies are filled with irresistible buttery pecan flavor. You won’t be able to eat just one!

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on February 1, 2021

Comments & Reviews

    1. Hi Deb, I use both sizes of the Pampered Chef Cookie Scoops. Give them a quick spray with coconut oil before scooping out the batter or if you’re concerned about the flavor, I also use a natural “Crisco” by Spectrum called Organic all-vegetable shortening that can be rubbed on with a paper towel.

  1. 5 stars
    So good and yummy!! Brings back memories. I used to share pecan sandies with my dad when I was little. We drank Dr. Pepper with them. Thank you for the recipe and bringing back a precious memory.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this recipe exactly and they are delicious! I even made the Chai spice mix, and then totally forgot to add it in, so I will definitely be making these again!! How much of that spice do you suggest adding to the dough? A tablespoon? Or is that too much? Let me know and thanks! My husband and I love these!

  3. 5 stars
    I made these for my hubby and also took some to work. Everyone LOVED them. They keep asking for more.

  4. I made these today and followed the recipe exactly and they turned out perfect. I forgot that I used praline coated pecans because that’s what I had on hand. The cookies were delicious.

  5. 5 stars
    These cookies are to die for. I made them and rolled into logs to freeze. I left a little dough out to cook and see how they taste. Fantastic! Thanks for this recipe

  6. The cookie was very easy to make. But it has to much flour. I used exactly 2 cups.
    Yes I did follow the recipe to the letter.
    They look perfect, just like the picture
    Pecan Sandies are my favorite cookie, but these are a waste of baking supplies.

  7. I made these today. Yum they are delicious! Definitely a keeper. Will be giving these out at Christmas to friends. Thank you !

    1. That’s very odd. Did you use real butter? The dough is very dry like a shortbread, so not sure what happened for you.

  8. This is the second time in the last month that I made these decisions cookies ! ! They are now my husband favorite !
    Thanks for sharing you recipe .😊

  9. Is it okay to salted butter instead of unsalted? I made them but I had to add more sugar after they were done but I couldn’t taste much salt or sugar

  10. This recipe is perfect! Almost like the store bought pecan sandies. I love that it is an easy recipe that uses very few ingredients. Using only powdered sugar in the dough gives these cookies a subtle sweetness & that sandy crumbly texture that you want in this cookie. This recipe is going into my recipe box & I will be making these again!

  11. My first time ever making Pecan Sandies. Easy to follow
    recipe and a great tasting cookie. I will make these again!


    1. Hmmm, sounds like you made a mistake somewhere because, yes, powdered sugar is correct for this recipe. SOrry you had troubles.

  13. These are such a classic cookie! I remember my grandma always having some in her cookie jar when I was a kid. Total throwback recipe for me <3

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