Brown Butter Pecan Cookies
No mixer required for these rich and flavorful brown butter pecan cookies!
I promise these are the most buttery and delicious nut-filled cookies you’ve ever tasted. Browned butter + toasted pecans is what makes these cookies so special— it takes the classic “butter pecan” combination we all love to a whole new level!
The flavor may be complex, but the cookie recipe itself is quite simple. The cookie dough comes together in a bowl with just a little bit of elbow grease, no mixer or chilling required.
Ingredients you’ll need
Let’s get baking! Here’s what you’ll nee to make these brown butter pecan cookies (full recipe below):
- Pecan halves or pieces
- Unsalted butter
- Light or dark brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
How to make brown butter pecan cookies
- Toast pecans. Don’t skip this step! Toast pecans on a sheet pan in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes until fragrant.
- Brown butter. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium low heat, and continue to cook butter until it turns golden brown and has a nutty aroma, stirring frequently. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn!
- Mix dough by hand. Add browned butter to a large bowl and let cool for about 5 minutes. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix until combined. Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing for about 30 seconds after each. Dough should lighten in color and texture. Mix in flour, baking soda and salt and stir till combined. Dough will be very thick, but will come together. Mix in the pecans.
- Bake. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for about 10 minutes until bottoms have turned slightly golden brown.
Tips for baking the best cookies
- Don’t skip the step of toasting the pecans! It brings out so much great flavor and gives these cookies something extra.
- I like the look of whole pecans throughout the dough, but they are bulky. If you are using full pecan halves, I recommend roughly chopping half after toasting and leaving the rest whole. Pecan pieces will also work well in these cookies.
- Be sure to measure flour correctly! All of my recipes are tested using the spoon and level method (more info through that link).
- These pre-cut parchment sheets are perfect for cookie baking.
- For show-stopping cookies like you see in this post, I like to make them big and use a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoon). More traditional sized cookies can be shaped with a medium cookie scoop (1½ tablespoon).
- If cookies come out slightly misshapen, use a spatula to press them back into a circle right after they come out of the oven. See more of my tips for how to bake pretty cookies.
- Cookie dough freezes really well. I like to keep a stash in the freezer for fresh-baked cookies on demand.
- These cookies will keep at room temperature for about a week, but are best within a few days of baking.
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Chocolate Chipless Cookies
- 1 ½ cups pecan halves or pieces (150 grams)
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (140 grams)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- ¾ cup packed light or dark brown sugar (160 grams)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour (210 grams)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Coarse salt , for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread pecans out into a single layer on a sheet pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes until fragrant.
- Set pecans aside to cool. If using pecan halves, give half of them a rough chop so they incorporate into the dough better.
- Increase oven temperature to 375°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook the butter until it turns golden brown, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
- Pour browned butter into a large bowl and add the sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the egg and egg yolk, stirring for 30 seconds after each. Let batter rest for about 5 minutes, then stir vigorously for about 30 second. Batter should lighten in texture and color.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the cookie batter all at once and stir until combined. Add pecans when a few streaks of dry ingredients remain and mix until incorporated.
- Drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto the prepared sheet pan. Bake until cookies turn golden around the edges but centers aren't completely set, about 9-11 minutes. (If baking larger cookies, bake for 11-13 minutes.) Let cool 5 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.