When you have really great local pecans, as we do, well there is no excuse for not making pecan sandies. They are basically a shortbread – lots of butter and no eggs. The sweetness of the pecans really comes through and the crunch topping of sugar just seals the deal. I made these at the request of a friend that I was going to see for about a day in Tallahassee. She’s a huge chocolate fan, and I, am not. But she mentioned liking pecans and I just knew what I had to make. I had this recipe for years and sort of misplaced it, but thanks to the wonder that is google, I found it again a couple of years ago. It is truly amazing and really simple. Make it one day, let it refrigerate over night and bake the next day. Mine are never round. None of my refrigerator cookies/crackers are. They are odd rectangular-ish things, but who cares? They taste great!
16 Tbs unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and 1/3 cup sugar and salt at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla, and in low speed, scraping down the bowl until the dough just comes together. Add the pecans and beat just until the are incorporated and lightly broken up. Divide dough in half and form into 2 inch thick logs and wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Cut dough into 1/4 inch thick slices, arrange on baking sheet, and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown, turning half way through. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to rack to cool completely.
Source: Food & Wine via Angie Mosier with modifications.