Chocolate Filled Pecan Sandies

Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 in Christmas, Cookies, Desserts, Holiday | 4 comments

… Or Christmas Kiss Cookies in Disguise!

Chocolate Filled Pecan Sandies (Christmas Kiss Cookies)
The truth is, I can’t quite decide what to call these new creations. I grew up with a version of this recipe, using Hershey’s Kisses, that we called Christmas Kiss Cookies. When I looked online at recipes, those looked different from my original version. Now I’ve changed my recipe again, creating gluten-free, dairy-free, chocolate-filled cookies that liken themselves more to Pecan Sandies. Regardless of what name I attach to them, these cookies have always been, and can remain, my all-time favorite holiday cookies, even when eliminating the wheat- and milk-containing ingredients. This recipe creates a low-sugar dough that bakes into a delicate shortbread speckled with micro-chopped pecan pieces wrapped around a center of rich chocolate. Delicious (and low-sugar) as is, these little balls can also be rolled in powdered sugar to create a snowball effect, drifting them quite sweetly into the more decadent cookie category. Throughout the years of sharing these with family and friends, it is still inconclusive whether the naked or powdered cookies are most favored. I make some each way so everyone is happy (and me too).


No Soy No Dairy Bug No Gluten BugPrep time: 10 minutes

Bake time: 18-20 minutes per cookie sheet

Makes: about 60 cookies, or 3 cookie sheets

Oven temp: 350ºF

Cool time: at least 10 minutes



2 3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour – I use 330g Bette’s Gourmet Four Flour Blend2

1/4 cup blanched almond flour – I use Honeyville

1/4 teaspoon guar gum

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup granulated sugar

8 ounces (1 cup or 2 sticks) margarine or softened butter – I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread – red tub1

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla – McCormick’s is gluten free

1 cup micro-chopped pecans – walnuts work great too

1 10 ounce bag Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks3

about 1/3 cup powdered sugar, for rolling if desired



Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In a small mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, almond flour, guar gum, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar and margarine until sugar is dissolved. Scrape bowl, then beat in egg until well mixed. On low speed, gradually blend in the flour mixture until  dough forms. Blend in pecans until speckled throughout dough.

Chocolate Filled Pecan Sandies (Christmas Kiss Cookies) dough
Using 20g of dough, about 1 level tablespoonful, gently make a ball, then press a depression into center. Fill with 3 long or 6 short chocolate chunks.

Chocolate Filled Pecan Sandies (Christmas Kiss Cookies) long & short

Press dough together again to form a ball and hide the chocolate.

Chocolate Filled Pecan Sandies (Christmas Kiss Cookies) filled
Place on parchment-lined baking sheet, 20 per sheet, and bake on center oven rack at 350ºF for 18-20 minutes. The cookies don’t spread so dough balls can be placed just 1 inch apart.

Chocolate Filled Pecan Sandies (Christmas Kiss Cookies) balls
The bottoms will become golden when the cookies are done, but the rest of the cookie will not – that’s perfect! Transfer baked cookie balls onto cooling rack and let cool at least 10 minutes before tasting them. They’re filling is HOT! (Trust me on this one – be patient so you don’t blister the roof of your mouth.)

Chocolate Filled Pecan Sandies (Christmas Kiss Cookies) single
If coating in powdered sugar, wait about 30 minutes before rolling in the sugar. If rolled while still warm, the sugar dissolves and doesn’t give a coated appearance or taste.

Christmas Kiss Cookies 2 GFDF md pic
These cookies, whatever we decide to name them, will last on the countertop for 3-4 days, even without placing them in an airtight container, if they aren’t devoured before then. I think they’re so fun to look at that I put them on a plate, then set a clear glass bowl inverted over them, so I could see them. Of course they keep calling to me this way:-D

Do you have a great name for these yummy treats? I’m still pondering ideas:D 

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™ 

1Earth Balance Product Review

2Bette’s Gourmet Four Flour Blend Product Review

3Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks


  1. Yum. No name for them sorry but cant wait to try them. Think these will very easily become a family favourite
    thanks for sharing

  2. Hi Michele! Thanks for the comments:D Always happy to share!

  3. thank you so much my mom made these every year when I was growing up they had a kiss in the center. been trying to find a way to convert since I have celiac. Glad you did it for me

  4. They’re my favorite! It isn’t Christmas without them! Glad you can now bring back the great memories you grew up with … that makes me VERY happy! Thanks so much for sharing:D

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