paleo pecan sandies with logo

In my family, holidays are all about the food. I have so many foods that immediately transport me to the smell of a fresh Christmas Tree, getting a Hershey Bar from Big Daddy (grandpa), and sneaking endless treats from the dessert table on Christmas Day. BUT, there is no cookie that reminds me more of visiting my MeeMaw than Sand Cookies – pronounced Pee-Can by my Coastal Carolina family or Pah-Con by my Middle TN family.

My grandmother died when I was 8, but her cooking has lived on as her recipes were simple, classic, and always memorable. When I was little, my family and I couldn’t wait to get to Wilmington, NC to pop these cookies like tic-tacs at holiday gatherings (and subsequently choke slightly while chewing/breathing in a cloud of powdered sugar into the back of your throat each time you tried to eat one whole). Most of my family has given up gluten, and so the tradition of these sandies has fallen to the wayside the last few years.  I experimented and think I have created a recipe that would make MeeMaw proud. They are a light, not too sweet, perfectly round, and crunchy cookie. I hope they bring back some memories for you this holiday season.

Paleo Pecan Sandies aka “Fuss Cookies”

Servings: About 40 1-inch Balls


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, sea salt, and coconut sugar in a medium bowl. If clumpy, use a sifter to smooth out the mixture. Mix in the chopped pecans.

2) Add the softened butter, egg, and vanilla. Mix well until all ingredients are combined. The dough will be thick and mold-able.

3)  Take pinches of dough and roll 1-inch balls between your palms and place them on an un-greased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. They do not rise or change shape, so 1-2 inch spacing is sufficient. Bake on 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until lightly golden. Gently place each cookie on a cooling rack or the counter or a room temperature surface lined with parchment paper. Cool completely before tossing in “powdered sugar.”

4) In a bowl, roll in powdered sugar, lightly tap excess off on the edge of your bowl (see notes below about powdered sugar options) and enjoy!

For Powdered Sugar Dusting: The cookies were just sweet enough that I just used tapioca flour to create the powdered sugar-like covering, but you could always use organic powdered sugar, or make your own by pulverizing your sugar in a high-powered blender or food processor, click here for a good tutorial from Eat Live Grow Paleo.


 pecan sandies finger with cookie