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brown butter chocolate and pecan cookies

Dark Chocolate Pecan Cookies (with Brown Butter)

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes (includes chilling)
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 36 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These soft, yet crisp dark chocolate pecan cookies combine some of baking’s most popular ingredients like brown sugar, nutty brown butter, cinnamon, dark chocolate, and pecans. For best success, review recipe notes before starting and don’t skip chilling the cookie dough.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup (230g; 16 Tbspunsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100ggranulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (313gall-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • two 4-ounce semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate bars (226g total), chopped (about 1 and 1/2 cups)*
  • 1 cup (130g) roughly chopped pecans*

Instructions

  1. Brown the butter: Set out a medium heat-proof bowl because you’ll need it at the end of this step. Slice the butter into Tablespoon-size pieces and place in a light-colored skillet or large pot. Light colored helps you determine when the butter begins browning. (See note if using a dark skillet or pot.) Melt the butter over medium heat and stir or whisk constantly. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Keep stirring/whisking. After 5-7 minutes, the butter will begin browning and you’ll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan. It will have a nutty aroma. Once browned, remove from heat immediately and pour into the bowl, including any solids that have formed on the bottom of the pan. (You want those solids for flavor.) Cool brown butter for 5 minutes. Don’t cool longer than that because the butter will begin to thicken and, as a result, the cookie dough will be difficult to mix and its texture will be very crumbly.
  2. Whisk the brown sugar and granulated sugar into the brown butter and then whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, add the chopped chocolate and pecans, then stir together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. Dough will be greasy, thick, and even slightly crumbly.
  3. Cover cookie dough and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours and up to 3 days before baking. (You can also freeze the dough balls, see Freezing Instructions below.) If chilling for longer than 2 hours, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for at least 20-30 minutes before rolling and baking in the next step. The cookie dough is quite firm otherwise.
  4. Towards the end of chill time, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  5. Roll or scoop the dough into balls, 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each. I recommend a medium cookie scoop. Place 3 inches apart on the baking sheets and bake for 13-14 minutes or until the edges appear set. (Tip: If cookies aren’t spreading by the 10 minute mark, remove pan from the oven, carefully bang it on the counter to help induce some spreading, and then return it to the oven to finish baking.)
  6. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Baked cookies freeze well up to three months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well up to three months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Here’s how to freeze cookie dough.
  2. Chocolate: You can certainly use 1 and 1/2 cups (or anywhere between 220-270g) chocolate chips, but I recommend chopped baking chocolate. Baking chocolate is sold in the baking aisle as 4 ounce bars, so you need 2. I strongly recommend Ghirardelli brand and I like their “60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bars.” I’m not working with this company– this chocolate is simply one of my favorites for cookies. I also like Bakers brand. Feel free to use semi-sweet, bittersweet, milk chocolate, or white chocolate in this recipe.
  3. Pecans: I always use unsalted raw pecans. If you love salty sweet cookies, you can use salted/roasted pecans. Can I toast the pecans? You don’t have to, but you can for added flavor. Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Spread the chopped pecans on top and toast for 7-8 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. Cool before adding to cookie dough.
  4. Can I leave out the nuts? Yes, absolutely. I wouldn’t add more chocolate in its place– simply leave out the nuts. If you’d like to add another add-in, try 1 cup (about 140g) dried cranberries or dried cherries or 1 cup (150g) Heath Bar Bits O’ Brickle English Toffee.
  5. Darker skillet/pot when browning butter: I recommend using a light-colored skillet or large pot when browning butter so you can see when the butter is done. (It’s only a quick few seconds between browned butter and burnt butter.) Towards the end of 5-7 minutes, check for doneness by spooning some butter into a glass bowl to determine if it has browned.

Keywords: dark chocolate pecan cookies