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Let the baking begin! I plan on making and posting a couple cookie recipes a week up until Christmas. This weekend I was looking through my Martha Stewart Holiday Cookie magazine from last year for this year’s cookies. I came across this recipe for pecan sandies and since I had pecans leftover from Thanksgiving I decided to make it cookie number one. They’re good, nutty, sweet and caramelly.

Pecan Sandies
Makes 18 

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in vanilla and salt. With mixer on low, gradually add flour, beating just until combined. Fold in pecans.

Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls, and place on two baking sheets, 2 inches apart. With the dampened bottom of a glass, lightly flatten each ball.

Bake until cookies are golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer to wire racks, and let cool.