You guys, Christmas is just seven days away. Once again, another major holiday snuck up on me this year. Well if you’re looking for a new cookie to try during these final weeks of the Holiday season, then definitely make a batch of these Brown Butter Pecan Cookies.
First, I need to tell you that I absolutely love butter pecan ice cream. These cookies are like that ice cream, but in cookie form. So if you are a fan of butter pecan ice cream, you’ll really enjoy these cookies.
The base cookie dough here is flavored with brown butter, vanilla and dark brown sugar. A pile of toasted pecans is folded in, and then the big scoops of cookie dough are baked until wonderfully golden brown.
Each bite of these Brown Butter Pecan Cookies are warm and butterscotchy with pops of smoky, toasted pecan. They’re such a delight. Especially with a cold glass of milk! Continue reading for the recipe.
The ingredient list is pretty simple here and you might have everything you need already in your pantry! Pecans are the main flavor, so just make sure they’re nice and fresh. I like to store my pecans in the fridge once I open the bag to keep the fresher longer.
You’ll need toast up 1 1/2 cups pecan halves for this recipe, but feel free to use pecan pieces if that’s all you have.
Similar to my Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies, the butter in this recipe gets the brown butter treatment. You place one stick of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. It will melt, bubble and then foam. Once it starts foaming, the milk solids in the butter will brown, flavoring the fat with a nutty, golden aroma.
It’s at this point that you need to really pay attention, because those milk solids can burn easily and take on a more bitter flavor.
It can be a little tricky to see what’s happening in the saucepan once the butter starts foaming, so I like to use my ears when making brown butter. When you first start cooking the butter, you’ll hear a lot of bubble and sputtering noises. Eventually, the pan will go quiet. It’s at this point that the water has completely evaporated from the butter and the milk solids will start to brown.
So once the pot goes quiet, cook the butter for a few moments longer and you’ve got the perfect brown butter!
This Brown Butter Pecan Cookie Dough is on the wet side, so I like to chill it in the fridge for one hour before portioning and baking. This keeps the cookies from spreading too much in the oven. As you are baking in batches, just return any unused cookie dough to the fridge to keep it chilled.
Brown Butter Pecan Cookies
Adapted from here.
- 1 1/2 cups (200 g) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
- 1 cup (192 g) packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans halves, chopped*
Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.
Warm 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. The butter will melt, then foam and bubble, then start to brown. You will notice little brown bits forming at the bottom of the pan. Stir frequently during this process and keep your attention on the pot (read about listening cues above). You will know the butter is done when it gives off a nutty aroma and turns a golden brown (about 4 to 5 minutes). Transfer butter to a medium bowl and let cool for 1 minutes. Cut remaining 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter into cubes, then stir into brown butter until melted.
To the bowl with the brown butter, add both sugars and whisk until the sugar is incorporated. The mixture will look like wet sand. Add the egg and yolks and whisk until the mixture is smooth (about 30 seconds). Whisk in vanilla. Add dry ingredients to the bowl, and using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients in the wet until no dry spots remain. Fold in the toasted pecans. Cover and let chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Preheat to 375°F. Set an oven rack to the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Using your hands or an ice cream scoop, portion out 1.5-ounce balls, and place 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheet (8 cookies per baking sheet). Bake until the cookies are golden brown and firm around the edges (9 to 11 minutes). Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack.
* You can toast pecan halves in a 350°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, tossing occasionally.