Crispy Brown Butter Pecan Cookies

I love the idea of brown butter. I mean, what's better than plain ol' butter? Butter with extra delicious flavor! These cookies are all about the butter. They're rich and crunchy, and just as decadent as chocolate. The pecans are the perfect complement to the brown butter, adding a really nice extra texture. All that butter makes these cookies quite crispy. They're not soft at all in the middle. In most cases I prefer a cookie with a soft middle and browned edges but for these it just worked. I'm sure if you really want them a bit less crunchy they could be pulled from the oven a little early.

Toasting the pecans makes all the difference, so definitely don't skip that step. I kept sneaking toasted pecans while the butter was browning, I swear just out of the oven they're even more addictive than chocolate chips. I bought my pecans pre-chopped in bulk from my local co-op, then toasted them up as I browned the butter. Whole pecans can be ridiculously expensive and I think here the smaller pieces work just fine, especially when you toast them your self.

Brown Butter Pecan Cookies
from Gourmet, October 2009

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 cups pecans (7 ounces), toasted , cooled, and chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.
Heat butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until milk solids on bottom are a dark chocolate brown. Transfer to a shallow bowl and chill in freezer until just congealed, about 15 minutes.
Blend brown butter with sugars, flour, baking soda, salt, and eggs in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in pecans.
Spoon tablespoons of batter onto parchment-lined baking sheets, arranging them at least 1 inch apart. Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through, until browned, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool (cookies will crisp as they cool).


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