Butter pecan is one of those flavors that I think is often over looked. And maybe it’s because people just aren’t doing it right! I mean, the last time I had butter pecan ice cream it mostly tasted like vanilla ice cream with a few nuts in it. REAL butter pecan flavor should be rich, buttery, and have a toasted nut flavor.
First, you’re going to toast your pecans in a pan with a little butter, sugar, and cinnamon. This is going to bring out the nutty flavor of the pecans. Once cooled, they should be nice and crispy. After all, you don’t want soft nuts in your cookies. Just be careful not to let them burn. For some tips on how to brown butter read this.
Browning your butter before mixing it with your sugars is going to enhance the rich buttery flavor of these cookies while also adding a toasted nutty flavor to them. We use more brown sugar than white sugar because it compliments the pecans more.
These cookies have crispy edges and a crispy outer crust but stay soft in the middle. This is thanks to a couple of things. The high ratio of butter and sugar and baked at a higher temperature caramelizes the sugar and gives the cookies a crispy exterior. Baking at a higher temperature, but not for too long makes the outside of the cookie crispy but keeps the inside soft. A little cornstarch also helps keep the cookies soft. Pretty much, a perfect cookie!
- 1 ¾ cup pecan halves
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons butter
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed (I used dark brown sugar)
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ¾ cup flour, measured correctly
- Separate 20 pecan halves (for topping cookies with) and chop the rest of the pecans finely. In a frying pan melt 1 ½ tablespoons of butter then add all of the pecans (finely chopped and unchopped halves) to the pan. Coat pecans in butter and then add 1 tablespoon of sugar and pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes while stirring with a wooden spoon. Add cinnamon, coat pecans completely, cook for 1 minute longer. And then remove from heat and spread pecans out on wax paper to cool. Separate out the 20 full sized pecan halves and set aside. Cool completely before using.
- In a small saucepan add butter. Brown butter until a deep golden brown color (you’ll want it to be somewhere in between the color of honey and maple syrup). For tips on how to brown butter read this. Once browned, pour into a bowl and cool until solid but soft—room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream together brown butter, both sugars, vanilla, and eggs for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add in cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and flour, mix until just combined. You don’t want to overmix or the cookies will be tough. Stir in butter pecans.
- Grease or line a baking sheet with silpat mat. Scoop about ¼ cup of dough and shape into balls. Sprinkle a little bit of sugar on top of the cookie dough balls. Press a pecan half into each dough ball. for 10-12 minutes until edges are golden. Cool 5-10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.