Browned Butter Pecan Sandies – delicious butter cookies made completely from scratch! I will show you how to carefully brown the butter without burning it (including step-by-step photos), how to add chopped pecans to the browned butter to toast them a bit. And, finally, how to create these cute cookies, rolled in granulated sugar before baking and each one of them individually topped with a pecan half!
You can also brush maple syrup over the top of the cookies for an extra shine and flavor – it’s an optional step, and I recommend that you try it on a couple of cookies, taste them, and only then decide whether to brush the rest of the cookies with the maple syrup:
These cookies will be devoured by your family, friends, co-workers in no time!
These cookies keep well at room temperature for 1 week, and you can freeze them for up to 2 months!
And, now, get ready – I have a lot of step-by-step photos describing how to make browned butter and how to make these cookies! These step-by-step photos are very helpful, but if you don’t want them, just go directly to the recipe at the bottom of the post, by clicking here.
In a medium saucepan, stir the butter (cut into small pieces) over medium heat until melted, stirring constantly:
Continue to cook the butter over medium heat, simmering, stirring often. The butter will soon start to bubble and foam. As the butter foams, keep stirring and reduce heat if needed. Keep a close look at the butter – it will soon start to turn brown (which you will see through the foam):
As soon as the butter starts to brown, add chopped pecans. The mixture will foam even more:
Continue cooking the butter with chopped pecans, constantly stirring, for not more than 1 minute, on low heat. Make sure to watch closely not to burn chopped pecans:
After you’ve cooked the butter with chopped pecans for about 1 minute, remove from heat and immediately pour this butter-pecan mixture into a separate, cool heatproof bowl. DO NOT LEAVE the butter with chopped pecans in the same pan you cooked them, otherwise butter and pecans will burn!
Cool the butter-pecan mixture in a separate heat-proof bowl for about 20-30 minutes, or even longer, depending on your kitchen temperature. The butter-pecan mixture should thicken and solidify, and when mixed it should look like that:
Add powdered sugar, brown sugar, 3 tablespoons half-and-half, vanilla, and salt into the cooled butter-pecan mixture:
Stir until sugars are smoothly incorporated:
Mix in the flour until dough forms. If mixture is too crumbly and doesn’t hold together, add small amounts of additional half-and-half, and continue to work the mixture. The dough should look like on my photo – the dough should form a huge ball and hold it together:
Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Divide each 1/4th of the dough into 9 equal balls. Roll each ball in coarse sugar. Place balls about 2 1/2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets:
Press a pecan half firmly into each ball. If edges of the cookies crack, just push back together:
Bake one baking sheet at a time for 13 minutes until cookies start to brown. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack. Let cool 10 minutes for cookies to firm up. Using a wide spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack.
Optional: Brush pecans on top with maple syrup. Do it only to a few cookies, try them, and brush more cookies, if desired.
Your amazing cookies are all ready for everybody to grab!
Delicious treat for kids and adults alike!