These brown butter pecan chocolate chip cookies are made with crunchy pecans, browned butter, and milk chocolate chips all in one bowl. The cookies are chewy and gooey in the middle but have crisp golden edges with a nutty, chocolatey flavor. Everyone you know will love them!
Browned butter pecan cookies are the ultimate cozy, warming treat. These cookies have a rich flavor, texture, and are baked with nutty brown butter. Each cookie is loaded with savory pecans, cinnamon, melty chocolate chips, and topped with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
They're crisp on the outside and ooey-gooey on the inside, making them the perfect pecan cookie for Fall, Thanksgiving, and the holidays! Did I mention that they're also gluten free and totally irresistible??
Why This Recipe Works
- The perfect texture- The cookies have crisp golden edges and a gooey, soft centers that will melt in your mouth. The texture is amazing because of the extra egg yolk and chill time!
- Rich flavors- Salty pecans are paired with sweet chocolate, warm cinnamon, and nutty browned butter. All these ingredients make for an unmatched depth of flavor!
- Chilled dough- For the textures and flavors to marry together, chocolate chip cookie dough is usually refrigerated for a few hours or even overnight. This cookie dough needs a minimum of 30 minutes to chill, but the wait is so worth it.
Watch How to Make This Recipe
Here are some notes about the ingredients used. For quantities, see the recipe card below.
- Unsalted butter- Gives you complete control over the saltiness of the cookies. Choose a high quality butter since it's a big contributor to the overall flavor.
- Brown sugar and granulated sugar- A combination of sugars keeps the cookies soft. The brown sugar adds a caramel-y flavor because of the molasses. Light or dark brown sugar work.
- Egg and egg yolk- Egg binds the dough together and egg yolk adds the extra chew factor! Use room temperature eggs.
- Vanilla extract and salt- These enhance the flavors and balance the sugar so the cookies aren't cloyingly sweet.
- Gluten free all-purpose flour- The best flour for texture. My favorite is Bob's Red Mill.
- Baking soda- To leaven the dough.
- Ground cinnamon and nutmeg- A little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg give the cookies a warm, spiced flavor.
- Chocolate chips- You can use milk, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate based on your preference. Feel free to use larger chocolate melting wafers for larger pools of chocolate in your cookies.
- Pecan halves- Raw or roasted pecans will work. Roughly chop them if desired.
- Regular all purpose flour can be used if you aren't gluten free.
- Pecans can be replaced with walnuts. Walnuts are the best pecan substitute, but you could also try pistachios, cashews, peanuts, or macadamia nuts.
Helpful Equipment and Tools
- Saucepan- High quality cookware will help you bake better!
- Kitchen scale- I always suggest using a food scale to measure the ingredients accurately.
- Cookie sheet- These sheet pans have the same features of professional bakeware used in commercial bakeries and have a non-stick coating for easy clean up.
- 1 ounce cookie scoop- For consistently sized cookies every time.
How to Brown Butter
Brown butter is liquid gold that will take your baked goods to the next level! I'm completely serious when I say that trying brown butter changed my life.
Browned butter is butter that has been melted and cooked until the milk solids in the butter are toasted. It has a deep, nutty, complex flavor and aroma that is irresistible.
It only takes 5 minutes to make brown butter, so please don't skip it! Here are the steps:
STEP 1: Add butter to a saucepan on low to medium heat. Don't take your eye off the butter throughout the entire process because it goes from toasted to burnt in a second!!
STEP 2: Stir the butter constantly as it melts and begins to foam. White bits (the milk solids) will start to appear on the bottom of the pan.
STEP 3: Let the butter cook, whisking until the milk solids have turned light golden brown and you smell a delicious, nutty scent. The nutty aroma means the brown butter is ready! Take it off the heat and set aside to cool.
How to Make Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies
STEP 1: First, brown the butter in a saucepan as described above. Make sure you only brown the butter lightly since some of the butter could evaporate and dry out your dough. Allow the brown butter to cool (room temperature preferred but a bit warmer is ok).
STEP 2: Add the cooled brown butter, brown sugar, and white cane sugar to a large mixing bowl and beat until well combined. Then, beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract.
TIP - You can mix the batter by hand with a whisk or with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer. The dough will be very thick once the dry ingredients are added.
STEP 3: Add in half of the flour and all of the baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix with a rubber spatula or mixer until just combined. Slowly add in the remaining flour and stir until just combined. Then, fold in the chocolate chips and pecans. Don't overmix!
STEP 4: Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. You can refrigerate it for up to 12 hours.
STEP 5: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the cookie dough with a 2 or 3 ounce cookie scoop, placing the balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Press extra chocolate chips and pecan pieces into each ball. Then, bake for 11-15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the centers look gooey and slightly underdone, but not raw. Underbaking keeps them soft.
TIP - If you don't have a cookie scoop, roll 2 tablespoons of pecan cookie dough into balls by hand.
STEP 6: Allow the chocolate chip pecan cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. If they haven't spread much, bang the sheet tray against the counter a 3-4 times to encourage them to spread and gain a crackly surface. Sprinkle with flaky salt if desired and enjoy!
- Follow directions! First, make sure to read the directions carefully and don't stray from the recipe. Even minor changes can alter the results!
- Use fresh baking soda. Make sure to use baking soda, NOT baking powder. There's a huge difference! Make sure it isn't expired.
- Don’t over mix. Overmixing causes flat and dense cookies.
- Chill the dough. I know it's hard to wait 30 minutes, but the longer the dough chills, the better the cookies will be! They will be flat and sad if you don't chill them.
- Check your oven temperature. If you're having issues, you may want to check your oven temperature. Not all ovens are the same, so the baking time may be slightly different. You can check to make sure your oven is heating properly with an oven thermometer.
How to Make Perfectly Round Cookies
For perfectly round, gourmet bakery-style cookies, grab a round cookie cutter or large round glass that is bigger than the cookies. Place the cookie cutter over each slightly underdone cookie and make circular movements. This will slightly tighten the cookies, make them perfectly round shape.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your butter was probably too hot when you mixed it in. To fix this, place the bowl of dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Then check on it to see if you’ve reached that scoopable consistency. If it’s still too thin, chill for another 30 minutes.
You may have added too much flour. Make sure to measure your flour properly with a food scale or by spooning flour into a measuring cup and leveling off the excess. Banging the pan of warm cookies on the counter a few times helps encourage the cookies to spread. Using parchment paper instead of a silicone baking mat also encourages the cookies to spread more.
You can, but the flavor just won't be the same. I highly, HIGHLY recommend making the brown butter.
You can't unfortunately! But you can make my eggless double chocolate chip cookies and add some pecans to the dough.
How to Store
Store the cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days. Make sure the cookies have cooled completely before storing. If they're still warm, condensation will form inside the container and impact the texture.
Baked cookies can be frozen in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Let them thaw on the counter for about 1 hour before eating.
How to Freeze Cookie Dough
Making the cookie dough ahead of time and freezing it comes in handy for when you have chocolate craving or have unexpected company! Here's how to do it.
STEP 1. First, scoop the cookie dough balls and place the balls that you want to freeze on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Place the baking sheet in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.
STEP 2. After an hour, remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and make sure the dough balls are firm and cold. Then, transfer them to a freezer bag. They won’t stick together if they are firm.
Now you can bake fresh pecan chocolate chip cookies whenever you want! You can make as many or as few cookies as you want. Bake them straight from frozen and add an extra minute on to the baking time.
Frozen cookie dough lasts up to 3 months in the freezer.
More Cookie Recipes to Try
Brown Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 Cookie sheet
- ¾ cup unsalted butter
- ¾ cup brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 egg yolk room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cup gluten free all purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips milk or semi-sweet
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Brown the butter over medium heat, stirring constantly. The butter will foam and then the white bits (milk solids) at the bottom will turn golden brown, producing a nutty scent. As soon as the butter starts to turn brown and smell nutty, take it off the heat and set it aside to cool slightly.¾ cup unsalted butter
- Add the cooled brown butter, brown sugar, and white cane sugar to a large mixing bowl and beat until well combined with an electric mixer or by hand with a whisk. Then beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract.¾ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup granulated sugar, 1 large egg, 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Add in half of the flour and all of the baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt. Mix with a rubber spatula or mixer until just combined. Slowly add in the remaining flour and stir until just combined. Then, fold in the chocolate chips and pecans.1 ¾ cup gluten free all purpose flour, ¾ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1 cup chocolate chips, 1 cup chopped pecans
- Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. You can refrigerate it for up to 12 hours (or overnight).
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Use a 1 ounce cookie scoop to scoop the cookie dough into balls, placing them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Press extra chocolate chips and pecan pieces into each ball. Bake for 11-15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the centers are puffed but look gooey.
- Read all instructions and expert tips carefully before starting!
- Cook the brown butter on low to medium heat. It can burn easily so keep an eye on it.
- Don't skip the chill time!