Everyone close to me loves pecan sandies. Mom loves ’em. My fella demands them. I have lots of cookie love in my life.
February is already here, and I’m in a mad dash to bake all my cold weather favorites before that nip leaves the air. Pecan sandies are not a cookie I associate with warm weather. With pecans and my signature additions – including cinnamon and brown butter – they say autumn and winter for me.
Television has made pecan sandies popular outside of my closest family and friends. Roger on Family Guy demands pecan sandies on a regular basis, although he sadly only receives them from the grocery. If I had an alien living in my basement, he could count on the homemade variety. Roger, come on over.
I have my own spin on these simple and savory cookies. I add cinnamon to my dough, making the cookies feel a hint of Snickerdoodle inspiration. I also use brown butter. Adding brown butter gives these cookies an added flavor dimension. Pecan sandies do tend to have more subtle flavors than, say, a chocolate chip cookie, and adding brown butter really amps up the flavor while allowing for the subtlties that we appreciate in this cookie.
Brown Butter Pecan Sandies
Makes 16 cookies
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg white
- 3 ounces pecans, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- To begin, brown your butter. Place butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir occasionally and heat until a brown coloring forms – approximately seven minutes. Don’t worry: the sediment is OK and yummy.
- Remove butter from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- In a standing mixer, add the cooled brown butter and sugar and beat on medium setting for four to five minutes. Beat in the egg white, cinnamon, and vanilla.
- On a low setting, add pecans. Then, mix in the flour.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and roll into a ball. Place in an air tight container and in the refrigerator to chill for no less than one hour. (The cookies can also be baked the next day.)
- After adequate chilling, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. If you only have one baking sheet, just complete in two batches.
- With a rolling pin, roll out dough to approximately 1/4 inch thick. Using your favorite cookie cutter – I used a two-inch circle – cut the cookies and gently place them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 17 to 18 minutes. Sprinkle with extra sugar and cinnamon if you’d like. Allow to cool on a cooling rack. The bottoms of the cookie should be golden brown; the tops will remain pale and speckled. Store in an air tight container.