Back at the beginning of December I brought these Pecan Sandies to our Seattle Food and Friends group. They are a nostalgic favorite of mine from college, when I’d get them from Wildflour Community Bakery in Ann Arbor. I was a co-op girl and we’d pick up our weekly supply of bread from Wildflour. I also procured the occasional cookie. I like the slight bit of grit the pecan meal gives to these pecan sandies (I’m a sucker for cornmeal in cookies, too). They are not too sweet, but the maple syrup has character. And then there’s the pecan on top. They’re made from whole wheat pastry flour. So healthy, right? We won’t mention the butter.
Wildflour Community Bakery has a special place in my heart. They were a non-profit collective and made our wedding cake over 30 years ago. They are no longer in business, but when they were around they organized the production of a cookbook, Uprisings, that collected recipes from co-operative bakeries throughout the nation. A former baker from one of the co-op bakeries has put some of the book online on his Uprisings Bakers Book blog. Maybe I’ll be able to contribute this post to his site eventually.
These pecan sandies contain pecan meal, which is not an ingredient I keep on hand. Fortunately it’s easy to make for the recipe. I blend 3/4 cup (2.5 ounces) of pecans with some of the flour in a food processor. Pecans come at various price points, the intact halves are the most expensive. I get them from Costco so I am not worried about using whole pecans, but you could buy less expensive pecan pieces for grinding into meal for the cookie itself.
My fellow food bloggers enjoyed these sandies. Shadi at Unicorns in the Kitchen asked for the recipe, but I didn’t get it to her until now. Meanwhile she created her own tempting-looking version of a pecan-on-top cookie.
If you’re still doing any holiday baking, I hope you’ll enjoy these. For those who celebrate it, Merry Christmas!
- ¾ cup butter
- 5 Tblsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- ¾ cup pecans (2.5 to 3 oz)
- Let butter sit out to bring it to room temperature.
- Cream butter, maple syrup, and vanilla together. I use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for this task, but you could mix it by hand.
- Add part of the flour to a food processor along with the pecans. Make sure the top of the food processor is completely closed off so that flour will not puff out when you process it.
- Process to a fine, even meal. Add the remaining flour and process a little more.
- Mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- Cover 9 by 13" baking sheet with parchment paper (to reduce cleanup, though the cookies have enough fat that the sheet wouldn't be that hard to clean).
- Drop cookies onto sheet by rounded tablespoons.
- Put sheet into refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to make it easier to press the cookies down without sticking.
- Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 F.
- Remove from fridge, flatten with the bottom of a cup measure or by hand.
- Press a whole pecan piece into the top of each cookie.
- Bake at 350 F. for 20 minutes. Peek at 15 minutes to check how the cookies are doing.
- Prep time includes refrigerator time for the cookies.