Every Christmas I get bags of spiced or candied pecans from at least five friends. I freeze them and use them throughout the year: I toss them in salads and add a handful into any Amish Friendship Bread recipe I happen to be making.
Pecan sandies are a popular cookie, especially when dusted with confectioners’ sugar. They hold together well if you have to gift them to friends. The starter gives it a subtle tang, and the sugar-salt balance is perfect. If you like your cookies sweeter, increase sugar from ⅔ cup to 1 cup. This recipe calls for plain pecans, but I use the ones sitting in my freezer, which adds a little more personality to these cookies.
Even though it’s almost November, it’s still super warm in my kitchen. My butter went to room temperature really fast, and then some. I made the cookie dough but the butter was way too soft. You want the cookie dough to hold together nicely and not be stuck on the sides, so I popped the bowl into the fridge for half an hour. I’ve learned the hard way that too much butter or butter that’s too soft will yield a gummier cookie, so a quick solution is to let it cool down a bit before you get it on the sheet and into the oven.
I used a scoop and then flattened the tops of the cookies with a glass. Otherwise, roll 1½” balls and press them flat with the palm of your hand. Most pecan sandies are known for their perfect roundness, so you can reshape as necessary if you’re a perfectionist. The cookies won’t flatten much, so if you want a thinner cookie, flatten a little more (and keep an eye on the time in the oven to avoid burning).
Bake at 350° F (176° C) for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottoms (they won’t brown much on top). Remove and cool on a wire rack.
Then dust with confectioners’ sugar. Enjoy!
Amish Friendship Bread Pecan Sandies Cookies
- With an electric mixer, beat butter for one minute. Add sugar and beat for one more minute until light.
- Add starter and vanilla. Beat until well mixed.
- Add salt and flour until just incorporated and the cookie dough holds together (sift the salt into the flour, or be sure to sprinkle evenly). Fold in pecans.
- Refrigerate cookie dough for 15-30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350° F (176° C).
- Using a cookie scoop or your hands, make 1" balls and place 2-3 inches apart on cookie sheet.
- Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass, reshaping if necessary.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown. Transfer to wire rack.
- Once cool, dust with confectioners' sugar.
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