brown sugar pecan cookies

brown sugar pecan cookies

I decided to venture a little out of my comfort zone again this week and picked a recipe that I probably wouldn’t have chosen for myself. Not that I didn’t think this cookie looked good, but if I were baking for myself, I’d probably choose something with more chocolate. Or lemon

brown sugar pecan cookies

This is the easiest cookie to make! The butter is melted in a saucepan, then the sugar is stirred into it, followed by the rest of the ingredients. That’s it. Done. The most labour-intensive part of this recipe is that you need to chop the pecans (sigh!). No creaming or kneading or refrigerating required.

brown sugar pecan cookies

Given the amount of butter in here (and the fact that the butter is still warm when the cookies are formed – the dough is like warm fudge), I was kind’ve expecting they might spread out too much. Yes, they spread a bit, but overall kept a good shape. They puffed up a surprising amount, and then flattened out again when they came out of the oven. Those tiny little blobs of dough grew into some substantial cookies! Compare the pecan to cookie ratio in the before and after photos.

brown sugar pecan cookies

And when they came out of the oven? They smelled amazing. Like buttercrunch toffee. And they taste just like they smell. Butter + brown sugar + pecans = absolute deliciousness. Even the next day, they have a great texture – crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. One of my coworkers said it reminds her of an old-fashioned cookie like her grandma would make. These cookies were reeeeally popular here!

The main reason I started this project was to force myself to try new recipes. And this cookie is a perfect example of why. If I were just baking for myself, I probably never would have tried this recipe. And that would have been a real shame.

brown sugar pecan cookies

brown sugar pecan cookies

<h2>brown sugar pecan cookies</h2>

Adapted from "The Farmer's Wife's Pecan Cookies" from Maida Heatter's Cookies. The recipe states it will make 36 three-inch cookies when measuring with a rounded teaspoon. I used my usual small scoop (approx. 1-1/4 tbsp) and got 41 cookies. Update: a friend of mine made these and added chocolate chips. So good!


1-1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces (for easier melting)

1-1/4 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 teapoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

2/3 cup pecans, chopped (pieces should be about the size of raisins)

for the topping

approx. 40 pecan halves (you'll need one for each cookie)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, gently melt the butter over low heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and add the sugar, stirring until smooth. Then add the vanilla and egg and continue stirring until smooth again.

Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, then blend in the chopped nuts.

Using a small cookie dough scoop or a rounded teaspoon, portion the dough onto the baking sheets about 2 inches apart to allow for spreading. Top each cookie with a pecan half, pressing lightly into the dough.

Bake for about 12-14 minutes, until golden brown, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. The original recipe specified not to underbake these cookies. Allow to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before removing the cookies from the pan and allowing them to cool completely.

brown sugar pecan cookies

Comments: 9

  1. Lauren @ A Nerd Cooks January 25, 2014 at 8:00 am Reply

    These cookies are so cute! Can’t wait to try them out, thanks!

  2. dina January 25, 2014 at 6:46 pm Reply

    they look yummy!

  3. Katherine Hunter March 14, 2014 at 5:16 pm Reply

    easy easy easy to make ! sez they are better than snickerdoodles

  4. Katherine Hunter March 15, 2014 at 10:05 am Reply

    no chocolate chips / now a day later the cookies are pretty crispy / a master cookie baker reccommends 325′ for baking cookies so next time i will use a lower temp / i baked them for only 10 minutes which hardly seems to be “overbaking” / i like a cookie to be a little soft in the middle, crispy on the edges / overall this cookie of yours is excellent and will make a lot of friends happy as i distribute them today

    • laurel @ wannacomewith March 15, 2014 at 12:23 pm Reply

      I’m so glad you liked the way they turned out! I’m wondering if your oven temperature might be a bit off, though. The dial on mine is actually off by almost 100°F – the only way I can tell what the actual temperature is is with an oven thermometer. They’re only about $5 if you want to check it out.

  5. Cheryl December 25, 2014 at 11:37 pm Reply

    These are great! I was in a hurry so I baked them in a 9×13″ pan and cit into
    squares, everyone loves them. Very easy and delicious. Thanks.

    • laurel @ wannacomewith December 26, 2014 at 10:57 pm Reply

      Hi Cheryl!

      What a clever idea – I wouldn’t have thought to make these into a bar recipe. 🙂

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