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Thick, chewy, and insanely delicious Butter Pecan Cookies! Made with brown butter, brown sugar, and plenty of toasted butter pecans, these cookies are so flavorful. A must bake cookie recipe for the holiday season!
Butter Pecan Cookies
Do you follow me on Instagram? If yes, you may have seen me make this recipe on Instastories last week. I posted a couple of pictures of these pecan cookies when they came out of the oven and within just a few hours I had over 100 requests for the recipe! So while I wasn’t planning on posting these until Fall, I decided to shuffle around my editorial calendar and share them with you today. Because I love giving you what you want! And according to my inbox… you definitely want these butter pecan cookies!
So bust out your baking sheet and let’s get baking!
As I mentioned earlier, I was originally planning on sharing these cookies with you in October… when my first book is released! I’ll be sharing 5 recipes from the book with you, so that you can get a sneak peak and see if it’s right for you. Of course this recipe will be in the book, along with chapters and chapters more! I’m pouring my heart and soul into this project. And I’m really excited to share more details about it with you soon.
But for now, let’s focus on these cookies. Because they’re incredible! Each bite is super chewy, perfectly crunchy, and so flavorful. The flavor comes from brown butter, a pinch of cinnamon, and plenty of toasted pecans. Pecans toasted in BUTTER, that is.
Because when it comes to butter pecan cookies, more butter is always better. Warm from the oven, these cookies basically melt in your mouth. But after an hour or so, they firm up and are chewy in the middle and crunchy at the edges. If you’re a butter pecan fanatic (like me!) I highly suggest buying some butter pecan ice cream and making homemade ice cream sandwiches with these cookies
Pecan Cookie Recipe
- pecans (I suggest tasting your pecans to ensure they’re fresh. They should be golden in color when you purchase them. For optimal freshness, I suggest storing your pecans in an airtight container in the fridge – they’ll keep for 9 months, or up to 2 years in the freezer.)
- unsalted butter
- vanilla extract
- baking soda
- and salt
You’ll also need a large bowl, an electric mixer, and a baking sheet with parchment paper.
How to Brown Butter
Do you know how to brown butter? If you do, feel free to skip this lecture. But if you don’t, I’ve got you covered! Browning butter is insanely simple and I’m going to walk you through each step!
To brown butter you’ll need a saucepan, butter, and a little patience. You’ll melt the butter as normal, then continue to cook it over medium heat – swirling the pan occasionally – until it reaches a golden brown color. Watch your butter closely as it browns, because it can burn easily! Once it’s nice and golden brown, remove it from the heat and pour it into a heatproof bowl – being sure to scrape all of the golden bits off the bottom of the pan. And that’s it! Easy, right?
- There are 3 steps to assembling this cookie dough: making the buttered pecans, browning the butter, and then making the cookie dough. And it should be done in that order. The good news is each step is quite easy and only takes a few minutes!
- Because the butter is in a liquid form when we add it to the cookie dough, this recipe does require chilling. But just for 4 hours! During this time the butter is basically coming back to room temperature, which helps our cookies hold their shape as they bake. Of course you can chill it longer, or scoop it and freeze the cookie dough balls until needed. But if you refrigerate over 4 hours, you’ll need to allow the dough to slightly soften before scooping.
- I prefer making these cookies BIG. So I use a large cookie scoop (about 1/4 cup) tp scoop up the raw cookie dough. But you can definitely make them smaller. Just adjust the baking time, as smaller cookies will bake faster. And larger cookies might need an extra minute or two.
- For decoration, you can press a pecan on top of the cookie dough before they bake. You can also sprinkle the cookies with a little granulated sugar right when they come out of the oven for a sparkly effect!
- Unlike most cookie recipes that instruct you to preheat oven to 350, these cookies call for a slightly higher oven temperature of 375. The higher temperature yields cookies that are crispy on the outside but chewy on the inside.
- Finally, be sure you don’t over bake these cookies! They only need 10 to 12 minutes in the oven, and will firm up quite a bit as they cool. Over baked cookies will be dry and crumbly… not chewy like we want!
I had my family over for dinner last night and everyone loved these cookies! Even my brother, who typically refuses anything that doesn’t involve chocolate, ate 3 of these chewy pecan cookies for dessert. Oh, and he took a few home, too!
If you try this recipe for Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies, let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #bakerbynature on instagram! Seeing your kitchen creations makes my day.
More Pecan Recipes:
- Brown Sugar Butter Pecan French Toast
- White Chocolate Butter Pecan Blondies
- Overnight Pecan Pie French Toast
- Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- 6-Ingredient Butter Pecan Fudge
- No Corn Syrup Pecan Pie
Butter Pecan Cookies
For the Buttered Pecans:
- 1 and 1/4 cup pecan halves, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the Butter Pecan Cookies:
- 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted until browned
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 16 pecan halves, for decoration, optional
For the Buttered Pecans:
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in chopped pecans and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside until needed.
For the Butter Pecan Cookies:
- In a large bowl combine flour, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda; whisk well to combine then set aside until needed.
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook the butter. swirling the pan occasionally. Keep a close eye here. The top of the butter should become foamy. And you should hear tiny popping noises. The butter will develop into a rich amber color, with tiny brown bits at the bottom. And it will have a slightly nutty aroma. Once the butter reaches this stage, remove from heat immediately and pour into a large mixing bowl.
- Add both sugars into the mixing bowl and whisk well to combine.
- Add in vanilla. Beat in eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating until eggs are just combined.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour, stirring until just combined. Fold in the buttered pecans.
- Cover bowl and refrigerate for 4 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a large cookie scoop, divide the dough into 3-tablespoon sized balls and place onto prepared baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between each ball of dough for spreading.
- Firmly press a pecan half on top of each ball of cookie dough.
- Bake, one tray at a time, in a preheated oven for 10 to 11 minutes. If any edges spread out while baking, use a spatula and gently press them back in as soon as you remove the cookies from the oven.
- Sprinkle warm cookies with granulated sugar.
- Allow cookies to cool on the pan for 15 minutes, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack.
- Cookies will stay "fresh" for 3 days when stored in an airtight container.
- Cookie dough will keep in the fridge for 48 hours. Alternatively, you may scoop and freeze the cookie dough for up to 2 months. You will need to add an extra minute or two to the bake time if baking frozen dough.
- You can make smaller sized cookies, but you'll need to decrease the bake time by a minute or two.
- For decoration, you may sprinkle granulated sugar on the cookies right when they come out of the oven.