Kate made a huge batch of Pecan Sandies for a wine-tasting party we hosted. Originally, the Sandies were left “naked” (no sugar-glaze) so it would pair well with red wine, but after tasting a few, they seemed a bit too dry, so a nice brown sugar glaze was invented to add just a touch of sweetness.
Everyone commented how great they tasted (even though most people didn’t know they were vegan).
Vegan Pecan Sandies
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
1 cup of Earth Balance or other vegan buttery spread
2 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup of Demerara sugar or other vegan sugar you like
1/4 teaspoon salt
* You can add cornstarch (3 Tablespoons) if you want them to be softer and more crumbly, but I usually leave it out, so that they can be bitten without making a mess at a party.
Blend the dry ingredients into the Earth Balance. The dough will be very thick, so I just use my hands at this point.
1 cup of pecan pieces (raw or roasted are fine, but roasted just make them a little more yummy to me) You can add more or fewer pecans to taste, too.
Once all ingredients are well integrated, roll the dough into two or three long ropes and wrap in plastic wrap or cheesecloth.
Place them in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to harden. (You can make this dough up a day or two early and slice just what you want to cook as well, if you don’t want to make the whole batch at once.)
After 20 minutes or so, take the rolls out and slice to desired thickness. (The thinner they are, the quicker the edges will cook, so however thick you slice, try to keep them as uniform as possible.)
Bake for 18-20 minutes, checking after 15, just to see if the edges are browning. As soon as you see any browning, take them out.
On the stove top, melt 1/2 cup of Turbinado sugar with 2 Tablespoons of water (add more if you need to make a thick, moist paste before it melts.)
Cook on medium heat until the color darkens/you smell a lovely caramel smell – Don’t overcook, because you will get caramel, not a sugar glaze, which is what we’re going for here.
Once you have a thick sugar glaze, use a regular teaspoon to drizzle a nice dollop of the glaze in the middle of each cookie. Do this to 10 or so cookies, then stop drizzling and use the back of the spoon to spread the glaze into a large circle, leaving a small edge of each cookie plain.
Before the glaze dries completely, sprinkle a few pecan pieces on top of each one and tap gently with your finger to make sure they stick.
Continue these three steps until all the cookies are glazed with pecan pieces on top. Let cool and then store in an airtight container.