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Brown Butter Pecan Cookies Recipe

Welcome to our kitchen! Get ready to embark on a delightful journey with our Brown Butter Pecan Cookies. This heavenly treat will satisfy your sweet tooth with the perfect combination of browned butter, pecans, and a touch of warmth from cinnamon. Let’s dive into the history, ingredients, and step-by-step guide to creating these mouthwatering cookies.

History and Origins

The origin of Brown Butter Pecan Cookies can be traced back to the rich culinary traditions of the Southern United States. Known for its warm flavors and comforting aromas, this recipe has been passed down through generations, evolving into the irresistible treat we know today.

Tools, People, and Cooking Time

To embark on this baking adventure, you’ll need a few essential tools:

  • Skillet
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Heatproof mixing bowl
  • Baking sheets
  • Parchment paper

This recipe is designed to yield delightful cookies for approximately 16 people. The total cooking time, including preparation and baking, is around 4 hours.

Ingredients and Replacements

Gather the following ingredients in precise quantities:

  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecan halves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 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
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 16 pecan halves for decoration (optional)

For those looking for substitutes, consider the following replacements:

  • Replace all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour for a nuttier flavor.
  • Swap dark brown sugar with maple syrup for a unique twist.
  • Experiment with different nuts like walnuts or almonds if pecans are unavailable.


Let’s dive into the process of creating these delectable Brown Butter Pecan Cookies:

  1. Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in chopped pecans and toast for 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Melt 2 sticks (8 ounces) butter until golden brown. Pour into a large, heatproof mixing bowl. Add sugars and whisk well. Stir in vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  4. Fold in the flour mixture, followed by the toasted pecans. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Scoop 3 tablespoon-sized rounds of dough onto the prepared sheet. Leave 2 inches between each cookie. Sprinkle with granulated sugar if desired.
  7. Press a pecan half on top of each cookie. Bake for 9 minutes, until edges are set and the center is slightly soft.
  8. Cool cookies on the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Top 4 Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Mistake 1: Over-toasting Pecans

While toasting pecans adds a delightful flavor, be cautious not to overdo it. Over-toasting can result in a bitter taste. Toast pecans until lightly browned.

Mistake 2: Incorrect Butter Browning

The key to the recipe lies in perfectly browned butter. Ensure it is golden brown with a nutty aroma. Avoid burning, as it can affect the overall taste.

Mistake 3: Skipping Refrigeration

Chilling the dough is crucial for the cookies to hold their shape. Don’t skip the refrigeration step, as it enhances the texture and flavor.


ake 4: Inconsistent Cookie Size

For uniform baking, ensure consistent cookie sizes. Varying sizes may lead to uneven baking times. Use a measuring scoop for precise portions.


Q1: Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted?

A1: While it’s possible, using unsalted butter allows better control of the overall saltiness. If using salted butter, consider adjusting the added salt accordingly.

Q2: Can I omit the cornstarch?

A2: Cornstarch contributes to the cookies’ tenderness. If omitted, the texture may change. Consider using a small amount of baking powder as an alternative.

Q3: Why do I need to refrigerate the dough?

A3: Refrigeration solidifies the fat in the dough, preventing cookies from spreading too much during baking. It also enhances flavor and texture.

Q4: Can I use different nuts?

A4: Absolutely! Experiment with your favorite nuts like walnuts or almonds for a personalized touch.

Q5: Can I freeze the cookie dough?

A5: Yes, you can freeze the cookie dough for future use. Ensure it is well-wrapped to prevent freezer burn, and thaw before baking.


Congratulations! You’ve now mastered the art of creating Brown Butter Pecan Cookies. These cookies, with their rich history and carefully selected ingredients, are sure to become a staple in your baking repertoire. Remember to enjoy the process and share the joy of these delectable treats with your loved ones.

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