>Pecan Sandies

I have a list of things I want to bake. I tear recipes out of magazines, I bookmark recipes I find on the internet and on other blogs (on all three computers that are in the house) and I have numerous baking cookbooks, all of which have little sticky post-it notes coming out of everywhere, marking every recipe I like. So I made a list. It is about two pages long and an easy summary of all these recipes (which I have everywhere) that I want to try.

These have been on that list for a little while now, waiting to be baked. Oh boy I should have baked them sooner! They only take about 15 minutes to put together and they are so good!

Pecan sandies are basically pecan shortbread. They are an American staple and are called Sandies because of their “sandy”, crumby, shortbread-like texture. This version has ground up pecans inside which not only add flavour, but makes them super crumbly and buttery and they just melt in your mouth!

Adapted from Baking Illustrated.

These cookies are made entirely in a food processor. I made only half of this recipe and it just fit in my machine. If you have issues, you could halve the recipe, make it in two batches or move it all over to an electric mixer after you have processed the pecans and sugar. You can also probably use any nuts you like, so if you don’t like pecans, try almonds or walnuts instead.

1 1/2 cups pecans + 24 pecan halves
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
165g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes (12 tbsp)
1 egg yolk

Preheat the oven to 170 C and line 3 baking trays with parchment paper.

Process 1 1/2 cups of pecans and both sugars in a food processor until the nuts are finely ground. Add the flour and salt and process until it is all combined.

Put the chopped butter over the dry ingredients and process until the mixture looks like damp sand and rides up the sides of the bowl. Add the egg yolk and continue to process until the dough comes together.

Scoop out tablespoons of the mixture and roll them into balls. The dough is quite moist and will shape and stick together easily.

Get a glass and lightly wet its base. Use the moist base to press down on the cookie balls and flatten them evenly.

Press a pecan half into the centre of each cookie.

Bake the pecan sandies for 20-24 minutes, rotating the trays halfway, until they are golden brown around the edges but still predominantly blonde. Makes 24 cookies.

Just to give you some idea of how good these are, my dad actually came up to me and said that he likes my shortbread. My dad hardly ever even tries any of my baking, let alone comments on it, let alone says he likes it. That is huge. They are buttery and short and just disappear in your mouth, so I’m not surprised!

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