December 17, 2014

Brown butter pecan cookies

Butter pecan is taken to the next level in these cookies by taking the regular ol' butter and making it nutty and golden brown butter! Yes, that's right - these cookies are full of rich nuttiness and are a perfect cookie for the holidays or anytime of the year. These cookies were adapted from a chocolate chip cookie recipe that uses melted butter - I just swapped the chocolate for pecans and cooked the butter longer. The result were perfect - chewy, nutty, rich, and delicious. Plus the smell was amazing. I'm really glad I decided to give this idea a try! I always try to make at least one or two new cookies each Christmas, along with the standbys that we have pretty much every year like my Great-grandmother's thumbprint cookies and these rosemary shortbread Christmas trees. What are your favorite cookies you make each year?

This recipe will make about 3 dozen cookies. I have a feeling that I may need to make another batch of these before Christmas so we have more to share - they are going fast!

Brown butter pecan cookies
1-1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
2-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups roughly chopped toasted pecans (plus a few whole ones for topping, if desired)

First you will need to brown the butter. Place the butter in a small heavy-bottomed skillet. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring often. The butter will begin to froth a bit and then the milk solids will begin to fall to the bottom of the pan and start to turn golden. Keep stirring and cooking until the milk solids are a deep brown, but not black - you don't want it to burn and it can happen quickly. The whole process can take about 10 minutes. Once the butter is browned, pour it into a large mixing bowl and let it cool.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. 

Mix together the cooled browned butter and the sugars using a hand mixer or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until well-combined. Mix in the eggs and vanilla and continue to mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until combined. Turn the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture. Mix until combined and then mix in the pecans.

Roll the dough in tablespoon-sized balls and place on the baking sheets about 1-inch apart. Gently flatten them slightly and add a whole toasted pecan to the top if desired/needed. 

Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until the bottoms and edges turn golden. The may look slightly underdone, but that is fine - it will help them stay chewy. Let the cookies cool for another couple of minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Repeat until all the dough is used. 

Store in an air-tight container.

What was I cooking one year ago?: glazed eggnog loaf cake
Two years ago?: honey-cinnamon coconut snowballs
Three?: date-walnut bars
Four?: Pfeffernüsse
5?: candied ginger spice cookies


  1. nutty on top of nutty--i like it! these look properly chewy and flavorful and i'm automatically interested in anything with pecans. :)

  2. Amy, these cookies look amazing! I adore brown butter and pecan in cookie recipes, so I know that I'd simply love this!

  3. These look FAB Amy! The last time I browned butter I burned the crap out of it :( Gotta try this!

  4. I can never resist pecans -- might be my favorite nut. Wonderful recipe. Thanks, and I hope you have a terrific holiday season!

  5. Hi Amy, oh I love pecans, these cookies look delicious, I need to get on the ball and finish my baking!

  6. Everything about these cookies sounds delicious.

  7. Pecans my favourite... This Brown butter cookies sound so so delicious!! Will definitely be trying it soon.. :)

  8. I am all about brown butter these days! I just made some brown butter blondies and they were delicious. I think it's time to try it in cookie form…:)

  9. Thanks for the recipe! My mom loves any dessert with pecans, so she'll love this cookie!

  10. Hi Amy,
    This cookie recipe is unique to me as need to brown the butter 1st. They looked so lovely and inviting ... I may try it with walnuts instead since I've got a pack. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Oh boy do these look and sound good! I can't wait to try them!


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