Salted Brown Butter Pecan Cookies

Pecan cookies and a cold glass of milk- yes please.

Sometimes, it is worth going to the trouble to make a recipe really special. This is one of those times. Browning butter, toasting pecans and adding sea salt flakes are SO important to this recipe. Yes, it takes a little extra time, but hey, who wants to serve a plain old pecan cookie. This is not the food blog for the same ole thing. In my recipe for chewy chocolate chip cookies, I take you through the steps of browning butter.

It is worth it.

Georgia pecans were used for this recipe.

The depth of flavor browned butter adds to baked goods is unmatched.

To toast pecans, you will need pecans and 2 TBSP of butter and a pinch of salt
Chop pecans well. Be sure to save 18 pecan halves for decorating

Once you brown the butter, it is equally important to toast your pecans in a bit of butter and add a dash of kosher salt. Additionally, I add sea salt flakes before baking. Some recipes call for sprinkling on more sugar, but I love the briny taste of sea salt flakes. The delicate flavor melts away and almost prepares your palette for the sugars and nuts. I prefer Maldon Sea Salt flakes, purchase here for $5.49 a box which will last you forever.

On medium heat, toast pecans until fragrant.
Add a dash or two of sea salt
Make your browned butter for the dough

Pair these cookies with a tall glass of ice cold milk or for adult milk and cookies, how about milk with a shot of Blanton’s Bourbon Cream. These aren’t your grandma’s cookies, so why not throw in a little adult beverage? You know, come to think of it, grandma would probably approve.

Sunlight is optional for the best cookies.

Salted Brown Butter Pecan Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped

  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter

  • pinch of Kosher salt

  • 2 1/4 cup flour

  • 2 1/2 TBSP cornstarch

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter

  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 large eggs

  • 18 pecan halves for decorating

  • Sea Salt flakes

Assemble flour, corn starch, baking soda, cinnamon and salt for the dry ingredients

Method- prep time- 2 hours, baking time 10 minutes<br>makes 18 large cookies

  • Melt 2 TBSP of butter in a large pan. Add pecans, a dash of salt and toast until fragrant- about 3-5 minutes. Do not burn or overcook or pecans will become bitter. Remove from pan and set aside in a bowl or on a sheet of parchment paper to cool until needed for dough.
  • For the browned butter:
    In a medium skillet that is clean and dry, melt butter over medium low heat. Swirling the pan, watch the butter as it slowly becomes brown- it will hiss, pop and bubble- this is normal. Keep swirling the pan until you see brown bits on the bottom of the pan and the butter has turned golden brown. Remove from heat. Pour browned butter, bits and solids into a large bowl .
  • Into the brown butter, mix in both sugars until smooth and well combined. Add in vanilla and beat in eggs until well mixed.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
  • Carefully fold flour mixture into the browned butter bowl. Fold in toasted pecans from earlier. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. You can chill overnight, but if you do, let the cookie dough sit out for 30 minutes before forming balls.
  • Pre heat oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop dough with a small scoop to form round balls of dough. Slightly flatten the dough and place a perfect pecan half on top. Place on prepared cookie sheet leaving 2″ between cookies. Sprinkle with Sea Salt Flakes. I prefer Maldon. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on a wire rack. Cookies will be soft in the center. If a bit of butter melts out from the cookie leaving a “lacy” edge, just trim it away.
    You can freeze this dough up to 2 months.
Add light brown sugar, white granulated sugar to the browned butter
Whisk in flour and other dry ingredients
Fold in those gorgeous toasted pecans.
This dough needs at least one hour to chill.
Form balls with a scoop. Flatten and place a pecan half on top.
Leave 2 inches in between each cookie.
Sprinkle these beauties with sea salt flakes- worth the trouble!
These aren’t your grandma’s pecan cookies.

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  1. margaret arthur says:

    i love seeing you use the china i gave you so many years ago.

  2. Melanie Leach says:

    This recipe is so delicious! And you are right, using the special salt it really makes a difference. So fun to see you using your gifts!

    1. Meggen Wilson says:

      Love flakey sea salt. The best. Thanks SO much Melanie! Merry Christmas to your beautiful family.

  3. Melanie Leach says:

    These cookies are delicious! And you are right, the special salt makes a difference.
    So fun to see you using your gifts!