A few years ago, we scoured the web for the best cookie recipes to add to our holiday tin. This recipe for Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies is one we still make during the holidays (and quite a few times in the months in between!)
The Baker: Ashley Manila runs the popular baking blog, Baker By Nature, where she finds most of her baking inspiration early in the morning.
Why We Love It: Ashley’s recipe calls for brown butter, which adds a depth of richness to this already flavorful cookie. Pro Tip: Make sure the butter comes to room temperature after browning it, so plan accordingly.
Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies
For the buttered pecans:
- 1 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups (6 oz./185 g) pecan halves, finely chopped
For the cookies:
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted until browned
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (unpacked)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 12 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate, roughly chopped into chunks
- 24 pecan halves for decoration (optional)
1. For the Buttered Pecans: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in chopped pecans and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside until needed.
2. For the Brown Butter: Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook for about 3 minutes – stirring almost consistently – until the butter has browned. Pour the butter into a heatproof bowl, being sure to scrape all the toasted bits into the bowl as well. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or until the butter is at room temperature. You’ll know the butter is at room temperature when you press a finger into the top and it makes a slight indentation. Note: It should not be liquid at all.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside until needed.
4. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda; whisk well to combine and then set aside until needed.
5. In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine browned butter and both sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy for about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla and bourbon and beat until combined.
6. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating for 15 seconds after each addition. Turn mixer off. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour, stirring only until the flour begins to disappear. Fold in the chocolate chunks and buttered pecans.
7. Roll 3 tablespoon-sized scoops of dough between your palms to form a ball (they should be big; almost a 1/4 cup), then place on prepared sheets. Make sure to leave enough room in between each cookie for inevitable spreading. Continue this process until all the dough has been rolled. Press a pecan on top of each cookie dough mound, if desired.
8. Place baking sheets in preheated oven, one at a time, and bake for 9 to 10 minutes, or until the cookies are golden at the edges but still soft in the middle. Repeat with all cookie dough. Sprinkle cookies with sea salt immediately after they come out of the oven.
9. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe by Ashley Manila, creator of the blog, Baker by Nature.