The name Pecan Sandies has stirred some confusion for people? What exactly is a “sandy?” Sandies are shortbread cookies made from sugar, all-purpose flour, vanilla, and salt. It is very similar to the French sable cookies.
In short, Pecan Sandies are just pecan sablé cookies. The term “Sandies” was applied because of its sandy brown color and crumbly texture. Pecan Sandies are coated with white sugar making them similar to Italian and Mexican wedding cookies.
Pecan Sandies are sturdy and delicious cookies. They have a long shelf-life and can be easily prepared in advance for cookie exchanges or bake sales.
Pecan Sandies Trivia
- Texans absolutely love their Pecans! The Pecan tree is the official tree, Pecan nuts are the official health nut, and Pecan pies are the state’s official dessert.
- Texas celebrates National Pecan Day every April 14.
- Pecans are one of the healthiest nuts in the world. It can lower blood pressure and is full of potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Pecan Sandies Buying Guide
Pecan Sandies are sablé cookies having long shelf life and stable structures. Most Pecan Sandies are commercially produced and are available in most supermarkets and groceries. However, homemade Pecan Sandies or those produced by small-time bakers are better tasting. The differences in the quality and quantity used in the baking process impact both the flavors and textures of the Pecan Sandies.
The Keebler Company is one of the most famous American cookie and former cracker manufacturer which produces the Keebler Pecan Shortbread Sandies Cookies. The company swears by the “melt in your mouth” sensation of their rich, buttery Pecan Sandies.
Pecan Sandies Production & Farming in Texas
Texas has a long history of Pecan plantations which began in the early 1920s. The original land that was used for the Pecan plantations was originally owned by the Comanche Indians until O.P. Leonard purchased a 3,300-acre property and named it the Leonard Bend Farm.
Pecans are sturdy nut trees and can grow everywhere in Texas, even enduring their harsh climates. However, the frigid winters of Texas can damage the thin bark of young pecan trees. Those with thicker barks can survive the winters.
Soil quality should be considered when planting pecans. It should be rich in oxygen, water, and nutrients. Thus, soil testing should be conducted before the planting process to assess whether the soil is too shallow or improperly drained which can damage Pecan trees.
Preservatives and Chemicals
Commercially produced Pecan Sandies have a better texture because it is mixed and baked using high-powered machinery and special techniques which cannot be applied to a bakery’s small-scale production.
Soy lecithin is one of the most common food additives acting as an emulsifier, antioxidant, and flavor enhancer. It is usually added to bread, cakes, cookies, margarine, ice cream, and even dairy products. Consuming soy lecithin can reduce high cholesterol without affecting good cholesterol. It is safe to consume and does not trigger allergies so there is very little risk for consumers.
Artificial sugars are another type of food additive used in commercial productions. Terms used for artificial sugars commonly include sucralose and saccharine. Both artificial sugars are approximately 500 times sweeter than normal sugars which can trigger diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and liver disorders. Some people experience migraines and nausea after consuming too much sugar.
After baking and cooling the Pecan Sandies, they can be wrapped in cling film and then stored in boxes of airtight containers. Another option is to arrange Pecan Sandies in a small, paper box, tied with a rustic twine for a natural look that’s perfect for gifting. PPecan Sandies can also be packaged in tin cans for a more commercial look.
Enjoying Pecan Sandies
Pecan Sandies is perfectly paired with hot beverages such as freshly brewed coffee or even cappuccino. It can also be included as one of the cookie desserts served during tea time. Finally, Pecan Sandies can be dunked in a tall glass of warm milk for the ultimate comfort before bedtime.
Storing Pecan Sandies is pretty easy because of their stable cookie structure. Raw Pecan Sandies cookie dough must be wrapped in cling film and then put in an airtight container before freezing it for up to a month or two. It is not recommended to freeze the cookie dough for more than three months because it will lose its flavors and textures.
MINIMALISTIC PECAN SANDIES
Only a few ingredients are needed to bake these delightful, nutty treats.
1 cup salted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
1/2 tightly cup packed light brown sugar (be sure it’s fresh)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (you may not end up using all of it)
1/2 cup roasted pecans, finely chopped, plus extra for topping
Optional: powdered sugar for dusting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add butter and brown sugar. Using a paddle attachment on medium-high speed, mix until fluffy and light, several minutes. Scrape down sides as needed. Add only 1 1/2 cups of the flour and mix on medium-low speed until combined, scraping down sides as needed.
- On a large board, sprinkle 1/3 cup flour to keep the dough from sticking to the board. Use a rubber spatula to transfer the dough to the board. Knead dough by hand for 2 minutes, adding only as much of the remaining flour as needed to make a soft pliable dough. The dough should end up soft and workable, similar to play dough. If it’s too sticky, add in one tablespoon of flour at a time just until dough is the right consistency. Do not add so much flour that dough becomes dry (note: you may not end up using all the flour.)
- Work in pecans. Divide dough in half and gently roll into logs that are 1 1/2″ diameter. Tip: moisten palms with a bit of water or oil to prevent dough from sticking to palms. If your dough has become too warm, chill dough a few minutes to firm up just enough to allow you to roll it.
- Wrap logs airtight and chill for 30 minutes or until firm enough to slice easily. Preheat oven to 325F with the rack in the lower-middle position. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- Remove one dough log from the fridge and slice into 1/2″ thick rounds. Place each cookie 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Place extra chopped pecans on top of cookies, if desired. Bake 12 minutes, or until the bottom edges are golden brown. The tops of cookies should remain pale; do no over-bake. Let cookies cool a couple of minutes on the baking sheet, before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- Repeat with the remaining dough log (if dough becomes too firm, let rest at room temp a few minutes to soften just enough to slice.) Cookies keep very when sealed airtight, at room temp.