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Brown Butter Pecan Cookies

You love brown butter. You love pecans. You’re thinking about merging the two into a cookie but don’t know where to start. You’ve landed in the right spot!

Brown Butter Pecan Cookies from Out of the Box Baking
Brown Butter Pecan Cookies from Out of the Box Baking

Nutty, rich, and loaded with the delicious flavors found only in browned butter, these Brown Butter Pecan Cookies provide a true sensory overload! They have an intoxicating aroma and taste even better than they smell! And you can blame it all on two very delicious little words. . .brown butter.

What does brown butter taste like?

Brown butter has a rich, nutty flavor that adds incredible depth to whatever you’re baking. Trust me, once you taste cookies made with brown butter you’ll have a hard time using regular again!

I sang the praises of brown butter in my brown butter frosting post. And I mentioned it again in my butter pecan cupcakes post. But, using it in a cookie? That idea must’ve come to me in some sort of a dream, because the result–this brown butter pecan cookie–was truly one of the finest things I’ve ever tasted!

The combination of the nutty butter and the chunky pecans is absolutely intoxicating! (And did I mention these cookies smell divine?) You’ll also discover one more thing: this recipe calls for a full cup of brown sugar. So, what you end up with is a brown butter, brown sugar explosion!

Brown Butter Pecan Cookies

Where Do I Get Brown Butter?

You make it. . .and it’s simpler than you might think!

To make brown butter start with cold, salted butter. Place it in a saucepan on the stove then bring it to a boil over medium heat, letting the bubbles rise up. It’s so exciting to watch as it changes color.

Careful! You don’t want it to burn, just to turn golden and to get those delicious “flecks” that will make your cookies taste great! This process will take a few minutes over a low/medium heat.

Butter Shrinks While Browning

Butter is 15% water, and that water will evaporate as you simmer your butter. You’ll need a full cup of browned butter for this recipe, which means you actually have to start with more. To make a (finished) full cup, I started with 1 1/4 cups (2.5 sticks of butter).

Once you’ve got that butter browned, place it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes while you gather the ingredients you’ll need to make these cookies. You don’t want it to harden. You simply want it to cool down.

Here’s what you’ll need for my Brown Butter Pecan Cookies:

There’s a handy-dandy printable recipe card below where you will find the exact measurements. But here’s what you’ll need to make these yummy cookies:

Brown Butter Pecan Cookie Ingredients
Brown Butter Pecan Cookie Ingredients

INGREDIENTS:

  • brown butter (cooled but not hardened)
  • brown sugar
  • granulated sugar
  • large eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • baking soda
  • all-purpose flour

How to Make Brown Butter Pecan Cookies

Making these cookies is a breeze, y’all! I promise, this experience won’t be like any other cookies you’ve made before.

Start by pre-heating your oven to 375 degrees. Measure out 1 cup of cooled browned butter. Be sure to get all of the flecks. (The yummy goodness is found in the golden bits.)

Put butter into a large mixing bowl and add your sugars and extract. Blend them together. Ordinarily this would be the point where I would add the words “until creamy.” But with the melted brown butter and brown sugar combo? There’s nothing creamy about it.

When I saw the dough at this stage I wondered if, perhaps, I was making a mistake. It certainly didn’t look like any cookie dough I’d made before.

I kept going, and you should, too!

It’s time to add your eggs.

I’ll confess, at this point my dough was starting to look a little grainy and soup-like. But those flecks of brown butter looked and smelled remarkable. . .so I knew I’d better keep going.

You should keep going, too!

In a separate bowl whisk flour and baking soda. Work those dry ingredients into the dough.

Brown Butter Pecan Cookies
We have dough!

Finally! It looks like a real cookie dough!

It’s time to fold in the chopped nuts. Mix well!

Can we just pause for a moment to talk about how good that pecan-filled dough looks?

Time to Bake. . .or is it?

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop out the dough and place onto the paper. Then place the tray into the refrigerator for 10 minutes. (This cooling time will keep the cookies from falling flat while baking.)

Brown Butter Pecan Cookies

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove and cool on wire cooling rack. (Note: While this tray was in the oven for 10 minutes, the next tray was in the refrigerator, chilling. I kept that cycle going throughout.)

Brown Butter Pecan Cookies

You know how some cookies are too thin? (They fall flat and look like little wafers!) Some are too thick? (They’re clunky and hard to chew.) Some are too dense? Some are too gooey? Y’all. . .

These are perfect. I couldn’t believe it! They were exactly the right texture. I couldn’t wait to try them, so I grabbed a big glass of milk!

Let’s Talk About the Taste

Take a really close look at the picture of these cookies. You’ll see flecks of color in every single bite, along with tiny air pockets. I’m of the firm opinion that the magic is buried in those little pockets. It must be, because I couldn’t figure out how else it might’ve slipped in.

Brown Butter Pecan Cookies

These Brown Butter Pecan Cookies are Magical

I don’t even know quite how to describe the sensation but the brown butter and brown sugar seem to have a chemical reaction that causes a bit of caramelization. And the crunch of those chopped pecans? Heavens to Betsy! I could have eaten the whole batch!

But I didn’t. This recipe makes three dozen (36) medium-sized cookies, after all.

I took a full box of cookies to some new friends. Then I gave a box to my neighbors! They texted me about five minutes later to tell me the cookies were delicious! (That didn’t take long!)

Brown Butter, Brown Sugar. . .Bliss!

We’re talking about a winning combination here, folks. And I assure you, you won’t be able to eat just one. You’ll probably want to have at least two while they’re still warm. The magic of brown butter seems even more exaggerated when the cookie is still warm and toasty from the oven.

ADDITIONS

Here are some fun things you could add to this recipe:

Chocolate chips: You could use this exact recipe to make a chocolate chip cookie. Just use half the pecans (only one cup) and toss in a couple cups of chocolate chips.

Caramel: You could use caramel chips with the pecans but you might also drizzle caramel on top like I did in my Butter Pecan Cupcakes.

Brown Butter Mousse: Use my Easy Cheesecake Mousse recipe but some browned butter in place of some of the milk. Sandwich between two of these Brown Butter Pecan cookies.

If You Like Brown Butter and Pecans Together. . .

You should probably go ahead and make my Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies with Brown Butter. They’re swoon-worthy. I’m just saying.

You should also try my Butter Pecan Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting. You can thank me later!

Another nutty favorite is my Italian Cream Cake. Venture over to that post to read a funny story about my funeral. No, really.

And while we’re swooning over pecans, let’s just go ahead and admit that this Southern Butter Pecan Pound Cake with Praline Glaze recipe that I discovered at Julia’s Simply Southern sounds like a little bit of heaven! I can’t wait to try it, (especially to dump that can of frosting into the batter!)

For more exciting ideas, check out Miz Helen’s full plate offerings.

That’s it for now, folks.

Leave a comment with your favorite brown butter creations. I’m dying to hear what you’ve made!

Brown Butter Pecan Cookies

Brown Butter Pecan Cookies

Yield: 36
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Nutty, rich, and loaded with the delicious flavors found only in brown butter, this cookie is a sensory overload!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown butter (start with 1 1/2 cup of butter. It will shrink as you "brown" it)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Brown your butter and then cool. Measure out 1 cup of browned butter.
  2. Put butter into mixing bowl and add sugars and extracts.
  3. Whip until creamy.
  4. Add eggs. Mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk flour and baking soda.
  6. Work dry ingredients into the dough.
  7. Fold in 2 cups of chopped nuts.
  8. Chill for ten minutes after scooping onto parchment lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.
  10. Cool and enjoy!

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