Why This Recipe Works
Pecan sandies run the gamut from greasy and bland to dry and crumbly. We wanted a pecan sandie with a tender but crisp texture and sandy melt-in-the-mouth character. Some recipes use oil in place of butter for a sandy texture. We found that while oil did yield the desired texture, the flavor was abysmal, so we stuck with butter. We tried both light and dark brown sugars, settling on light, and to tenderize our cookies, we swapped out some of the brown sugar for confectioners' sugar. A whole egg made the dough too sticky, so we settled on a yolk. A rich pecan flavor was obtained by toasting the nuts and then grinding them in a food processor. While we were grinding the nuts, it occurred to us that we might as well use the food processor to mix the dough as well. After briefly kneading the dough together out of the food processor, we shaped it into dough logs to chill, so that we could slice and bake the dough for pecan sandies with clean, crisp edges.