Pecan Sandies are my favorite cookies, well I am not known to ever turn down any cookie, but these do hold special meaning. In high school I cannot even recall how my ritual came to be, but before very tennis match I happily munched on a package of pecan sandies while washing them down with a Hawaiian punch. Did I need the extra sugar boost for the match, did they help calm my nerves, who knows? The craving for pecan sandies stayed with me, the Hawaiian punch, thankfully that part of my ritual ended. While I was expecting my first daughter the cravings were intense, pecan sandies with milk, crumbled over ice cream and even dipped in chocolate. I would even go as far as lying to my hubby stating that they were stale, or inedible just not to admit I had eaten the entire package. When I began baking one of the first recipe I sought out was for sandies. The first attempt was just sad, the texture was off, the bottoms burnt and I was left disappointed. I blamed my amateur baking skills for the outcome, only to find myself baking a total of three more recipes. I finally pushed aside the sandie quest, for fear of beginning to hate them all together. I came to rely on my faithful packaged sandies to get me through my cravings. When I decided to take the leap into blog world, I knew they would begin to haunt me, for I had quit buying any treat that was packaged as I baked my favorites to showcase here on my blog.
In the beginning of my blog, I admit to being very selfish. This was my space, my words, my recipes. Little did I know that my oldest daughter would become very, very, connected to the complete process. Many of you have seen her posts, which come in my times of peril and I remain grateful to her. The thing is she fills me with confidence, sometimes I think too much. She wanted to bake sandies, sandies..how cruel? After I calmed down, I realized it was time to face the beast, the beast I wanted to conquer. I am sure many of you think what beast? It’s just cookies. To me sandies are memories, memories of my youth and memories of my dad. Really who do you think purchased each package and a cold Hawaiian punch before he came to see me play? Papi did. So pardon this next line, it was time to put my “big girl panties on” and research more recipes. Luckily my hubby’s family is from Hondo, Texas which gave me the advantage to superb Pecans. Yes, please begin this cookie recipe, if you should attempt them with quality pecans. Pecan sandies are a shortbread cookie studded with pecans. The dough is rolled in sugar before being placed on the cookie sheet, then topped off with a whole pecan. Pecans are the star and they should be the best you can find, I of course used Pecans from Hondo, Texas. The Pecan tree is our state tree, so we Texans value quality pecans. I totally hoard mine, in the deep dark corner of the freezer where no one ever looks (except mommy), you know the spot.
There are between 600,000 to 1 million acres of native pecans growing along the numerous rivers, streams and creeks throughout Texas. Year after year, Texas is the nation’s largest producer of native pecans. Of the total number of native trees in Texas, approximately 40,000 acres are managed consistently. Farmers markets and roadside stands are the best outlets for these selections.
Texas is the country’s second-largest producer of orchard-grown pecans. Twenty percent of the state’s pecan industry is found in El Paso. Other production areas for the pecan are in Central Texas, which includes Austin and Bastrop, San Saba, Comanche County and a portion of the Coastal Bend area around Seguin.
The pecan tree is classified as an alternate bearing fruit, producing a bumper crop every other year. Texas produced 70 million pounds of pecans in 2001, up from 30 million pounds in 2000. In 1999, Texas produced a near-record 90 million pounds of nuts valued at over $68 million. And, for the pecan industry, its not all fruit cake and pies. Pecan shells are used to manufacture filler for plastic and veneer wood. Pecan wood is used for furniture, agricultural implements, flooring, firewood and even baseball bats. All together the Texas pecan makes an important contribution to the Texas farming industry.
from Pick Texas
After scouring my many cookbooks, I decided on a recipe from a Hometown series. Who could go wrong with hometown recipes? Quick tip, do not eat the batter..it’s good. Chuls, pips and I licked our fingers repeatedly. When they came out of the oven, I was nervous..in a excited kind of way. They were good, really good. I was happy, Chuls was excited and pips well she’s always happy! I felt complete, okay that uber mushy. I was happy, really really happy! (I already packaged some for Papi!) Don’t try to compare these to store bought brands, because they are so so not. They are crumbly, crunchy and the salt makes the pecans pop. Popping pecans, I mean can you really ask for more? Enjoy!! Sweet Life
1 cup margarine (i used butter)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (i used freshly ground)
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
2 cups chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375
In a large bowl, cream margarine, vegetable oil, 1 cup granulated sugar and powdered sugar until smooth.
Beat in eggs one at a time; stir in nutmeg and vanilla.
Fold in flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.
Mix in chopped pecans.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll each ball in remaining granulated sugar.
Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Press 1 whole pecan into top of each dough ball.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are golden.
Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.
make 4 – 5 dozen