These jumbo bakery-style browned butter chocolate chip pecan cookies will be your new favorite cookie recipe! Each bite is packed with a rich toffee flavor.
My sister-in-law, Svetlana makes the most incredible cookies so I knew she would have the answer to my cookie conundrum and boy was it fun testing each batch! I’ll tell you right now. These browned butter chocolate chip pecan cookies have the most incredible flavor I’ve ever tasted from a homemade cookie. Read more to find out why.
If you like cookies with a crisp exterior, chewy, moist center, and toffee like flavors, you are in for a real treat! This recipe has a few excellent techniques to help you achieve just the right cookie qualities. They may be a little different than you’ve done before, but you can notice a difference in the taste and texture.
So I want to share with you a neat technique I learned to get a more natural, textured surface with lots of exposed chips for a prettier cookie. Often you tend to just roll the dough into a ball, set them on a baking sheet and place in the oven. The problem with this is the chips get sunken in and are just not as tantalizing as they could be.
This particular method has you roll each dough ball, break the dough ball apart in half using your fingers, gently recombine the two smoother side pieces together so the chips are exposed and the surface is rough instead of smooth, bake and voila!
The goal is to have a rough surface so once it bakes you get a nice bumpy, natural and more wholesome cookies with delicate chips shining at you with each bite. I let the cookie dough chill for 30 minutes after doing this technique to allow the butter to firm up and prevent as much edge spread.
I then let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before baking. You can use this technique for any cookie that has a mix-in like white chocolate chip cherry pecan cookies. All of the cookie dough mounds should end up looking like the unbaked cookies below, it might not look like much of a difference now, but the results are amazing… keep scrolling for a little temptation.
Whoa, look at what we got here, some stunning piece of chocolate chip heaven! It all starts with a little-browned butter, basically liquid gold. As the milk solids in the butter begin to brown over the high heat, nutty aromas and flavors are created, which when added to your cookie batter makes each bite so much more mind-blowing than just regular softened butter.
It reminds me of fresh peanut brittle, smells so good! Adding a little bit of cold butter into the hot browned butter helps to quickly cool it down and slow the browning process, you don’t want to burn butter! This is the magic to the flavor of this cookie so don’t skip this step!
Another step you may notice that is a little different from traditional methods are the multiple whisking and waiting steps with the batter, sugars, and eggs. This step is super important because allowing the sugars to dissolve slowly into the liquid from the eggs and butter, which allows the sugars to caramelize during cooking at lower temperatures. This creates more vibrant flavors and crispier edges and chewy center. It’s best to bake these cookies one tray at a time for a more consistent result.
How do these cookies get so crisp and chewy? White granulated sugar adds the crispiness and dark brown sugar that adds the chew are just the right combination. As you’ve probably seen in your stored containers of brown sugar, it stays moist and likes to hold onto water that helps to add the soft chewiness into the cookie.
The melted butter also adds some chew, yum! The cherry on top is the just melted semi-sweet chocolate chips baked into each bite and crunchy pecans, perfect with the warm browned butter cookie base, drool.
I can’t tell you how much Jason and I LOVED these cookies, and Jason doesn’t even like chocolate! Fresh from the oven and cooled for a few minutes (as long as I could stand before getting cookie crazy), they are seriously the best homemade recipe I’ve tested.
These cookies bake into giant 5 to 6 inch sized cookies, so you can enjoy each morsel just a bit longer. Jason even said it was the best cookie I’ve ever baked, and I believe him! You absolutely must try these browned butter chocolate chip pecan cookies for yourself. You can taste and enjoy this difference, and your life will be forever changed, in the sweetest way possible.
Why do you brown the butter before adding to the cookie batter?
Browning the butter adds an incredible nutty, toasted flavor and aroma which add a rich, deep more caramelized flavor to your chocolate chip cookies. This method is called beurre noisette (aka hazelnut butter), and you can instantly smell this aroma as the milk solids brown in your pan. Brown butter is used in many baking recipes and savory sauces. (Source: Cook’s Illustrated, The Science of Good Cooking)
Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached, (8 3/4 ounces)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, (1 3/4 sticks)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, (3 1/2 ounces)
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed, (5 1/4 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, semi-sweet, Ghirardelli recommended
- 3/4 cup pecans, chopped, (optional)
- Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
- Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes.
- Remove skillet from heat, using a heatproof spatula transfer browned butter to large mixing bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.
- Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated.
- Add egg and yolk and whisk on medium speed until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat the process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth and shiny.
- Using a rubber spatula stir in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
- Allow dough to chill for 15 to 30 minutes covered in the refrigerator so the dough can be easier to roll.
- Divide dough into 16 portions and roll into a ball, each about 3 tablespoons. Allow portioned dough to chill covered and refrigerated for 1 hour or longer on a sheet tray.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375°F. Line 2 large (18- by 12- inch) baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Tear the dough balls in half by pulling gently from both sides. Press the two halves together again, with the lumpy torn sides facing upward to expose the chips and give a more rustic appearance. You can add more chips on top so they pop out on the surface.
- Allow portioned dough to chill covered and refrigerated for an hour or longer on a sheet tray.
- Arrange cookies 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. Add a few additional chips on top before baking for a prettier surface.
- Bake cookies 1 tray at a time in the center of the oven until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set, but centers are still soft, 10 to 13 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.
- Let cookies cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.
- I've found that the cookie spread less the longer you can chill the cookie dough balls. Overnight is ideal!
- Cookie dough can be shaped into balls and refrigerated in a resealable plastic bag for up to 1 week before baking. Just do the breaking apart step right before baking for a more rustic surface.