These 4-ingredient vegan pecan sandies are inspired by buttery and rich Pecan Sandies cookies, except these are not only vegan, they're also gluten-free, grain-free, and made without butter, oil or refined sugar! Only 30 minutes to make a batch of these crisp-yet-chewy, totally delicious, healthier pecan sandies.
As a kid I loved Keebler's Pecan Sandies. My mom didn't buy processed stuff like that, but my step-dad often brought them home, along with a container of Cool Whip for dipping.
If you've tasted Pecan Sandies you know how deliciously rich they are - perfectly crisp, buttery, nutty, and just the right amount of crumbly.
I've been meaning to create a healthier vegan pecan cookie for a while, and after recently posting these Easy Almond Flour Cookies, I realized that combining almond flour with homemade pecan flour would be the perfect base!
Almond flour has a naturally buttery flavor, and creates such a nice texture in cookies. So I combined it with toasted and ground pecans and tweaked the recipe just a bit to let the pecans shine through.
I think you'll LOVE these super easy vegan pecan sandies! They're:
- FREE from oil, gluten, soy, coconut, and refined sugar
- made with only 4 ingredients (plus salt)
- ready in 25 minutes
- the perfect mixture of shortbread-like texture with a slightly chewy center
- and rich with pecan flavor!
- Almond Flour - currently I'm using this blanched almond flour by Nature's Eats. I haven't tested the recipe with almond meal and am not sure whether that would work.
- Raw Pecans - if you'd like to decorate the tops of the cookies with nuts, you'll want to buy pecan halves; otherwise chopped or "halves and pieces" is fine. You could even skip the food processor step by buying chopped pecans and pecan flour.
- Maple Syrup - this is important for the overall texture, flavor, and sweetness of the cookies, so I can't recommend any substitutions.
- Vanilla - pure vanilla extract balances the nutty flavor of the almond flour.
- Salt - since original Pecan Sandies are made with butter, a pinch of salt helps bring out the rich, buttery flavor of almond flour. It's also fine to omit the salt, if needed.
See recipe card below for quantities and full recipe.
How to Make Pecan Sandies With Nut Flour
While these cookies aren't as simple as the 3-ingredient almond flour cookies that inspired them, they're still pretty darn easy! Here's how to do it...
- In a large pan on the stovetop toast the pecans over medium-low heat for a few minutes. Transfer the pecans to a food processor and pulse 10 to 15 times or until finely (mostly) chopped. It's okay if some turn into pecan flour while a few larger pieces remain.
- Add the almond flour and salt to the food processor and pulse to combine with the pecan meal.
- Pour the nut flour mixture into a large mixing bowl, and add the maple syrup and vanilla. Stir to form a moist dough.
- Scoop up approximately 1 ½ tablespoons of dough per cookie. Place on the cookie sheet 2 to 3 inches apart. Cut a small square of parchment paper. Use the bottom of a glass to flatten the cookies, with the parchment in between to prevent sticking. If desired, lightly press a pecan half into the top of each cookie.
- Bake in a preheated 350°F (176°C) oven for 10 to 13 minutes or until the edges and bottoms are golden.
Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet, then store in an airtight container.
Similar to the other almond flour cookies, these have wonderful texture! But they're even more rustic and nutty thanks to the pecan flour and textural bits throughout. And the edges are irresistibly crisp.
Love pecans? Check out these vegan pecan recipes:
- Healthier Vegan Pecan Pie (GF & oil-free)
- Salted Chocolate Pecan Pie (GF)
- Bourbon-Date Pecan Pie (GF)
- Vegan Candied Pecans
- Chocolate Chip Orange Pecan Cookies
- butter pecan ice cream
A food processor makes prep easy, but if you don't have one you can also chop the nuts by hand. Just make sure the pieces are fairly small as big chunks may make the cookies too crumbly. Or purchase pecan pieces and save a step!
A spice grinder or blender can also stand in the for the food processor.
Once the cookies are cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. They also freeze well.
After a day or two the cookies will be more chewy than crisp, but still delicious!
More Gluten-Free Vegan Cookies
If you try these 4-ingredient healthy vegan pecan sandies I would love to hear from you! Be sure to rate the recipe and comment below to let us know!
Gluten-Free Vegan Pecan Sandies Cookies
- 1 cup raw pecan halves, plus more for decorating the tops of the cookies if desired - See Notes.
- 1 ¼ cups fine almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, optional
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176°C), and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Tip: during testing, my Silpat mat produced a slightly better texture (crispier) than parchment.
- Place a large pan over medium-low heat. Toast 1 cup pecan halves on the stovetop for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently so they don't burn.
- Let the pecans cool for a few minutes then transfer to a food processor. Pulse 10 to 15 times or until finely chopped. It's okay if some of the nuts turn into pecan flour, while some larger pieces stay chunky. Add the almond flour and salt to the food processor and pulse to combine.
- Pour the nut flours into a mixing bowl, and add the maple syrup and vanilla. Stir to form a moist dough.
- Cut a small, cookie-sized square of parchment paper, and locate a flat-bottomed glass or a ramekin. Scoop up approximately 1 ½ tablespoons of dough per cookie. Place on the cookie sheet 2 to 3 inches apart. Use the glass to flatten the cookies, with the piece of parchment in between to prevent sticking. The cookies should be about ⅓-inch thick and 2 ½ inches in diameter. It's okay for the outer edges of the cookies to be somewhat jagged.
- If desired, lightly press a pecan half into the top of each cookie. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes or until the edges and bottoms are golden. If you suspect your oven runs hot, you may want to check on them sooner than 10 minutes. Straight from the oven the cookies will be soft but will firm up as they cool. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.