Indulge in a mouthwatering treat made of brown butter, finely chopped pecans, and a hint of cinnamon. These Butter Pecan Cookies are the chewy delights you’ve been craving!
There’s something undeniably magical about the scent of cookies baking, and this particular recipe holds a special place in my heart. As a child, Sunday afternoons meant rummaging through my grandma’s old recipe box, always hunting for a unique flavor to dive into. Amid her collection of cherished recipes, Butter Pecan Cookies emerged as a family favorite. The captivating aroma of browned butter coupled with roasted pecans was the nostalgic scent of my childhood. I remember the first time I attempted to recreate it in my own kitchen. I browned the butter a tad too much, and let’s just say, my kitchen smelled more “toasty” than delightful. But with time and patience, I mastered Grandma’s secret: it’s all about the love (and maybe not burning the butter). Every bite takes me on a journey back to her cozy kitchen, where life was simple and cookies were always perfectly chewy.
Why You’ll Love Butter Pecan Cookies:
Oh, honey, let’s talk about what sets these Butter Pecan Cookies apart from any old cookie in the jar! First, we’re not just melting butter here; we’re browning it, bringing out those deep, caramel notes that blend seamlessly with the dark brown sugar. Next, have you ever toasted pecans in butter? It’s like giving your pecans a fancy spa day before they join the cookie party. The added cornstarch is our secret weapon, ensuring these beauties have the ultimate chewy texture, while a sprinkle of cinnamon sneaks in like that unexpected plot twist in your favorite movie.
Ingredients For Butter Pecan Cookies:
Ah, the magic lies in the details! Let’s dissect our star ingredients:
- Pecans: Opt for fresh pecans. The crunchier, the better. They’re like the confetti in our cookie celebration.
- Unsalted Butter: Why unsalted? Because you’re in control! You decide the saltiness, not the butter.
- All-Purpose Flour: The trusty base of our cookie kingdom. Make sure it’s well-sifted to avoid those pesky lumps.
- Dark Brown Sugar: This is where the deep, molasses-rich flavor sneaks in. Think of it as the brooding hero in our cookie saga.
- Cornstarch: It might seem out of place in a cookie recipe, but trust me; this is what gives our cookies that dreamy softness.
- Cinnamon: A pinch for warmth, like a cozy blanket on a chilly evening.
How To Make Butter Pecan Cookies:
For those Toasty Pecans:
- Grab your skillet and melt that butter like it’s going out of style.
- Toss in your finely chopped pecans, give them a good stir, and let them toast for a bit. Around 4 to 5 minutes should do the trick. You’re not frying chicken here, just a light toast. Set aside.
For the Main Event – The Cookies:
- Channel your inner scientist: mix together the flour, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda in a big ol’ bowl. Keep it aside.
- Now, for the pièce de résistance: the browned butter. Melt it, swirl it, watch it. As soon as it gets that rich amber shade, pour it out into your mixing bowl.
- Sugars next! Both the dark brown and granulated ones. Mix ’em well with the butter.
- Vanilla goes in like the cherry on top, followed by those room-temperature eggs.
- Now, fold in the flour mixture. Remember, we’re folding, not stirring like a wild person. Add the toasted pecans last.
- Patience, cookie monster! Refrigerate your dough for 4 hours.
- Preheat your oven, get those baking sheets ready with parchment paper.
- Use a cookie scoop to get uniform dough balls and place them with love on your baking sheets.
- Add a pecan half on top of each dough ball because, well, aesthetics.
- Bake each sheet separately. Once done, gently reshape any rebellious cookies.
- A sprinkle of sugar on the warm cookies and let them cool a bit before diving in.
If, by some miracle, these cookies aren’t gobbled up immediately, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They’ll keep fresh for up to a week. For longer storage, freeze them in a sealed bag and just thaw at room temperature when the cookie cravings hit.
Variations and Substitutions:
Feeling adventurous? Here are some twists and turns for our classic:
- Swap out pecans for walnuts or almonds if you’re feeling nutty.
- Dark chocolate chips? Why not! Add them for some choco-love.
- If you’re out of dark brown sugar, light brown will work; just expect a slightly milder flavor.
- For a festive twist, sprinkle some sea salt or crushed caramel on top.
There you have it, a tale of cookies that promise to be as entertaining as the journey to make them. Happy baking, and may your butter always be perfectly browned! 😉
Butter Pecan Cookies
For the Buttered Pecans:
- 1 and 1/4 cup pecan halves finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the Cookies:
- 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 sticks 8 ounces unsalted butter, browned
- 1 cup dark brown sugar firmly packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs and 1 egg yolk at room temperature
- 16 pecan halves optional for decoration
For the Buttered Pecans:
- In a skillet, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat.
- Introduce the finely chopped pecan halves. Cook them, stirring occasionally, for approximately 4 to 5 minutes, or until they’re lightly toasted. Reserve for later use.
For the Cookies:
- In a suitably large bowl, amalgamate the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, salt, ground cinnamon, and baking soda. Thoroughly whisk the mixture to combine and set aside for later use.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Continue to heat the butter until it acquires a deep amber color and exhibits a nutty aroma. Upon achieving this stage, promptly remove from heat and transfer to a spacious mixing bowl.
- Incorporate both the dark brown sugar and granulated sugar into the browned butter. Whisk diligently to achieve a homogenous mixture.
- Introduce the vanilla extract. Subsequently, incorporate the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, ensuring each is well-integrated before the addition of the next.
- Gradually fold in the previously whisked dry ingredients, ensuring thorough integration. Subsequently, fold in the buttered pecans.
- Once the cookie dough is prepared, cover the mixing bowl and place it in the refrigerator for 4 hours to set.
- Preheat the oven to a temperature of 375°F (190°C). Prepare two large baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
- Utilizing a cookie scoop, segment the dough into portions equivalent to 3 tablespoons each. Place these on the prepared baking sheets, ensuring a gap of approximately 3 inches between each to account for expansion during baking.
- If desired, gently press a pecan half atop each segment of cookie dough for decorative purposes.
- Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for a duration of 10 to 11 minutes. Should any of the cookies spread excessively during the baking process, upon removal from the oven, use a spatula to delicately shape them back to the desired form.
- While still warm, it is optional to sprinkle the cookies with a light dusting of granulated sugar for enhanced flavor.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes. After this period, they can be transferred to a cooling rack.