These Butter Pecan Cookies are soft, chewy, slightly crispy, and wildly delicious! They’re easy to make in under 1 hour using the signature combo of brown butter, vanilla, pecans, and brown sugary sweetness!
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Pecan Cookies Recipe
These pecan crunch cookies are made with only 7 ingredients but you’d never know it based on the layers of complex flavors! That’s the secret to one of the best homemade cookies you’ll have this year!
The amazing flavor trio of vanilla, butter, and crunchy toasted pecans with the addition of delicious brown sugar is what makes ice cream, cakes, and these cookies so darn good.
We’re elevating the taste of brown butter pecan cookies by using none other than brown butter! Combined with regular melted butter, they add a deeper nutty flavor and an incredibly buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
If you bake nothing else this season, you’re going to want to put these southern cookies with pecans high on your must-bake list and make them for a holiday cookie exchange! You don’t want to miss these!
- Butter, divided: If you’ve never made brown butter before, I can’t wait to show you. Once you try it, you’ll be forever hooked on the extra buttery flavor!
- Brown sugar: Used to sweeten the cookies and add moisture while the caramel flavoring of the light brown sugar goes great with the pecans and butter.
- Large egg: Needed to bind all the ingredients together so they don’t fall apart.
- Vanilla extract: A flavor enhancer and a very signature ingredient in butter pecan cookies.
- All-purpose flour: When measured accurately, the flour gives the cookie structure but also the perfect texture. Not too heavy or dense and perfectly soft.
- Baking soda: A leavening agent that won’t allow your cookies to fall flat!
- Chopped pecans: If you want, you can toast them first, to give them an even more robust nutty taste.
1. Once out of the oven, sprinkle each cookie with some coarse salt. The sweet and salty combination is addicting!
2. If you prefer to keep things sweet, roll the balls of dough in white sugar before baking.
3. For presentation place one whole pecan half on the tops of the cookies as it comes out of the oven. It’s cute and lets people know what they’re about to get more of.
4. For an extra dose of warmth, add some cinnamon to your cookie dough. They’re the perfect fall cookie recipe!
5. Stir in a ½ cup of white chocolate chips or toffee bits to the batter before scooping.
How to Make this Easy Cookie Recipe
This recipe will come together in a few simple steps, and even with 30 minutes in the fridge, they’re still ready in under 1 hour!
Step 1: Place a stick of butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Allow it to melt then cook for 5 minutes, stirring or swirling the pan occasionally.
Once it turns light brown, you’ll notice a familiar nutty aroma and brown milk solids at the bottom of the pan will appear. That’s the good stuff! We like to call this liquid gold.
Step 2: Add the brown butter and the bits to a large bowl and melt the rest of the butter (either in a pan or the microwave) and add it to the bowl with the brown butter.
Then, whisk in the brown sugar or use an electric hand mixer to beat. Follow this with the egg and vanilla extract. Mix to combine.
Step 3: In a separate smaller bowl, mix the flour and baking soda. Then add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just barely combined. There should be pockets or lumps of flour.
Step 4: Gently fold in the pecans until they are evenly distributed. Do not overmix. Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes and in the meantime preheat the oven to 375 ° F.
Step 5: Once chilled, scoop out 1 ½ – 2 Tablespoons of dough and use your hands to roll dough into balls. Place them on a prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Gently press down each one so it’s no thicker than ½ an inch.
Step 6: Bake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes until golden brown with crispy edges. They will be soft once out of the oven (great for adding in a nut or sprinkling with sea salt) and will continue to bake a bit on the tray. Allow them to cool on the cookie sheet for a 2 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack and then enjoy a cookie or three!
- Watch your butter. As easy as making brown butter is, it’s just as easy to cross that fine line between brown and burnt. Watch it closely!
- For even baking, it’s always helpful to start with room-temperature ingredients. Especially when adding hot butter to the mix. Bring your egg to room temperature ahead of time.
- When making brown butter use a light-colored pan. If your pan is too dark it’s harder to see how quickly your butter is turning brown.
- The right amount of flour. As with any baking recipe, make sure to measure flour correctly! Use a scale or the spoon and level method to ensure you’re not using too much flour.
- Overmixing the dough will cause your butter pecan cookies to be denser and not as light and chewy.
Keep them in an airtight container for up to 4 days. No need to keep them in the fridge, but they do need to remain covered. Otherwise, they’ll dry out.
They freeze well so I suggest even making two batches of butter pecan cookies and freezing one! They will keep for up to 3 months this way.
This is a great option if you have a few extra minutes. It gives them added crunch, added flavor, and just a whole other level of yum to these butter pecan cookies.
You can toast them in a skillet on the stove over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir frequently so that they do not burn. Once they’re a darker brown and deliciously fragrant, they’re ready!
Or use the oven at 350 degrees. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for anywhere from 7-10 minutes. Stir halfway and keep an eye on them.
You can make the dough balls up to 3 days ahead. If you want to get a head start but aren’t quite ready to bake them yet, this is a great option. Just pop them in the oven when you’re ready!
Butter Pecan Cookies
- 12 tablespoons butter divided (1 ½ sticks)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Place 8 tablespoons of butter (1 stick) of butter in a small pan and heat over over medium heat until melted.12 tablespoons butter
- Then cook it for approximately 5 minutes until it turns light brown, stirring occasionally.
- Add the browned butter to a large mixing bowl. also add any bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Melt the other 4 tablespoons (1/ 2stick)of butter (in a pan or in the microwave for a few seconds) and add it to the mixing bowl with the browned butter.
- Add the brown sugar and beat with an electric mixer or whisk to combine.1 cup brown sugar
- Then add the egg and vanilla extract and mix in until combined.1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a separate small bowl, add the flour and baking soda and toss to mix together.1 ¾ cups all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just barely combined and large lumps of flour are mixing in.
- Add the pecans and gently stir them into the dough until the pecans are evenly distributed. (be careful not to over-mix or they will be more dense).1 cup chopped pecans
- Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill. ‘
- Preheat the oven to 375 ° F while the dough is in the refrigerator.
- After chilling, scoop out 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons of dough balls and place them on parchment lined baking sheet 2 inches apart.
- Press down each ball slightly so it’s no thicker than ½”.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the tray for 10 minutes.