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Sand Tarts {Old-fashioned Pecan Butter Cookies}

Sand Tarts are tasty little pecan butter cookies coated with powdered sugar. These little walnut-sized cookies are similar to Danish wedding cookies and Mexican wedding cookies.

Not overly sweet, they have a dense texture making them perfect to package for gift-giving or cookie swaps.

The cookie dough is like a shortbread with finely chopped pecans added. The cookies are coated with confectioner’s sugar while they are still warm from the oven, and then again once they have cooled — making sure they are plenty sweet.

Sand Tarts | Life, Love, and Good Food

Today as a part of the 5th Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, food bloggers around the world will be posting their favorite cookie recipes all in support of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

This national non-profit organization is committed to funding new therapies in the fight against pediatric cancer. Each blogger made a donation to the charity then baked and shipped a dozen cookies to three assigned food bloggers.

In turn, each blogger received three dozen of delicious surprise cookies — so much fun!  I chose to share Sand Tarts with the bloggers on my list.

How to make Sand Tart Cookies

This recipe is really very simple to make. Combine the ingredients for the dough and roll into walnut-size balls. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet or use a silicone baking liner — which I LOVE, by the way!

Each blogger in the project received a silicone liners as a “thank you” gift from brand partner Dixie Crystals, who along with Land O Lakes and OXO will each match our donation to Cookies for Kid’s Cancer, dollar for dollar–up to $3000!)

Unbaked cookies on a silicone mat-lined cookie sheet

While the Sand Tarts are still warm from the oven, roll each cookie in a bowl of powdered sugar. Allow to cool, and then for good measure, roll them in powdered sugar again to guarantee a good coating of sweetness. That’s all there is to it!

rolling cookies in powdered sugar

“These Sand Tarts are the most delicious cookies I’ve ever made! They’re crumbly and sweet! I replaced the pecans with chocolate chips (my younger brother isn’t fond of nuts) and it worked very well!” —Judith

a plate of Sand Tart cookies on a Christmas plate and plaid table runner

Cookies for gift-giving

Sand Tarts make a good shipping cookie because they are dense and not so delicate. I shipped a dozen each to Heather at Join Us, Pull up a Chair, Allie at Key Ingredients, and Amber at Loves Food, Loves to Eat. (Please give these blogs some Christmas love and go check them out!)

A box filled with different types of cookies

I was the lucky recipient of three delicious cookie gifts — Lemon Coconut Cookies from Alice at Honestly Fitness, Peppermint Chocolate Shortbread from Jessica at A Happy Food Dance, and Cowboy Cookies from Ashton at Something Swanky. You can find the recipes for each on their blogs today, too! Merry Christmas, Friends! 

Sand Tarts | Life, Love, and Good Food

Baking cookies to give away to friends and neighbors is one of our Christmas traditions. Every year, I have a really difficult time deciding what cookies to make — here are a few cookie recipes that are always a hit!

Let’s bake cookies!

This recipe was first introduced to me by a friend at work who would bring these cookies to share with our office every Christmas. I’ve been making these cookies myself now for years and they are always a hit!

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The original recipe was posted on December16, 2015, and was last updated on September 8, 2019.

Yield: 2 dozen

Sand Tarts

Sand Tarts

Similar to Danish wedding cookies or Mexican wedding cookies, these tasty old-fashioned butter cookies are coated with powdered sugar while still warm from the oven. Perfect for cookie swaps!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted, for coating cookies


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a stand mixer, cream together butter and 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Add flour and pecans and mix on low until incorporated.
  3. Shape dough into small balls about the size of a walnut and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. While cookies are still hot, roll in a bowl of sifted powdered sugar. Let cookies cool, then roll again in the powdered sugar. Store in airtight container.


Copyright 2015 Life, Love, and Good Food

  • Sifting the powdered sugar before rolling the cookies is very important to keep the sugar from clumping up.
  • Use a small cookie scoop helps ensure all the cookies are the same size.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 157Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 65mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g

Did you make this recipe?

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Saturday 9th of October 2021

Wow, they're good old-fashioned cookies! Love the recipe. Thank you!


Wednesday 1st of September 2021

The original recipe calls for cake flour not A/P. Mix and shape the dough and freeze bake when needed. Don't freeze over 2 month. ice crystals form. bake at 350. chill dough before baking. These cookies hold up for nearly 3 weeks after baking.


Saturday 26th of December 2020

One of my grade school mothers gave my mom a recipe for sand tart that were crescent shaped cookies. Mom passed the recipe along to me and it’s been lost for many years. Going to try this recipe. Can you use salted butter?

Sheila Thigpen

Thursday 31st of December 2020

Anne, my preference is for unsalted butter, but if salted is all you have I believe it should work. Happy New Year!


Tuesday 15th of December 2020

I underbaked my sand tart cookies! They already have powdered sugar on them. Is there anything i can do to save them?

Sheila Thigpen

Tuesday 15th of December 2020

I'm not sure how to fix that problem exactly, but you could try baking a few of them for 5 to 10 more minutes and see if that works. Of course, you would roll them again in the powdered sugar while they are still warm. Let me know if that works!

Aronette Saffore

Friday 22nd of November 2019

Is it salted or unsalted butter

Sheila Thigpen

Friday 22nd of November 2019

I use unsalted butter regularly.

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