Sandies are a style of shortbread cookie that is known for its crumbly, sandy texture. More often than not, these cookies are made with a good amount of ground nuts to create that texture. Pecan Sandies are the most recognizable cookie of this style, but these Chocolate Almond Sandies are a delicious option for chocoholics and shortbread-lovers looking for something a little different!
The cookies start with a simple shortbread dough that is made with flour, almond flour (aka ground almonds) and plenty of unsweetened cocoa powder. The almond flour and cocoa powder help to tenderize the dough, producing that sandy texture. With such a generous amount of cocoa, the dough itself has a wonderfully bittersweet flavor to it. To enhance the crispness of the cookies and add a touch of additional sweetness, I rolled the cookies in sugar before baking. The subtle sugar crust balances out the chocolate perfectly and makes the cookies even more memorable.
These cookies have a long, low baking time that helps them dry out as they cook. They should be set around the edges – meaning that they are firm to the touch and not too soft if you touch them – when they are done. The cookies will crisp up as they cool. If you under-bake the cookies, they will have a softer and more brownie-like texture to them, thanks to all the cocoa powder in the dough.
The finished cookies are absolutely delicious, with a wonderfully crisp texture and a deep chocolate flavor. They are easy to make and keep well, too. You may also notice that this recipe doesn’t contain any eggs, making it an excellent option if you happen to be low on baking supplies during the holiday season or are baking for those with dietary restrictions.
Chocolate Almond Sandies
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup almond flour (almond meal)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
sugar, for topping
Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until softened. At low speed, blend in confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, salt and almond flour until smooth. Gradually blend in the flour until completely incorporated.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place sugar in a shallow bowl and roll each cookie in sugar.
Arrange balls on prepared baking sheet. Use the heel of your hand to flatten each one until it is approximately 1/4-inch thick.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are firmly set. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.