salted brown butter pecan chocolate chip cookies

March 13, 2012

I have a problem. Fine, I have a few problems. They mostly involve the price of coffee and the timeliness of the MTA but I also just can not bring myself to make a standard batch of chocolate chip cookies.

I just can’t seem to leave well enough alone when it comes to cookie making. I’m always trying to add in that je ne sais quoi.

This recipe, my friends, is about as close as I can come to the cookie that we call An American Classic.

Why? You ask. Well if there is a cookie then there is flavor that can be boosted. Whatever chocolate chip cookie you remember savoring as a child, I assure you can be made better with the addition of brown butter.

Brown butter is like a push-up bra for cookies. Sometimes you need a boost.

Salt equals the secret to all baked goods tasting better.

Brown butter equals major flavor.

Pecans toasted then chopped extra-super-fine equals please add them even if you are against nuts in your cookies.

To all you non-nut lovers out there I promise you won’t even know there are nuts in your chocolate chip cookie.

I know. I’m on your side. I don’t want anything standing between me and my chocolate but the addition of finely chopped pecans helps to coax out the nuttiness that the brown butter is bringing to the communal cookie table.

This version of chocolate chip cookies comes together in no time flat – it’s about time your chocolate chip cookies had a spring-time makeover. Right? 

Salted Brown Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen

Adapted from the back of a bag of Baker’s chocolate chunks

1 3/4 cup (218 grams) flour
3/4 teaspoon (4 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt
3/4 cup (170 grams) butter, softened
1/2 cup (110 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (115 grams) brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla
1 egg
1 heaping cup (170 grams or 6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup (100 grams) pecans, toasted and chopped fine
flaky salt, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

First – brown the butter. Melt one stick (113 grams or 8 tablespoons) of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter begins to foam. Continue to cook and stir until the foam subsides and bits begin to form on the bottom of the pan. When the butter has deepened in color and smells wonderfully nutty, turn off the heat and set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl cream the two sugars together with the remaining half stick (56 grams or 4 tablespoons) of butter until light and fluffy or about 3 minutes. Add the brown butter, vanilla and egg and beat until well blended. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating well after each addition. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans. Scoop the dough onto the prepared sheet and sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of salt.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are just lightly browned. Let stand on the sheet for a minute before transferring to rack to cool completely. Move immediately to your mouth and enjoy! 


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Molly March 13, 2012 at 12:26 pm

These look AMAZING! But my favorite line in here is that brown butter is like a push-up bra for cookies!! Can you make that into a button to put on our cute BMUB totes?!


Josie March 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm

I second that…. was thinking it would make a great tattoo and/or exhibition title!
Brown Butter: the Push Up Bra for Cookies


sidra March 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm

LOL. LOVE the push-up bra for cookies! The best of both worlds. I want these now, they sound delicious!!! xoxo


Ali March 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm

You KNOW how I feel about nuts in my chocolate. And I, in turn, know how YOU feel about not leaving well enough alone when it comes to cookie baking. A lot of years of my life have been spent watching you add ingredients you found in our kitchen (“dried cranberries? Add ’em! Three day old peach? Sounds good!”) into your cookies. And you’re right, they’re always better than the original. 🙂


Ali March 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm

And I want a tote!


Katie March 14, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Browned butter is incredible, and I’m always glad to find more recipes that use it. These look incredible with all the pecans and chocolate!


Jean March 16, 2012 at 3:01 am

Well, I was amazed to see your latest as brown butter cookies have been on my mind lately and I was going to mention it to you and here you are with this recipe. Brown butter and sea salt = the perfect combination.

When you have a spare minute do you want to create a recipe for cocoa brown butter cookies? We had them at the = wait for this – Brown Butter Cookie Company in Cayucos, CA two weeks ago and they were amazing. You would love them.

Cocoa Cookies:

BTW – sign me up for one of those buttons when you make them – lol. I love it.


Rob May 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I’m definitely making these soon — they sound amazing. Just curious – do you have to wait for the brown butter to cool completely to room temperature before adding it to the sugar mixture?


Lillie May 11, 2012 at 2:29 pm

It should be cooled slightly but doesn’t need to be at room temperature. If you brown the butter first, then begin with measuring out the ingredients, it should be the right temp by the time you are ready to add the brown butter. Happy baking!!


Rob May 19, 2012 at 3:13 am

Finally got around to making these tonight, and they were delicious. Thank you!


Simon July 10, 2012 at 5:54 am

My biscuits flattened to a pancake size when cooling. Any idea what I did wrong?


Lillie July 10, 2012 at 11:34 am

So sorry to hear that! It could have been a variety of things but most likely the temperature of the butter caused the problem – maybe it was too soft? Hope they were tasty at least! 🙂


Simon July 10, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Judging by your comment, I think I have it. Should I have waited for the brown butter to cool completely? It was still warm when I mixed it in?


Lillie July 10, 2012 at 7:07 pm

I’ve found that if you brown the butter first, then measure out the flour, etc., it should be the right temp by the time you are ready to add it to the rest of the ingredients. The brown butter should just be cooled slightly. Also the non-browned stick should be softened at room temp. Hope this helps!


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