Crinkled on the edges, warm and gooey in the middle, and oh so delicious…these Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies are the perfect cookies to make this weekend. Made with browned butter, toasted pecans, and bourbon, then lightly sweetened for a cookie that’s rich in flavor and heavy on the chocolate. Every bite is slightly crisp on the edges but soft and chewy in the center with just a little crunch from those sweet bourbon pecans…so DELICIOUS! Absolutely nothing not to love about these wrinkly, crinkly, sweet pecan cookies. Easy to make and fun for all occasions….especially the Derby!
I know I say this often, but Fridays are made ten times better with cookies…always, always.
But these cookies? You guys these cookies are really everything I love the most. They remind me more of the fall than spring, but it’s OK because with the Kentucky Derby this weekend I gave myself a pass and decided that we could indeed make pecan cookies in April.
And really (yes, this is dramatic), these cookies are magical.
The inspiration was really simple….the Kentucky Derby is tomorrow. And while I’m not sure I’ve ever watched the entire two-minute race live, I know some people who LOVE to celebrate the day with friends and good food (yes, you Cortney!). I also think it’s a fun excuse to celebrate something that isn’t a holiday but that you really enjoy.
Immediately when I think of the Derby, I think bourbon and pecans. So last week I put this idea together in my head. I wasn’t positive if I should make them or not, but I’m sure glad I did.
The process to the (almost) perfect cookie
I say almost, because I don’t really believe anything is perfect, but these are pretty darn close.
There are three key steps to these cookies…
I feel like the browned butter is obvious. I like to brown half of the butter, but leave the other half at room temp. This gives you the flavor of browned butter but leaves you with a cookie that has a great texture too. It also highlights the malted flavors. I know it’s an extra step, but the browned butter really does add so much to these cookies. In my view, it’s an extra step worth taking.
Second, the bourbon brown sugar pecans. It’s not a usual cookie ingredient but it’s what really sets these cookies apart. The pecans get toasted with brown sugar and bourbon which gives them a rich sweetness. If you’ve never had bourbon with your pecans, it a marriage of flavors that is so delicious.
And then, the bourbon itself, which is both on the pecans and in the cookies. It’s not like these cookies taste like bourbon, because they don’t. The bourbon provides a very rich and delicious flavor with subtle notes of both bourbon and vanilla.
Like most cookies, these are EASY. Toast the pecans together with brown sugar and bourbon. Then brown the butter, let cool, and simply mix everything together. Then bake, eat, and enjoy.
As I do with almost all my cookies, these need a tap on the counter to create that crinkly type of cookie during both the middle and the end of baking.
Aside from browning the butter and tapping the baking sheet, the rest is is easy. When the cookies come out of the oven, the pockets of melted chocolate will be bubbling up and the kitchen will smell, nutty, buttery, and oh so delicious. Almost like Thanksgiving, because these really do remind me of pecan pie.
I of course love to eat these warm, right off the pan, with a sprinkle of sea salt atop.
And oh my gosh, every last bite is delicious. It’s truly hard to beat a good chocolate chip cookie, but these certainly give the others a little run for their money They would be so fun for the Derby…but also any other day of the year. It’s the crinkly edges, deep bourbon-vanilla flavor, and pockets of melted chocolate.
Happy Friday guys, enjoy!
Looking for a few other fun cookie ideas? Try these…
Healthier Homemade Nutter Butter Cookies
Snickerdoodle Peanut Butter Chocolate Chex Mix Bars
Lastly, if you make these Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories Per Serving: 188 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 3/4 cup raw pecans
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 tablespoon, plus 3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
- flaky sea salt
- 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups chopped chocolate chunks or chips
- 1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On the baking sheet, combine the pecans, 1 tablespoon bourbon, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Bake 8-10 minutes, until toasted. Sprinkle with sea salt. Roughly chop the pecans.2. Meanwhile, add 1 stick of butter to a small saucepan set over medium heat. Cook until the butter begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl. Stick in the freezer to chill, 10-15 minutes, but no longer.3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the remaining stick of butter, the cooled browned butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and the granulated sugar until combined. Beat in the eggs - 1 at a time, until combined. Add 1 tablespoon bourbon and the vanilla, beating until creamy. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the chocolate chunks and chopped pecans. If you dough is sticky, add 2 tablespoons flour. 4. Roll the dough into 2 tablespoon size balls and place 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Gently flatten each dough ball.5. Transfer to the oven and bake for 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and tap the baking sheet on the counter 2 times to flatten them down. Return to the oven and bake another 2-4 minutes or until the cookies are just beginning to set on the edges, but still doughy in the center. Remove from the oven and tap the baking sheet on the counter 1-2 times to flatten them down again. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet. They will continue to cook slightly as they sit on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with flaky salt (if desired). Eat warm (highly recommended) or let cool and store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
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Freezing: the cookie dough balls can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw, then bake as directed.
Wow! Those are delicious. I weighed my flour for the first batch and cooked them. The batter was a little sticky, so I added the extra 2 T. spoons of flour and folded it in. The second batch had a little more body to them. Both were very good. My group voted: The guys voted for the “extra flour” cookie, and the girls liked the “sticky” cookie. Both batches were winners. Very fun recipe and so yummy!
Wonderful!! I appreciate you making this recipe, I’m so glad it turned out well for you! Have a great weekend:)
This is my fave CC cookie recipe! Perfectly crispy on the edges and soft & chewy in the middle.
Happy Wednesday!!❄️ Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback, I am so glad it was a hit! xx
The flavor in these cookies is awesome; however, if you follow the recipe they come out way too cakey as many of the other comments found. Even with flattening the cookies before baking and banging the baking sheet, the cookies don’t flatten and are more bread/cake like texture. On my third try, I halved the baking soda (1/2 teaspoon instead of full teaspoon) to try to make them a cookie-texture and this seemed to do the trick!! Great cookies and flavor (with a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda)!
Happy Holidays!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! Thanks for sharing your feedback and adjustments! 🎁🎅
My boss made these for our office one day and yes, they are soooo good!!! She gave me the recipe but when I saw you needed to add bourbon, ugh 🙁 I don’t drink so I have no alchohol in the house. Have you ever made it without the alchohol?
You can just skip the bourbon:) Let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love them! xx
I mama yum! I love a classic chocolate chip cookie and these were so moist! I made them huge and I used the recommendations from a Martha Stewart link someone posted and increased the amount of brown sugar and granulated sugar to make them chewy. I also added a little extra bourbon and cinnamon to bake the pecans. I hate huge nuts so I always go for the tiny pecan pieces and they’re almost unnoticeable. I feel like this cookie would be great with almond extract so maybe I’ll use that next time. So good
Happy Monday! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad it turned out well for you! Thanks for your comment! xT
These were great. They are valet but we liked that. I will say I recommend refrigerating this dough before cooking. I didn’t find that the cookies shaped weird and the dough was so much easier to work with cold.
Wonderful!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks for giving it a try! Have a great weekend:)
These were wonderful. My first time baking with bourbon. Looking forward to sharing these with family. Thank you Tieghan, and happy Thanksgiving!
Thank you so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was a winner! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! xx
How would you suggest making these in bar form?
I would use this recipe:
Please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Thanksgiving! xx
Good! But super cakey. I played around with banging the tray at different times during cooking to make them less cakey, but all resulted in cakey cookies. Would love if these were flatter/chewier.
Super yummy but cakey! How would you suggest I get them to be less cakey?
Thanks for giving this recipe a try! Did you try tapping your baking sheet on the counter? That should make for a flatter cookie! xx
Looking forward to making these. Is there a reason that the dough isn’t chilled before baking?
I like these to spread a bit, when you chill cookie dough it causes the cookie to hold its shape. Let me know if you give the recipe a try! xx
I’ve made these a couple times but they don’t come out quite like the picture. I’m cooking in high elevation. What should I so to make them less cakey and more crinkley? They taste great as is though. But I like the chewy cookie.
Thanks for trying the recipe! Is there anything you are adjusting? Have you tried banging the baking sheet on the counter to flatten them? Let me know! xx
I bake a lot of cookies, this was a truly great recipe.
Roasting the pecans with the brown sugar / bourbon, elevated the flavour in addition to the browning the butter.
Wonderful! Thanks so much for making these cookies and sharing your feedback, I love to hear that they were enjoyed! xTieghan
Oh so good! The brown butter and bourbon elevate the chocolate chip cookie to new levels!
Happy Friday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a go! xxT
Do you think I could use vegan butter?
Sure, I think that should work well for you! Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx