Perfect Gluten-Free Pecan Sandies

These Gluten-Free Pecan Sandies are perfect anytime, from cozy afternoons with a cup of tea to festive holiday gatherings. Their nutty flavor and tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture, along with the ease of preparation, make them a delicious and appealing treat for anyone, especially those following a gluten-free diet.

Pecan cookies stacked on top of each other.
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❤️ Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • Simple Ingredients: This recipe uses easily accessible ingredients like almond flour, maple syrup, and pecans, making it convenient for anyone to try.
  • Gluten-Free Goodness: Perfect for those on a gluten-free diet, this Gluten-Free Pecan Sandies Cookie recipe doesn’t compromise on flavor or texture.
  • Quick and Easy: With minimal prep time and a short baking duration, you can enjoy these cookies without spending hours in the kitchen.
  • Perfect Anytime: These pecan sandies are great anytime – be it a family gathering, a holiday treat, or a simple snack to enjoy with your afternoon tea.
  • Deliciously Nutty: The combination of almond flour and pecans provides a rich, nutty taste that is simply irresistible.
  • Customizable: Feel free to add chocolate chips or a sprinkle of powdered sugar to add a special twist to this pecan sandies recipe.
  • Vegan Pecan Sandies: Easily adaptable for a vegan diet by substituting with vegan butter.
  • Kid-Friendly: A hit with children and adults alike, these cookies are sure to become a family favorite.
  • Great for Gifting: Their delightful taste and elegant appearance make them perfect for gifting during the holidays or special occasions.
Gluten free pecan sandies on a table

🗒️ Ingredients and Substitutes

Almond Flour: Almond flour, specifically superfine and blanched, is the foundation of these cookies. It provides a deliciously nutty flavor and a tender texture, making it an excellent gluten-free alternative to traditional wheat flour. If you don’t have superfine almond flour, regular almond flour will work too, though the texture might be slightly different.

Salted Butter: The salted butter (or vegan alternative for vegan cookies) in this recipe adds richness and depth. It also helps to bind the ingredients together. If you prefer unsalted butter, just add a pinch of salt to balance the flavors.

Maple Syrup: Pure maple syrup is not just a sweetener; it also imparts a unique, subtle flavor that compliments the pecans beautifully. You can substitute it with honey or agave syrup if needed.

Vanilla and Almond Extracts: These extracts add an extra layer of flavor complexity. While vanilla extract is common in baking, almond extract enhances the nutty profile of the cookies.

Chopped Pecans: Finely chopped raw pecans are crucial for that classic pecan sandie texture and taste. They provide a delightful crunch and nuttiness. You can also try other nuts like walnuts or almonds for something a little different.

Whole Pecans: A whole pecan pressed on top of each cookie not only looks elegant but also adds to the nutty flavor. It’s a signature feature of pecan sandies that makes them instantly recognizable.

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Gluten-free pecan cookies stacked on top of each other with a spoon.

🥣 How to Make Almond Flour Pecan Sandies

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line your baking sheet with parchment paper so that your cookies won’t stick and are easy to remove after baking.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, melted butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Stir these together until a smooth dough forms. This dough is the base of your cookies, so make sure it’s well-mixed.
  3. Gently fold in the chopped pecans. This step is where the cookies start to take on their signature pecan flavor and texture.
  4. Place the dough in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Chilling the dough makes it easier to handle and helps the cookies maintain their shape while baking.
  5. Once the dough is chilled, use a tablespoon to scoop out portions, rolling them into balls. Place these balls on your prepared baking sheet. This size is perfect for a bite-sized treat.
  6. Press a whole pecan into the top of each ball, flattening the cookie slightly. This not only looks beautiful but also adds an extra burst of pecan flavor.
  7. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when the bottoms are golden brown, and the edges feel firm.
  8. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Cooling is crucial as it lets the cookies firm up a little and develop their perfect texture.
Gluten-free pecan sandies stacked on top of each other.

💭 Top Tips

Quality Ingredients: For the best results, use high-quality almond flour for a fine, smooth texture and fresh pecans for their rich, nutty taste. Good ingredients are the key to delicious cookies.

Dough Consistency: The dough should be smooth and easy to shape. If it’s too crumbly, add a bit more melted butter; if too sticky, a little extra almond flour can help. Remember, the dough firms up a bit after chilling.

Watch the Baking Time: Oven temperatures can vary, so keep a close eye on your cookies. They should be golden brown at the bottom and just firm at the edges to ensure they’re baked perfectly, not over or underdone.

Cool Properly: Let the baked cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Gluten-free cookies can be a little delicate when they’re still hot, so it’s best to let them be for a few minutes (as tempting as it is to take a sneaky bite!).

Experiment with Flavors: Feel free to add your own twist to the recipe. Chocolate chips, a dash of cinnamon, or even a hint of lemon zest can add an exciting new dimension to the classic pecan sandies flavor.

Storage: Once the cookies have cooled completely, store them in an airtight container. This container can be kept at room temperature for up to a week. For longer storage, you can also refrigerate them, which will keep them fresh for up to two weeks.

Freezing: Place them in a freezer-safe bag or container, separating layers with parchment paper to prevent sticking. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Reheating: While these pecan sandies are delicious at room temperature, you might want to warm them up slightly. To do this, just place them in a preheated oven at 300°F (150°C) for about 5-10 minutes. This will revive their buttery flavor and crisp texture, making them taste freshly baked.

Gluten-free pecan sandies cookies with pecans on a white surface.

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different type of flour instead of almond flour?

Almond flour works best for this recipe due to its texture and flavor. However, if you need an alternative, you can try other gluten-free flours like tigernut or oat flour. Keep in mind that this may change the texture and taste of the cookies.

Are these cookies suitable for people with nut allergies?

Unfortunately, due to the use of almond flour and pecans, these cookies are not suitable for those with nut allergies. For a nut-free alternative, you may need to look for a different recipe that doesn’t include nut-based ingredients.

Can I make these cookies sugar-free?

Maple syrup adds sweetness and moisture to these cookies. If you want to make them sugar-free, you could try using a sugar-free syrup. However, this will alter the taste and possibly the texture of the cookies.

Is it possible to make these cookies without butter?

Yes, you can substitute the butter with a vegan butter alternative. This substitution works well and keeps the cookies dairy-free while still maintaining their delicious flavor.

How do I know when the cookies are perfectly baked?

The cookies are done when the edges are firm and the bottoms are golden brown. It’s important not to overbake them to keep the right texture – they should be a bit soft in the center but not doughy.

Can I add other ingredients to the cookie dough?

Absolutely! Feel free to add chocolate chips, dried fruit, or a sprinkle of sea salt on top before baking for a different take.

🍪 More Delicious Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes

Gluten-Free Molasses Cookies

Gluten-Free Linzer Cookies

Easy Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

Gluten free pecan cookies on a table.
Pecan cookies stacked on top of each other.

Gluten-Free Pecan Sandies

These Gluten-Free Pecan Sandies are perfect anytime, from cozy afternoons with a cup of tea to festive holiday gatherings. So easy to make!
5 from 35 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, French
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Chilling Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 12 cookies
Author: Kristen Wood

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour superfine, blanched
  • 1/4 cup salted butter melted, dairy or vegan
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans finely chopped
  • 12 whole pecans for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper then set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, melted butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix until a smooth dough forms.
  • Fold in the chopped pecans. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  • Once chilled, scoop out tablespoon portions of the dough and rolls into balls. Place the balls of dough on the prepared baking sheet. Press one whole pecan into the top of each dough round, flattening the cookie as you do so.
  • Bake for 12 minutes or until the bottoms are golden and the edges are firm.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Quality Ingredients: For the best results, use high-quality almond flour for a fine, smooth texture and fresh pecans for their rich, nutty taste. Good ingredients are the key to delicious cookies.
Dough Consistency: The dough should be smooth and easy to shape. If it’s too crumbly, add a bit more melted butter; if too sticky, a little extra almond flour can help. Remember, the dough firms up a bit after chilling.
Watch the Baking Time: Oven temperatures can vary, so keep a close eye on your cookies. They should be golden brown at the bottom and just firm at the edges to ensure they’re baked perfectly, not over or underdone.
Cool Properly: Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Gluten-free cookies can be a little delicate when they’re still hot, so it’s best to let them be for a few minutes (as tempting as it is to take a sneaky bite!).
Experiment with Flavors: Feel free to add your own twist to the recipe. Chocolate chips, a dash of cinnamon, or even a hint of lemon zest can add an exciting new dimension to the classic pecan sandies flavor.
Storage: Once the cookies have cooled completely, store them in an airtight container. This container can be kept at room temperature for up to a week. For longer storage, you can also refrigerate them, which will keep them fresh for up to two weeks.
Freezing: Place them in a freezer-safe bag or container, separating layers with parchment paper to prevent sticking. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. 
Reheating: While these pecan sandies are delicious at room temperature, you might want to warm them up slightly. To do this, just place them in a preheated oven at 300°F (150°C) for about 5-10 minutes. This will revive their buttery flavor and crisp texture, making them taste freshly baked.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 121IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 0.5mg
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5 from 35 votes (31 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




 

5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These were so delicious. It was a great gluten-free cookie, which doesn’t always happen. I haven’t ever made pecan sandies with maple syrup before, but it was a great flavor to pair with the pecans. Everyone raved about these!

  2. 5 stars
    Pecans are my favorite nuts that’s why I enjoyed these treats so much. I love the crunch and the sweetness. I just lemon zest as suggested and it really elevated the flavor of the sandies. Soo goood!

  3. 5 stars
    Festive and yummy, but honestly I can enjoy these sandies anytime! I love that they come in bite sized pieces too so it’s perfect for snack time!

  4. 5 stars
    Such delicious treats! Absolutely perfect since this recipe is gluten-free and very easy to make. The kids really enjoyed it and for sure I’ll be making this again!

  5. These cookies are so addictive! The texture is spot on, crispy on the edges and soft in the middle. Exactly how I like my sandies! I’m sharing this recipe to my sisters!