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The best ever Chewy Brown Butter Pretzel Pecan Cookies. Homemade brown sugar cookies, made with browned butter, sweet maple, and a secret ingredient that really makes these cookies better than the rest. There are vanilla-toasted pecans, salted pretzels, and plenty of sweet chocolate chunks that melt in your mouth. There’s really nothing not to love! Perfect for holiday baking, gifting, and of course, snacking between meals.

Chewy Brown Butter Pretzel Pecan Cookies | halfbakedharvest.com

I’ve created more cookie recipes than I care to really sit down and count, but these are special. They’re definitely in my personal top 5 for most delicious, I just love these. They remind me so much of the holidays, but most importantly they’re just delicious!

Salty, sweet, swirled with the wonderful flavors of brown sugar and vanilla, and full of chocolate. Oh, and they’ve got lightly crisped edges and chewy centers.

These really might just be the perfect holiday cookie.

Let me back up a little here and explain. Every single November without fail, I share at least one new cookie recipe with the idea of snacking on the cookies throughout Thanksgiving Day.

My mom grew up enjoying what she called, Aunt Debbie’s Turkey Cookies, on Thanksgiving. She’d even get to enjoy a few before dinner. And from all the stories I’ve heard about these cookies, she really loved them!

Chewy Brown Butter Pretzel Pecan Cookies | halfbakedharvest.com

I’ve never been given that recipe, so instead, I made my own variation. I love butter pecans, chocolate, and vanilla paired together. So this year, my heart was set on a butter pecan cookie.

I wanted to make them special – really delicious to the point of calling them
“addicting”.

So I added pretzels, and oh my goodness, that was the key.

Chewy Brown Butter Pretzel Pecan Cookies | halfbakedharvest.com

Details

I start out by toasting the nuts with the pretzels. I love tossing them with maple, vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt. They turn out so delicious. I then give the nuts and pretzels a nice chop.

While those are toasting, brown the butter. When the butter has browned, let it chill a bit before mixing up the dough. The rest goes really quickly.

Chewy Brown Butter Pretzel Pecan Cookies | halfbakedharvest.com

To make the cookies

Take the brown butter and beat it together with dark brown sugar, maple syrup, apple butter (that’s the secret ingredient you must trust me on), an egg, and some vanilla. Mix, mix, mix, then stir in the dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, and salt.

For the apple butter, I use my homemade maple apple butter. This is one of my favorite things to keep in the fridge. You can use my recipe or pick some up at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Thrive Market, or via Amazon. I will say that the homemade recipe works a little better for the cookies, but either is great! Just make sure your apple butter is spiced for best flavor.

Chewy Brown Butter Pretzel Pecan Cookies | halfbakedharvest.com

Mix in the pecans, the pretzels, and plenty of chocolate chunks. Then, to make the cookies really sparkle, roll the dough balls through coarse sugar.

Bake the cookies, and smell the wonderful scents as they bake. Trust me, after the first bite you’ll be making batch after batch. These cookies are delectable and just perfectly set on the edges. Soft and gooey in the center with just the right amount of chew and salty pretzel CRUNCH.

It’s not even December yet and I feel like these are the perfect holiday cookie. I’m getting so excited for this year’s cookie box!

Chewy Brown Butter Pretzel Pecan Cookies | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for holiday cookie recipes? Here are a few ideas: 

Brown Sugar Maple Cookie Pie

Soft Pumpkin Sugar Cookies with Cinnamon Brown Butter Frosting

Chocolate Bourbon Chai Latte Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting

Glazed Brown Sugar Maple Cookies

Pumpkin Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Butter Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lastly, if you make these Chewy Brown Butter Pretzel Pecan 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!

Chewy Brown Butter Pretzel Pecan Cookies

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
chill time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories Per Serving: 173 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the pecans and pretzels with 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 teaspoons vanilla, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Bake 8-10 minutes, until toasted. Once cool, roughly chop.
    2. Add the butter to a small saucepan set over medium heat, cooking until the butter begins to brown, 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. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    4. In a bowl, beat together the browned butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, apple butter, egg, and vanilla until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the chocolate chips, pecans, and half of the pretzels.
    5. Roll the dough into tablespoon size balls, then roll through the course sugar and place 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Insert your desired amount of pretzels to each cookie.
    6. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and tap the baking sheet gently on the counter to flatten. Return to the oven and bake another 2-3 minutes or until the cookies are just beginning to set on the edges, but still doughy in the center. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet. They will continue to cook slightly as they sit. Eat warm (highly recommend), or let cool and store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. 

Notes

Apple Butter Replacement: use an equal amount of apple sauce or molasses. In a pinch, use additional maple. 
If you’re Cookie Dough is Dry: reduce the flour to 2 1/4 cups and add 1-2 tablespoons of additional maple syrup 
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Chewy Brown Butter Pretzel Pecan Cookies | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. Made these today and wow are they good! Totally worth all the extra steps! I’m currently dairy free- so used vegan butter (specifically i can’t believe it’s not butter sticks) and dairy free chocolate chips. The dough was a little loose due to the swaps, so I added a little extra flour and chilled just for a few minutes before scooping. They’re great! Can’t wait to share at thanksgiving.

    1. Hey Anna,
      Happy Monday!! So glad to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks for giving it a go! Thanks for sharing what worked well for you! xT

  2. i would make a correction in this recipe to step #4. it should say: add softened butter (1 stick) plus browned butter (1 stick)–it just says browned butter. Also should correct to say add 1/4 cup of maple syrup (the 2TBS as someone pointed out are from early in the recipe). I think it is confusing how it is written. just a suggestion. no rating as i am just starting these.

    1. Hi Christy,
      Nope, the directions are correct, you are browning the butter in step 2, so you shouldn’t have an additional stick of soften butter. Step 1 very clearly calls for 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, so the remaining measurements of 1/4 cup would be used in step 4:) I hope this helps! Let me know how the recipe turns out!! xTieghan

  3. 1 star
    I have learned my lesson about making HBH desserts. I made this one exactly according to the directions and they came out nothing like the pictures. They barely flattened while baking and looked like pale mounds of dough. The apple butter added a tart taste that was not appealing. The cookie itself tasted dense and chewy, not in a good way. I can only imagine it’s because of the altitude difference (I’m baking at sea level) even though Tieghan always insists it doesn’t matter. Avoid this recipe!!!

    1. Hi Lily,
      So sorry to hear this recipe was not enjoyed, did you try banging your baking sheet on the counter for a flatter cookie? Please let me know how I can help:) xx

    1. Hey Jennifer,
      Sure, that would be just fine for you to do:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xx

  4. Hi😊. Wondering if you’ve tried making these with AP gluten flour and Earth Balance. Any adjustments needed when substituting with thee ingredients?

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Karen,
      The gluten free flour will work well for you, but I have never tested this recipe with earth balance, so I am not sure how they would turn out! Please let me know if you give this recipe a try! xx

    2. Hi Karen, I made these with vegan butter sticks (but regular flour) and they turned out great! I did add a little extra flour as they seemed really soft; and then I chilled for just a few minutes before scooping the dough, but that’s what I always do with vegan butter!

  5. I was all set to make these beautiful cookies, but then saw apple butter as an ingredient! Not sure I want an apple flavor in my chocolate chip cookies! I see molasses is an alternative but wonder if cookies would come out too brown or too sweet….any comments from people who have made these?

    1. Hi Tamara,

      I don’t have much experience cooking with molasses, but would imagine it could be overpowering (except maybe for gingerbread recipes and such.) I didn’t notice the apple flavor in the cookies, I think the apple butter really only added a little warm sweetness. It’s a relatively small amount (1/4 cup) so in terms of flavor, it didn’t make a noticeable difference. I’d say it enhanced the texture more than anything. This didn’t taste like an apple cookie or anything like that. 🙂

    2. Hi Tamara,
      The molasses is suggested as a substitute because that’s what I found worked well in place of the apple butter:) It should turn out well for you! Please let me know if you give this recipe a try! xT

  6. 5 stars
    This is like an extra special snack mix cookie! Can’t wait to make these for the Christmas holidays! I am constantly looking for your recipes with apple butter because I always make it with my leftover “apple mush” from homemade cider. You have the best recipes made with apple butter!

  7. Hi guys,

    I’m not from HBH, but I can share what worked for me. It includes only minor tweaks to steps 1 and 4.

    For step 1 I did this:

    1.) Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the pecans and pretzels (all) with 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Bake 8-10 minutes, until toasted. Once cool, roughly chop.

    (Note: I left out the cinnamon here, and used all the pretzels.)

    For step 4 I did this:

    4.) In a bowl, beat together the browned butter, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, apple butter, egg, and vanilla until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Fold in the chocolate chips, pecans, and pretzels.

    (Note: I added the cinnamon to the dry goods in this step, and stirred until combined, then added in everything that was cooked up in step 1 to the rest of the mix. The third tablespoon of maple syrup was mixed with the wet ingredients in the first sentence.)

    The coarse sugar I used at the end for rolling was a raw cane sugar which is very granular and works great for coating the dough balls before baking. Any coarse granular sugar should work here, like white granulated “regular” sugar.

    Another option could be to use your cinnamon here (instead of in step 4) and make cinnamon sugar with a 1:4 ratio of cinnamon to sugar, like 1 tablespoon of cinnamon to 4 tablespoons of sugar and roll your cookie balls in that before baking. I wanted the cinnamon to be evenly distributed throughout the cookies, so I just added it to step 4.

    Hope this helps and works well for you if you try the recipe…if not, that’s my bad, I’ll take the heat. 😀 I can’t speak for altitude…I’m at 70 feet above sea level, so not real high…but I didn’t adjust anything else.

    1. Haha. I’m guilty of a mistake as well. Sorry! :-0

      My “third tablespoon” of maple syrup mentioned in step 4 should have been 1/4 cup maple syrup. So add 1/4 cup of maple syrup there in step 4. 🙂

    2. Hi Aline,
      Amazing!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for making it and sharing what worked well for you! I fixed the recipe, the cinnamon sugar was a typo:) Have the best weekend!❄️

    3. 5 stars
      Made these today and they are delicious! Pretty much made them as is and was a little confused when she says to add pretzels at the end but after reading the comments, I just used some of the toasted ones. It’s strictly for aesthetic anyway.

      1. Hey Connie,
        Happy Sunday!🌾🌽 I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it and sharing your feedback! xx

    1. Hi Amanda,
      There is no cinnamon sugar in this recipe, you are just going to roll the dough balls in course sugar. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  8. 5 stars
    Made these after work today as a fun Friday treat. Very easy to make and a delicious dessert after a hectic week. Thanks for a great excuse to use the bag of pretzels in my cabinet that was about to go off! ❤️

    1. Hey Aline,
      Amazing!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for making it! Have the best weekend!❄️

  9. For the vanilla – is it 3 tsp total (so 2 tsp for the pecans/pretzels and remaining 1 tsp for the wet cookie ingredients) or 2 tsp for the pecans/pretzels and an additional 3 tsp for the wet cookie ingredients?

    1. Hi Deb,
      You are going to use 2 teaspoons in step 1 and 1 teaspoon in step 4. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  10. Are you supposed to toss the pecans and the pretzel sticks in the coating separately or together? Step 4 suggests I need to keep them divided. This looks so good, really want to get the recipe right and make it for our upcoming Friendsgiving!

    1. Hey Natalie,
      I just toss them altogether:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love these cookies! 🍪

  11. Seems to be a few errors in writing if the recipe. It says to add the pecans, chips, and 1/2 the pretzels to the dough. How do you add 1/2 the pretzels if you’ve already mixed them with pecans and maple syrup and baked first??? Also you say to roll in cinnamon sugar but there is no mention of preparing cinnamon sugar and if you mean to do so with the coarse sugar? Please clarify. Thanks.

    1. Hi Donna,
      You are going to mix in half of the pretzels from step 1:) The cinnamon sugar was a typo, I fixed it, you are just going to roll the dough in the course sugar. I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  12. What brand of chocolate do you use in these cookies? Also, the coarse sugar looks to have a tan tinge to it. Is this a particular kind? The one I use is white/clear. Thank you!!

    1. Hey Melissa,
      I like to use Chocolove bars, they are my fave!! The white course sugar is just fine to use as well! I hope you love these cookies 🍪!! xT

    1. No, it’s not you. There are often ingredients that are not mentioned in the actual recipe, or are mentioned in the blog post and not the recipe. It’s funny to read the comments, because it does happen A LOT.

        1. Buy the HBH cookbooks like I did, no errors there, all her recipes are great and I appreciate these recipes are shared on this FREE platform. Typos happen and Tieghan graciously answers questions. No need for snarky remarks….remember the manners your mama surely taught you😊

          1. No snarkiness meant, just stating facts. I have been reading this blog for a while now, and have made some recipes that are fantastic. It is good business sense that if you are going to have a blog and share recipes for readers to make, they should be proofread and correct, or people will not be able to trust them. Some of the readers of this blog don’t have a lot of experience baking and if there is a mistake in a recipe and it doesn’t turn out it could mean a lot of money wasted, as many of the ingredients are pricey. As mentioned in my previous comment, it happens more than “every once in a while”, and for that reason alone, I would not spend money on a cookbook. If I can’t trust the blog to be proofread, how can I trust the book to be? It doesn’t take a lot of time to do that, and it’s the difference between building trust in a brand or just having a little blog.

    2. Hey Adrienne,
      So sorry about that, you are not going to use cinnamon sugar here, just roll the dough in the coarse sugar in step 5. I hope this makes more sense!! xT