Pecan Sandies

The morning after I made the Nelly’s cookies for horses in remembrance of Nelly Bly, see the post here, there was a written note on the kitchen table requesting an enhanced version of the cookies for humans. “Enhanced” meaning “enriched with butter” since I explained the night before that Nelly’s cookies were put together in the simplest way by just following the typical 1:2:3 (sugar, fat, flour) ratio for cookie dough and without the fat. The Nelly’s cookie has an unadulterated, earthy, and chewy bite (that your four-legged friends are likely to enjoy), suitable for humans more as a basic breakfast cereal than a dessert cookie.

The pecan sandies came to mind; they are enriched with butter and enhanced with pecans. There are only four ingredients: sugar, butter, flour and pecans. They are made using a similar method as the Nelly’s cookies: mix, combine, roll into balls and bake. The recipe is simple, yet the texture of the cookies so nuanced, delicate and memorable that you won’t easily forget. In Bouchon Bakery, Thomas Kelly presented these pecan sandies as a tribute to his mom. What an eloquent display of how food is a powerful connecter to the indelible memories that are the fabric of our lives!

Ingredients: Makes a dozen cookies

250 gm (1 3/4 C + 1 1/2 tsp)   All-purpose flour
80 gm (3/4 C)                  Coarsely chopped pecans
170 gm (6 oz)                  Unsalted butter, at room temperature
90 gm (3/4 C + 1 3/4 tsp)      Powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 325°F (convection) or 350°F (standard).

2. Line two sheet pans with Silpats or parchment paper.

3. Toss flour and pecans together in a mixing bowl.

4. Mix butter in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle on medium-low speed until smooth.

5. Add powdered sugar and mix for about 2 minutes until fluffy.

6. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds until just combined.

7. Divide the dough into 30-gm pieces. Roll into tight balls and arrange on sheet pans. Press cookies into 2-inch disks.

8. Bake in oven for 15-18 minutes (convection) or 22-25 minutes (standard) until pale golden brown. (I baked the cookies with 30% steam in a combi steam oven.)

9. Let the cookies cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.

10. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

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