Gluten Free Pecan Shortbread Cookies Recipe (aka Pecan Sandies)

Make this gluten free pecan shortbread cookie recipe or regular pecan cookies. Whether you dip them in chocolate or not, they are simply delicious. The shortbread variation makes cookies similar to the famous Pecan Sandies. The regular cookie is less rich than shortbread, which makes them perfect candidates for dipping in the chocolate of your choice.

See the Tips section to learn how to make Pecan Sandies/Shortbread Cookies.

Check out the texture of the regular pecan cookies in this video.

Shortbread vs Butter Cookies?

These cookies are closer to butter cookies than shortbread cookies, mainly due to their higher sugar content compared to butter.  You will find that shortbread is less sweet and falls apart easily.

Gluten Free Pecan Cookies

A medium-weight cookie with a crunchy bottom yet moist inside due to the butter and sugar. Loads of pecans in every bite. Perfect for dipping in chocolate*, whether milk, dark, or white.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Ingredient Keyword butter, pecans
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling 2 hours
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 25 cookies


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (or dairy-free margarine - Smart Balance) (or Earth Balance for vegan)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg (or 2 tablespoons liquid from a can of cannellini beans + 1 tablespoon butter or margarine)
  • 1/4 cup minced pecans separated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Potato starch for dusting
  • For Chocolate:
  • 2 cups gluten free semi-sweet chocolate chips (Nestle's or for dairy-free, Enjoy Life Minis)
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons organic shortening (Spectrum)


  1. In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  2. Add the water and vanilla; beat on medium-low until blended.
  3. Add the egg and beat on medium speed just until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour blend, baking soda, and salt. Add half to the wet mixture and beat on medium to combine. Add the remaining flour and  1/4 cup minced pecans. Beat until thoroughly combined.
  5. Fold in the chopped nuts using the paddle attachment or silicone spatula.
  6. Scoop the dough onto at least a 16-inch long sheet of plastic wrap and form into a log shape about 12-inches long  Wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or freeze and defrost at room temperature.
  7. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper; set aside. At least 15 minutes before you're ready to slice the dough, preheat the oven to 350F.
  8. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Discard the plastic wrap. Place the dough on a silicone baking mat, lightly dusted with potato starch,  Slice into 1-centimeter wide disks and transfer to the lined baking pans, about 13 cookies per sheet.
  9. Bake 10 minutes or until you see a light golden brown color around the bottom edge of a few cookies.
  10. Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to wire a rack to cool. Serve and freeze leftovers in a zipper freezer bag. Defrost frozen cookies at room temperature in 5-10 minutes or eat frozen.

To Make the Chocolate:

  1. In a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring together occasionally. Dip up to half of each cookie in the melted chocolate. (If the chocolate begins to thicken/seize up, add back to the hot burner that you've turned off. Transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes or until completely set.
  2. Use a paring knife to cut off any excess chocolate on the edges.


*Be sure to use gluten free chocolate. There are more white chocolate brands that contain gluten than any other. Use Hershey's Premiere White Chocolate Chips.


To Make Pecan Sandies:

Reduce the flour blend to 1 cup and replace the baking soda with baking powder.



7 Replies to “Gluten Free Pecan Shortbread Cookies Recipe (aka Pecan Sandies)”

  1. We made this recipe- using Monkfruit as the sugar (gluten free) and wasn’t sure how to dip the cookies 1/2 way- therefore we just “iced” the top of them & it worked.
    & I used Lily’s Dark Chocolate Baking Chips & melted them – they are Gluten Free

    1. Hi Beverly,

      The Notes section as described above the recipe is actually at the bottom of the recipe entitled, “Tips”. I’m in the middle of converting the recipe format and in the new format that section is no longer “Notes” but “Tips”. Sorry for the confusion. I also made that tip/note in a new paragraph so that it is easier to find. I hope that helps. If not, please let me know.


    1. Bonnie,

      Sorry about that! The amount was above the words “Carla’s Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour”. They somehow got separated into two lines. I have updated the recipe to read all on one line, “1-1/4 cups Carla’s Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour with a link to the flour blend recipe.


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