Toffee Pecan Sandies are light and sweet, with a buttery crunch. You’ll love the melt-away texture, flavorful toffee bits, and toasted chopped pecans!
*This recipe is sponsored by Dixie Crystals. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this site possible!*
Easy Homemade Shortbread Rounds with Toffee and Nuts
Pecan sandies with toffee are a classic cookie, with a crumbly, sugary texture that melts away in your mouth. The sweet crunch of toasted, chopped pecans and caramel stickiness of toffee really puts these simple cookies over the top! You often see them at Christmas, but with their delicate texture and simple flavors, they’re perfect year-round.
My favorite way to serve toffee pecan sandies is with a cup of tea or coffee. Ice cold milk is another great option, especially for the kids! They also freeze well, perfect for making extras and surpassing the family later on with a sweet homemade treat at a moment’s notice.
The List of Ingredients
Like most shortbread recipes, this one only requires a few basic ingredients. The main ones are butter, sugar, and flour. Here’s that list, in detail:
- Butter: Use unsalted butter, cold, and cut into pieces.
- Sugar: I use a combination of Dixie Crystals powdered sugar and dark brown sugar – you could substitute Dixie Crystals light brown sugar if you don’t have dark brown.
- Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract adds the best flavor.
- Kosher Salt
- Flour: Regular all-purpose flour.
- Toffee Bits: Usually found on the baking aisle.
- Toasted Pecans: Chopped.
What Can I Use Instead of Toffee Bits?
Toffee bits aren’t always easy to find, and in fact, I used crushed Heath bars as a substitute this time for that very reason. Heath bars do contain chocolate as well as toffee (no complaints here!), but there’s no need to change the recipe in any way. You could also use some crushed Skor bar pieces.
So just how do you make these? They are very similar to traditional shortbread, and the baking method reflects that – mixing, chilling, and slicing are all an important part of the process.
- Cream the Butter and Sugar. You can use a stand mixer or a hand mixer for this. Beat the butter, powdered sugar, and brown sugar together for about 3 minutes, or until smooth.
- Add Vanilla, Salt, and Flour. Next, pour in your vanilla extract and sprinkle in the kosher salt, mixing until just combined. At this point, add half of the flour, and mix it in on medium-low speed until well-combined. Follow it with the remaining cup of flour, and mix on medium speed. The dough will look like it is too floury at first, but it will combine if you keep mixing!
- Add the Toffee and Nuts. When the dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, add the pecans and toffee bits. Fold or mix those in.
- Roll into Logs and Chill. Divide the dough in half, and roll each half into a log about 2 inches wide. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Slice and Arrange. Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut each cookie dough log into 14 or 15 slices, and arrange those on the baking sheet, leaving about ½ inch between cookies. (These cookies won’t spread too much while baking, so don’t worry about leaving a large amount of space.)
- Bake! Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until the sides of the cookies start to brown.
- Cool and Serve. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet, before rolling in powdered sugar (this is optional) and serving.
Since this recipe is a bit different from other cookie recipes, I wanted to share a few helpful hints here. These bits of inside info will guarantee a great bake, every time.
- Creaming the Butter and Sugar: The butter and sugars start off very crumbly, but will eventually come together to look smooth – although not as smooth and fluffy as traditional creaming.
- Flour Amount: When you add the flour, at first it will look like too much, but eventually it will come together and form a dough that sticks together. This takes anywhere from 3 – 5 minutes.
- Adding the Toffee and Pecans: You can fold in the toffee bits and nuts by hand, or just throw them in at the end and use the mixer.
- Make Ahead: Toffee pecan sandie dough is great for making ahead and freezing – then you can bake them up any time! To freeze the dough, follow the recipe as written, but instead of baking the cookie dough rounds, freeze them for about one hour until they are frozen solid. Transfer to freezer bags or containers, and store in the freezer until you’re ready to bake (I recommend using the dough within 2 months for the best flavor). Lay them out on a cookie sheet, thaw slightly, and bake according to the recipe instructions.
Toffee pecan sandies will keep at room temperature for up to a week. Make sure to store them in an airtight container so they don’t become stale.
Can I Freeze Homemade Toffee Pecan Sandies?
Yes, you can freeze baked Pecan Sandies (not rolled in powdered sugar) with no problem (and check out the Recipe Notes above for tips on freezing the dough). Just cool the cookies down completely, and then place the tray in the freezer for an hour or so to let the cookies freeze and harden. Transfer to a freezer bag, or better yet, a shallow airtight container to prevent them from being crushed. They’ll keep for up to 3 months.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat the butter, powdered sugar, and brown sugar together. Beat for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture is well-incorporated and smooth.
- Add the vanilla extract and kosher salt. Mix until just combined. Add 1 cup of flour, and mix on medium-low speed until well-combined.
- Add the remaining cup of flour and mix on medium speed. This will look like it is too floury at first, but it will combine if you keep mixing. When the dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, it is ready for the next step.
- Add the pecans and toffee bits to the mixing bowl, and mix those in. Remove the dough from the bowl, divide it into 2 equal-sized pieces, and roll each piece into an 8-inch long log about 2 inches wide.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Take your cookie dough out of the refrigerator, and cut each log into 14 or 15 slices.
- Place the slices of dough on your prepared baking sheet, leaving about ½ inch between cookies. (These cookies won’t spread too much while baking, so don’t worry about leaving a large amount of space.)
- Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, or until the sides of the cookies start to brown.
- Remove from the oven, let cool on the sheet pan, and roll in powdered sugar if desired.
*If you don't have dark brown sugar, you can use light brown sugar instead.
The butter and sugars start off very crumbly, but will eventually come together to look smooth. Not as smooth and fluffy as traditional creaming.
When you add the flour, at first it will look like too much, but eventually it will come together and form a dough that sticks together. This takes anywhere from 3 - 5 minutes.
You can fold in the toffee bits and nuts by hand, or just throw them in at the end and use the mixer.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 141Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 30mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g
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