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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 for Kids’ Cancer Cookie Swap
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!)
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!
“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
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!)
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!
More Christmas cookie recipes!
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!
- Buckeye Brownie Bites
- Heath Bar Blondies
- Homemade Peppermint Oreos
- Caramel Pecan Thumbprints
- Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies
- More cookie recipes!
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!
Your shares are how this site grows and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or on your favorite Pinterest board!
The original recipe was posted on December16, 2015, and was last updated on September 8, 2019.
- 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
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a stand mixer, cream together butter and 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Add flour and pecans and mix on low until incorporated.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.
About Sheila Thigpen
Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer
Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.
These cookies were so good and you are right they are the perfect cookies for sending in the mail. Happy Holidays
Allie, so glad you liked them! A very Merry Christmas to you!
I’m so Happy to find your recipe! My mom gave the recipe and lost it . This is amazing. It’s exactly what’s on the 3×5 Card from 40 year ago. Now for the New Year 2018 , I can finally make this Sand Tart Cookies. She also gave me a recipe for Unforgettable Cookies but lost that as well. It’s Egg White , Semi Chocolate Chips. I believe heat the oven at 350 ? Not sure what else goes with the recipe. I’m truly disappointed because She gave it to me before she passed on 2012. Been looking all over the Kitchen Drawers etc. But at least I got the Sand Tart . It’s the best Cookies. It’s hard to make without the mixer but I try my best to do it with my hands.
Thanks for the uplifting recipe! Now I can finally make them
Happy New Year ✨
May all your Wishes comes true
My mother’s Forgotten Cookie recipe (50+ years she made them.)
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup nuts, chocolate chips, or diced cherries
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat egg whites til stiff. Add salt. Gradually add sugar. Beat until stiff like meringue. Fold in nuts or other combination of items. Drop by spoon onto greased cookie sheet. Place in oven and turn off oven. Leave for one hour.
They are called “forgotten cookies.” If you Google, you will find the recipe!!
meringue kisses from a a old fashioned baker 72
Merry Christmas, and hope you enjoyed the cookies!
Thank you, Alice! They were wonderful! Happy New Year to you!
How long will sand tarts stay fresh? Can they be frozen?
What is the difference between these Sand Tart cookies and Russian Teacake cookies? The pictures here are lovely.
Rebekah, I have never tried Russian Teacake cookies, so I’m not familiar enough to answer your question. Thank you for reading and for the encouragement on my photos 🙂
These 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!
Is it salted or unsalted butter
I use unsalted butter regularly.
I underbaked my sand tart cookies! They already have powdered sugar on them. Is there anything i can do to save them?
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!
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?
Anne, my preference is for unsalted butter, but if salted is all you have I believe it should work. Happy New Year!
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.
Wow, they’re good old-fashioned cookies! Love the recipe. Thank you!
With the amount of butter in this recipe there is no need of parchment paper or a silicone mat. I’ve been making these for almost 50 years.
I’ve never used almond flour but was given some to try. Can I substitute almond flour for AP flour?
Richele, I really don’t have much experience baking with almond flour, so I’m not sure how the substitution would work.
im planning on making for my large family for Christmas and am wondering many cookies in one batch?
Hi, Kelly. You should get 2 dozen cookies for each recipe batch.
Made them…love them❤️