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Pecan Sandies {National Pecan Sandy Day}

Okay.  You may have read that growing up, I didn't really eat very many completely-from-scratch desserts.

And that my favorite cookies were those from the bulk bin at my local supermarket.  It's true.  But hearing that today was National Pecan Sandy Day jogged another memory from childhood.  Cookies, not from a bulk bin, but from a package.  I'm sure you know the ones.  I could kill a handful of those in no time.

I've always found toasty, nutty, buttery things utterly irresistible.  Pecan Sandies.  Cashew Sandies.  Almond Croissants.  Butter Pecan Ice Cream.  Peanut Butter Cookies.
Little did I know what I was missing out on.  If those cookies in a package were good, the homemade version was OFF THE CHARTS!

No joke.  These babies just melt-in-your-mouth.  You barely have time to chew before you taste that butter, nuttiness melting onto your tongue.

I hereby disown those cookies in a package.  These right here?  They're my new loved ones.  They'll be coming with me to holiday parties and visiting dear ones via the cookie tin.  And hanging out in my kitchen at various times throughout the year.

Pecan Sandies

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 15 minutes + 3 hours unattende
Cook Time: 18-20 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert butter nuts cookie

Ingredients (3 dozen)
  • 1 c. pecans
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 c. (8 oz. / 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅔ c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. fine salt
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbs. turbinado (raw) sugar
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350° F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then spread pecans out in a single layer on sheet. Bake until they are well browned, ~10 minutes. You'll smell that fabulous toasty, nutty scent when they are finished. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.

In a food processor, grind the nuts with ¼ cup of the flour. Set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar until creamy, ~2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Sift together the remaining 1¾ cups of flour, the salt, and the baking powder, and add it to dough, mixing until just combined. Add nut mixture and beat until just combined. Form the dough into a (2" thick) log, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325° F.

With a sharp knife, cut into slices ¼" thick. Place 1" apart on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Prick each slice with a fork 3 times. Sprinkle with a bit of turbinado sugar. Slide into preheated oven and bake until they turn a pale golden color, ~18-20 minutes.

Let sit on tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

note:
You could divide this dough into 2 (1" thick) logs before refrigerating for a smaller cookie and larger yield (~5-6 dozen). If you do this, bake for a shorter period of time, perhaps 13-18 minutes (just look for that pale golden color).

adapted from Smitten Kitchen
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