Bourbon Pecan Sandies

published Nov 7, 2021
Bourbon Pecan Sandies Recipe

Fiery bourbon and a touch of cinnamon sugar amp up the flavor in pecan sandies.

Makes24 (1 1/2-inch) cookies

Cook19 minutes to 23 minutes

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Credit: Chelsea Kyle

These classic pecan sandies are taken to the next level with cinnamon sugar and fiery bourbon. The simple shortbread base, made with pecans and a generous pinch of salt, makes the perfect understated cookie that is rich, nutty, and so good perfumed with smoky bourbon. The dough is formed into logs, rolled in crunchy cinnamon sugar, then sliced and baked until fragrant and golden-brown. These sandies are delicate and crumbly — perfect to serve with coffee, tea, or an Old Fashioned for a sweet nightcap.

Welcome to Jesse’s Cookie Club, where Studio Food Editor (and resident cookie expert) Jesse Szewczyk shares a brand-new monthly recipe that transforms a classic cookie into something new, bold, and exciting. For the next few months the column will highlight recipes from Jesse’s brand new book Cookies: The New Classics. First up: these crumbly, butter sandies.

Bourbon Pecan Sandies Recipe

Fiery bourbon and a touch of cinnamon sugar amp up the flavor in pecan sandies.

Cook time 19 minutes to 23 minutes

Makes 24 (1 1/2-inch) cookies

Nutritional Info


  • 2 sticks

    (226 grams) unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 cups

    (150 grams) toasted unsalted pecans

  • 3/4 cup

    (75 grams) powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons

    (30 ml) bourbon

  • 2 1/2 cups

    spooned and leveled all-purpose flour (320 grams)

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    ground cinnamon, divided

  • 1/2 cup

    (100 grams) granulated sugar


  1. Place 2 sticks unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Let sit at room temperature until softened. Meanwhile, finely chop 1 1/2 cups toasted, unsalted pecans.

  2. Add 3/4 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons bourbon to the butter. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups spooned and leveled all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the ground cinnamon, and mix on low speed until a crumbly dough forms, about 1 minute. Add the pecans and mix on low speed just until combined. (It’s okay if the mixer crushes the pecans slightly.)

  3. Divide the dough in half (about 1 1/2 cups / 367 grams per half) and transfer each portion to a large sheet of plastic wrap. Roll each portion into 1 1/2-inch diameter logs and gently wrap each log in the plastic, twisting the ends tightly to help form a cylinder shape. Chill the logs in the freezer for 1 hour.

  4. Meanwhile, place 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the remaining 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a shallow plate and stir to combine. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

  5. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350ºF.

  6. Unwrap the chilled dough logs and transfer to the plate with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll the logs in the sugar, firmly pressing the sugar into the sides of the logs to help it stick. Use a sharp, thin knife to slice each log crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, rotating the log between slices to help keep its shape (about 12 slices per log). Arrange the slices on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

  7. Bake both sheets at the same time, swapping the top sheet to the bottom rack and bottom sheet to the top midway through baking, until the tops of the cookies are lightly browned, 19 to 23 minutes total. Cool completely on the baking sheets before moving them. (The cookies will firm up as they cool.)

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The dough logs can be stored in the freezer, tightly wrapped in plastic, for several months before baking. If they are too cold to slice easily, let the logs sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes and try again.

Storage: The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Reprinted with permission from Cookies. Copyright© 2021 by Jesse Szewczyk. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Chelsea Kyle. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House.