Brown Butter Pecan Cookies

A Brown Butter Pecan Cookie broken apart with pecans and more butter pecan cookies on the side

These brown butter pecan cookies are full of candied pecans, dark chocolate, and a touch of bourbon. They are thick, and have a crispy exterior with a melt-in-your-mouth interior. No mixer or chill time required!



For the Candied Pecans:

  • 2 tablespoons (25g) white granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) whole raw pecans
  • Sprinkling salt, such as Maldon

 For the Cookies:

  • 1 cup plus 1.5 tablespoons (140g) whole wheat flour*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 6 tablespoons (84g) butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (75g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (75g) light brown sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons bourbon, optional
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) candied pecans, chopped, (see recipe above)
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, optional



  1. Preheat the oven for the candied pecans. Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven temperature to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Make the candied pecans. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with the water and bring to a boil over a high heat. Once the sugar dissolves, add the nuts to the saucepan and stir to combine. Spread the nuts evenly on the prepared baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 8-9 minutes. Remove the nuts from the oven and sprinkle with kosher salt. Set aside to cool.
  3. Start the cookies. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets or one large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Divide the butter. Roughly chop 2 tablespoons (28g) of butter and place in a large bowl.
  6. Make the brown butter. Heat a 10-12-inch skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 4 tablespoons (56g) of butter. Cook, stirring continuously, until the butter foams, stops sizzling, and turns a dark amber brown, about 7 minutes. Using a measuring spoon, scoop 3 tablespoons of the brown butter, including the brown bits at the bottom of the pan, into the bowl with the cut-up butter. Stir until all the butter is melted and combined.
  7. Prepare the dough. Add the granulated and brown sugars, and bourbon (if using) to the butter and whisk until combined. With a vigorous arm, whisk in the egg until the mixture lightens and looks smooth and glossy, about 2 minutes. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula until no flour lumps remain.
  8. Add the mix-ins. On a cutting board, roughly chop the cooled pecans. Add the candied pecans and chocolate chips to the dough. Using a spatula, gently fold in the candied pecans and chocolate chips into the dough mixture.
  9. Bake. Scoop the dough into 2-tablespoon (45g) balls and roll the dough between your hands to form an even circle shape. Arrange them 2-inches apart on each baking sheet. Sprinkle each dough ball with kosher salt. Bake one sheet at a time until the edges are a light golden brown and the middle looks soft and gooey. Approximately 11 minutes bake time.  
  10. Serve. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet. 


WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR. If you opt to measure by volume instead of weight, whisk the flour first to aerate it, then spoon into a measuring cup, and then level it off with the back of a knife. 


Keywords: butter pecan cookies, brown butter pecan cookies, thick butter pecan cookies