Browned Butter Pecan Cookies are packed with buttered pecans, nutty browned butter, and caramely brown sugar - with crisp edges and rich, chewy centers. If a pecan praline were to turn itself into a cookie, this is exactly what it would taste like!
Thick and chewy Butter Pecan Cookies
With crisp, caramelized edges and rich, chewy centers, these Butter Pecan Cookies are irresistible! Brown sugar and melted butter make them extra chewy.
What are butter pecans and how do you make them?
Butter pecan isn’t just an ice cream flavor – although it is one of my faves. Butter pecans can also be found in cakes and cookies.
Butter pecans are made by toasting pecans in butter, either in a skillet or roasting them in the oven.
Butter Pecan Cookies have amazing praline flavor
Butter + pecans + brown sugar + milk = pralines
Butter + pecans + brown sugar + cookie dough = the most amazing praline flavored Butter Pecan Cookie ever!
Browned butter adds nutty, toasty flavor
Browned butter adds a wonderful depth of flavor to these Butter Pecan Cookies. Because they’re not loaded with chocolate or other strong flavors, the nutty flavor of the browned butter really shines through.
Using browned butter in these Butter Pecan Cookies is perfect, because melted butter in cookie dough gives chewy, dense, and fudgy interiors.
How to brown butter
Browning butter takes only a few extra minutes than melting butter, but it adds a lot of flavor.
I like to use a light colored pan so that I can see exactly what’s happening on the bottom. It’s much harder to see the milk solids turning golden brown in a dark pan.
Melt the butter over medium-high heat and let it come to a boil, stirring occasionally. After it boils for a few minutes, you will see the milk solids on the bottom of the pan start to turn golden. I often notice this on the sides of the pan first.
When it starts turning golden in color, turn the heat lower and let it cook until the solids are a golden brown. This takes less than a minute and it burns fast so keep an eye on it. Pour the browned butter into the mixing bowl, scraping in all the yummy browned bits, so that it stops browning.
A note on measuring flour
Measuring flour correctly is essential to the success of a recipe.
There is no one correct way to measure flour other than weighing it. If you don’t have a scale, or if the recipe you are following doesn’t give weight measurements, it’s important to measure the flour the same way the recipe writer measured. Hopefully the author provides either a weight or a method.
Two ways of measuring flour are the dip and sweep method and the spoon and level method. One is not more correct than the other, however there is a significant difference in weight between the two.
In the dip and sweep method, dip the measuring cup into the flour and scoop it out. Run the flat edge of a butter knife over the top to level off the flour.
My weights correspond to the dip and sweep method because that’s the method I learned from Cook’s Illustrated, Julia Child, and other cooks and cookbooks.
For the spoon and level method, fluff the flour in the top of the bag, then spoon the flour into the measuring cup. Run the flat edge of a butter knife over the top to level off the flour.
How to make Butter Pecan Cookies
Once you’ve got the pecans toasted in butter and the butter browned, these cookies come together quickly.
Combine the dry ingredients (the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt) in a bowl.
In another large mixing bowl – the one you’ve poured the browned butter into – whisk together the browned butter, sugars, vanilla, and eggs.
Stir in the dry ingredients until no streaks of flour remain, then stir in the butter pecans.
Chill the dough
I’m all for shortcuts, but this dough will need to be chilled for at least two hours or overnight. If the dough chills for longer than 4 hours, let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes so the dough is more workable.
How to bake Butter Pecan Cookies
When the dough has chilled, roll it into balls. You can make them as big or small as you want. 3 tablespoon dough balls (60 grams) yields about 18 cookies.
Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet until the edges are set and just turning golden, about 9-12 minutes. The tops of the cookies should still be quite soft when you remove them from the oven, and may even appear slightly underbaked in center. They will firm up while cooling.
Tips on baking perfect Butter Pecan Cookies
Do you ever have trouble with your cookies spreading out too far or not far enough? The temperature of the dough and the temperature of the oven plays a role it this.
First, always weigh your ingredients carefully. Too little flour can make them spread too far, too much flour can prevent them from spreading enough. While there are differences in measuring methods, weighing the ingredients is exact.
Second, make sure your oven has had time to preheat. If your second batch comes out differently than your first batch, your oven may not have fully heated when you started.
Since some ovens run hot and some ovens run cold, an oven thermometer is the best way to keep track of the actual temperature.
Once you know your ingredients were measured correctly and your oven is at the correct temperature, let’s take a look at how the temperature of the cookie dough effects the spread of the cookie.
How the temperature of the cookie dough effects the spread of the cookie
Flat, too spread out cookies: Cookie dough that is too warm and hasn’t been chilled long enough will spread out too far making a flat cookie. The butter in the cookie melts before the cookie has a chance to set. A lower oven temperature also allows the dough to spread out.
Puffy mounds that didn’t spread out: Cookie dough that is too cold will set before it has a chance to spread out resulting in a puffy mound. A too hot oven also causes the cookie to set quickly.
To help you get the cookie that’s perfect for you, here are 3 different sets of cookies with varying dough and oven temperatures:
The 65° F cookie dough baked in a 375° oven stayed in puffed mounds with slight spreading.
The 70° F cookie dough baked in a 350° oven had a medium spread and are the cookies in the photos in this post.
The 73° F cookie dough baked in a 350° oven had the most spread, however it was just slighter than the 70° cookie dough.
Optional decorating ideas
- For a pretty, sparkly look, roll the balls of dough in granulated sugar before baking.
- For a salty sweet flavor, instead of rolling in sugar, sprinkle the cookies with sea salt after baking. If sprinkling with sea salt, reduce the salt in the cookie to ½ teaspoon.
- Press a pecan half or chopped pecans onto the top of the unbaked ball of dough before baking.
- For these cookies, I rolled the dough into a ball, pressed chopped pecans into the top half of the ball, gave it another roll between my palms, rolled it in sugar, then pressed a pecan half into the top.
How to freeze cookies or make in advance
You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to set at room temperature until the dough is workable or at the desired temperature, then roll into balls and bake.
Cookie dough balls can be rolled and kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bake as usual.
Freeze baked cookies for up to 3 months.
Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Let the dough ball thaw while preheating the oven. Let the cookie dough come to the desired temperature before baking.
MORE FAVORITE COOKIES TO LOVE:
- Slice and Bake Cranberry Orange Cookies
- Italian Almond Paste Cookies (Almond Macaroons)
- Authentic Italian Pignoli
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Brown Butter Toffee Cookies
- Lemon White Chocolate Cookies
- White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies
- White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
- Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Triple Chocolate Cookies
- Soft and Chewy Funfetti Cookies
Butter Pecan Cookies
- Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
- Yield: 18 cookies 1x
Browned Butter Pecan Cookies are packed with buttered pecans, nutty browned butter, and caramely brown sugar - with crisp edges and rich, chewy centers.
For the butter pecans:
- 1 ½ cups (185g) chopped pecans
- 1 ½ tablespoons (21g) butter
For the Butter Pecan Cookies:
- 1 cup (227g) unsalted butter
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (287g) all-purpose flour ( (dip and sweep method))
- 2 tablespoons (14g) cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (99g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (198g) packed dark or light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
To decorate (optional):
- Pecan halves
- Granulated sugar
- Sea salt
For the butter pecans:
- Sauté the chopped pecans and butter in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant and toasted, about 3-4 minutes. Stir frequently and keep an eye on the small crumbs, they will brown quicker than the bigger pieces. Set aside to cool.
For the Butter Pecan Cookies:
- Brown the butter: Heat the butter in a light colored skillet over medium-high heat. It will come to a boil. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the solid particles at the bottom turn golden brown. Keep an eye on it carefully towards the end, it can burn quickly. Immediately pour into a large mixing bowl to stop the browning. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
- Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
- Whisk sugars into cooled browned butter. Whisk in vanilla and eggs until thoroughly combined.
- Pour dry ingredients into bowl and stir until no streaks of flour remain.
- Stir in buttered pecans.
- Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic down on the surface of the dough. Chill for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. If you chill longer than 3 hours, let dough sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes so the dough is easier to scoop.
To bake the cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roll dough into balls, about 3 tablespoons each (60g) . Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet. For optional decoration see notes.
- Bake on the middle rack until the edges are set and just beginning to turn golden brown, about 9-12 minutes. The tops of the cookies should still be quite soft when you remove them from the oven, and may even appear slightly underbaked in center. They will firm up while cooling.
- Let rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
I prefer to use a metal, non-insulated baking sheet so the cookies brown properly on the bottom.
Cookies can be made smaller. They will take less time to bake.
Optional ideas to decorate the cookies:
• For a pretty sparkly look, roll the balls of dough in granulated sugar before baking.
• For a salty sweet flavor, instead of rolling in sugar, sprinkle the cookies with sea salt after baking.
• Press a pecan half onto the top of the unbaked ball of dough before baking.
Recipe adapted from Alice Medrich.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: butter, cookies, dessert, easy, pecan
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Cookie Monster says
The Butter Pecan Cookies were SOOOOO AWESOME!!!!!
Thanks so much, Cookie Monster!
Don't you just love cookie season! I certainly do! These pecan cookies look luscious and so tempting!
Yay for cookie season and all of the wonderful holiday baking! Thanks so much, Angie!
David Scott Allen says
Kelly, I love pralines from New Orleans, but they make my teeth hurt! I think your cookies will give me all that I love in those pralines, without the teeth ache! These are beautiful, easy, and I can only imagine… perfect! What a great Christmas cookie.
David, they're definitely not as overly sweet as pralines! Even rolled in sugar, they still have a lovely salty sweet flavor. Definitely one of our favorites! Thanks so much!
David Scott Allen says
Really can’t wait to be back in the kitchen to try these. I’m at the point of being able to go in and tell Mark what he’s doing wrong () but can’t stand long enough to cook!
David, I hope your feeling better and back in the kitchen soon! Thanks so much!
These cookies look addictive, Kelly! I'm a sucker for browned butter and pecans so these are really calling my name!
The flavor in these is really wonderful, Marissa! I can't believe how fast they disappeared! Thanks so much!
these look so very delicious kelly. i love pecans! yum yum!
Sherry, they're one of my favorite cookies. I love the sweet and salty combo. Thanks so much!
These cookies look delicious! Sweet and salty is a real treat.
I love the sweet and salty combo! Thanks so much, Bob!
Oh, how delicious they look! What a delicious combination of flavors. Sea salted cookies are my favorite!
I love the sweet and salty combination! Thanks so much, Susan!
Dear Kelly, pecans in cookies are wonderful - they have a sweetness all of their own that makes them perfect for adding to cookies. Adding browned butter to cookie dough also renders another delightful layer of flavor to sweet treats. Your recipe sounds incredibly tempting and your cookies look very festive and elegant - so perfect for the lovely month of December!
Andrea, we love pecans and combining them with brown sugar and browned butter is pretty wonderful! Thanks so much!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
Brown butter makes everything better! I can only imagine how delicious these cookies are, Kelly! Love a big ol stack right now with my latte! YUM!
The browned butter really shines through in this cookie with its nutty, caramely flavor! Thanks so much, Dawn!
I think I could eat the whole batch! These are perfect for the holidays!!
Me toooo! Thanks so much, Liz!
I'm loving all the cookies and cakes I'm seeing this festive season. I think I love these the most though as you've got my favourite nut. pecans, involved! Thanks for sharing these Kelly!
Neil, these are definitely our family's favorite cookie! Thanks so much!
All That I'm Eating says
These look SO good and I love the idea of the browned butter with the pecans. I really wish I could eat one right now!
The flavors are so good together! Thanks so much, Caroline!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
OMG Kelly! These cookies are my jam! I absolutely love anything with pecans and I bet that browned butter gives these even more fabulous flavor! I'm in for a batch or two this season for sure.
Mary Ann, the flavor in these cookies is incredible. I love the salty sweet flavor. Thanks so much!
Alexandra @ It's Not Complicated Recipes says
So scrumptious! I better make a double batch next time I think 😉
They're so good! Thanks so much, Alexandra!
David @ Spiced says
I totally agree with you about weighing ingredients, Kelly! Recipes from Europe almost always go by weight, but for some reason we keep dragging our feet here in the States. I love my kitchen scale! I also love these cookies. Pecan pralines are one of my favorites, so I know these cookies would be a huge hit in my house. I'm thinking I need to make a batch this weekend to celebrate the holidays! 🙂
Measuring by weight is so much easier. I just put the mixing bowl on the scale and reset it after each ingredient. No measuring cups to wash! Thanks so much, David!
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop says
Wow! What a great cookie and tutorial! So much information in this post about making cookies! I love that you've added browned butter to these pecan cookies. Adds an extra boost of flavor.
The browned butter flavor really shines through in this recipe and is wonderful with the pecans and brown sugar. Thanks so much, Kathy!
My favourite kind of cookie is chewy with crispy edges! These look perfect Kelly. Great for the holidays or any time of year!
They're my fave, too! Thanks so much, Leanne!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
Guuurl, send napkins because I am drooling!!!! I absolutely LIVE for thick and chewy cookies!!! To me they are, hands down, the best! Throw in some brown sugar, brown butter and pecans!?!?! Good lord - YES!!!!! These wouldn't last more than 2 seconds in my house! I can't wait to make (and devour) these!!!!
Chey, thick and chewy is definitely my favorite! They disappeared so fast! Thanks so much!
Haylie / Our Balanced Bowl says
From the brown sugar...melted butter...crunchy pecans!! I'm all about these cookies, Kelly! They are so perfect for the holiday season! I definitely want to take these to a cookie swap!
It's definitely one of my favorite flavor combinations! Thanks so much, Haylie!
I love love love butter pecan flavors! And these cookies are beautiful! I like your test of dough and oven temperatures, I like the looks of each of them! I’m pinning this so I can make them soon! Thanks!
Laura, I love butter pecan everything! I was a little surprised that just a small difference in the temperature of the dough makes a noticeable difference in the spread of the cookie. Thanks so much!
These are amazing! Honestly, the batter looks so good that I'd end up with about 5 cookies. Ha! I'm so impressed with the thoroughness of your recipe testing -- and the baking tips are great. Beautiful cookies. I want to eat one right this minute. 🙂 ~Valentina
I love cookie dough (naughty, I know!) and this one tastes just like a pecan praline! Thanks so much, Valentina!
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
I love that you did all the testing for us, Kelly! I was recipe testing some cookies the other day for gingerbread cookies and I had to make 3 different batches before finding the right ratios between chilling, oven temperature and the amount of butter. Small tweaks make such a big difference!! These look absolutely perfect!
Is your freezer as full as mine with all the recipe testing?! Such little things really do make a big difference. Let me know if you need any help finishing off all those gingerbread cookies. I will happily volunteer! Thanks so much, Katherine!
Yum! I am having my morning tea and dreaming of these cookies! I love cookies with nuts and the taste of brown butter. Lovely recipe!
I love the sweet and salty combo in nut cookies. Definitely a family favorite! Thanks so much, Balvinder!
Abbe@This is How I Cook says
We have many pecan lovers in this house that these are a must try. All your cookies are gorgeous and I don't know where to start!
This one is definitely our family's favorite. I only got one! Thanks so much, Abbe!
Oh my goodness! Everything I want in a cookie! Do I have to share? 😉
Sharing is the hardest part! I was lucky to have one while taking pictures because they just disappeared! Thanks so much, Annie!
Kelly @ Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats says
Mmmmm these cookies have everything I want in them: browned butter, pecans and they are thick and chewy. So basically my perfect cookie!!
I love their sweet and salty flavor! Thanks so much, Kelly!
Gorgeous! The brown butter must have given them such a beautiful nutty flavor, i can only imagine how good they must be.
The brown butter flavor really shines through in these cookies. Thanks so much, Taruna!
I would like to substitute gluten free flour here. Do you have any suggestion to make that work?
I don't have any experience with gluten free flour, so I'm not sure. This link gives tips for baking with gluten free flour. King Arthur flour also has some information on gluten free baking. Hope this helps!
Lorna Dickson says
Amazing tasty and turned out surprisingly myself making them. I’ll be making more again in near future
Thanks so much, Lorna! So happy you liked them!
These cookies are amazing. I’m not the best baker for cookies usually. For some reason, I’m never impressed with my results but with this recipe, a whole other story.
Everyone loved them. I loved the brown butter idea. First time I’m browning butter and the instructions were super clear. I really liked all the tips and help in the blog.
My only side note totally unrelated to the recipe: navigating in that page is horrible on a mobile phone!!! Too many ads, pop ups videos, etc. It’s very distracting and a bit excessive! Deters me from searching other recipes in here! Just my 2 cents!
So happy that you liked them and found the tips helpful, Isabelle! Thank you also for your input on the site!
These were delicious! This recipe is definitely a keeper!
Thanks so much, Cassie! So happy you liked them!
Recently saw this post on instagram! So excited to try this recipe! I was wondering if I reduced the sugar a little bit, would it totally ruin the the recipe? Thank you!
Hi Alina, You could probably reduce the sugar a little bit with no bad effects. Let me know how it turns out!
Why does the recipe say cook time 20 minutes then in instructions it says 9 to 12 minutes?
I usually bake them one sheet at a time, so if I have two sheets, I doubled the cookie baking time to account for two batches.
These are AMAZING. I love the flavor they have. My only regret is using light brown sugar. The cookies were pale in color in comparison to yours, and while still delicious, I think I’d prefer the darker color. Nevertheless this recipe is definitely a keeper. I’d like to try adding a small amount of cinnamon to them.
So happy you liked them, Marie! Thanks so much!
Could I make these into bars?
Hi Emily, Yes, they should work just fine baked as bars.
These are quite literally the best cookies I have EVER made. They were a giant hit at my Christmas cookie exchange this year. THANK YOU FOODTASIA❤️❤️❤️❤️Much love!!!!!!
Aw, so happy you liked them, Leah! Thanks so much!
Thomase Martin says
These cookies are amazing!! I do not eat cookie dough but found myself eating this dough the smell of the brown butter and the Pecans together omg. Theses Cookies are for Christmas gifts if I don't eat them all. Glad I doubled the recipe.
So happy you liked them, Thomase! Thanks so much!
I tried these and they turned out amazingly. Worth the work and patience!
So happy you liked them, Denise! Thanks so much!
DO NOT use the Double/Triple calculator button! It does NOT calculate weights, only measurements. I would recommend removing it from the recipe. It's very frustrating! Thankfully, I looked at my measured flour and it didn't look like 4 cups + 2T. I ended up doing all calculations of weight myself which wasn't a big deal but I can easily see this being a problem.
Thanks for pointing that out, Lisa. I will contact the developer and see how we can address this.
Charlotte Moore says
Just came across this site today. Made these cookies and my husband LOVES them. I let the dough sit in the fridge for a couple hours. Then I scoop them into 24 balls and placed on a cookie sheet and covered. Put them back in the fridge for about 3 more hours while I mowed grass. I only cooked 5 cookies just to see how much they would spread. Cooked them in my air fryer/convection small oven. They were too brown but my husband still Loved them. Tomorrow I will bake the rest in my regular oven. I know they will be better. Great recipe!!
Thanks so much, Charlotte! So happy you liked them! Yes, while recipe testing even a 25 degree temperature change makes a difference in how the cookie turns out. Great idea to test the batch with just a few cookies!
These cookies are amazing! I was reading the reviews before i made them and was disappointed that no one made them. The 5 star reviews were based on the pictures and ingredients.
I made them anyways and they were absolutely delicious! I was skeptical with corn starch added but that did not diminish the wonderful flavor of these cookies! Make them as written! You will not be disappointed!!!
Hello cookie lovers. I thought I would try this new pecan recipe for my family. It was quite easy and I measured all ingredients out correctly I hope. I have a new oven so I preheated it but could not check the real temperature...oven thermometer coming tomorrow. I changed the 350 F into 180 C. The cookies were in the fridge for 3 hours. But how do I know what temperature my cookie dough has?? The cookies turned out delicious and chewy but spread way too flat and I had to leave them in the oven about 6 minutes longer....so around 17 min. So was my oven not hot enough or the dough not cold enough...or maybe both. But never give up. I will try again!!
1. oven temperature - hopefully yours is correct since the oven is new, but it's always good to check. Since yours took an extra 6 minutes to cook, this could be the culprit. Some ovens take a little longer to heat up to temperature even though the heating light goes off.
2. dough temperature - I find this to be such a big factor in how the cookies turn out that I always take the temperature of the dough (or dough balls) before baking. Since the butter was browned, the dough started off a little warmer than usual.
3. correct measurement - too little flour will increase the butter to flour ratio making them spread more
4. Another factor is the type of baking sheet used. I prefer an aluminum sheet with a piece of parchment paper. I stay away from insulated cookie sheets because the bottoms of the cookies don't heat and brown well.
I hope these tips help and thanks so much for your comment!
I was in a hurry and lacked time to chill the dough. But they looked so good that I took a chance and made them anyway. They were fantastic. Better, I'm sure, chilled. But in case anyone wants to know, they're great even without chilling first. Next time, though, I'll make sure to do them exactly as directed.
So happy you liked them, Solvay! Thank you!
I'm not very good at baking, and always look for recipes with the best reviews thinking if everyone likes it, success rates must be good! Yet sometimes my results are not. I just found your recipe and I LOVE the fact you went into the science of it! How important weighing the flour is, how important it is to monitor the temperature of the dough once out of the fridge, how important it is to ensure the oven as pre heated correctly, the consistency the cookie should be out of the oven (how many cookies and chocolate cakes have I ruined because they seemed 'too soft' so I left them in the oven longer and then once cold they were too hard...). Those recipes just lacked major information I guess! So, thank you so much for this detailed pecan cookie recipe, it makes me feel a little more confident and I cannot wait to try it!
So happy you found it helpful, Justine! I try to give the details that will let the cookies turn out right every time! Thanks so much!
Nancy Wilson says
These cookies are the best! Love the taste! I love pecans, this recipe is way past just the pecans. I messed the recipe up, but was able to fix it before I ruined it. I’m getting ready to make another batch and won’t make the same mistake this time (hopefully)!
So happy you liked them, Nancy! Thanks so much!