PECAN AND BROWN BUTTER COOKIES

Beurre noisette or brown butter or ghee in South Asia and samna in the Middle East or hazelnut butter is basically a warm butter sauce with hazelnut color that can give very interesting fragrances of caramelized dried nuts in cooking or pastry.

The beurre noisette begins as a clear butter which, in the process of separating the fat from the solid milk residues, remained longer in the utensil in order to caramelize the milk components. These gave new flavors and aromas (from the Malliard reactions) to the clear butter, which is now hazelnut-colored. Hence the name!

Ingredients

For the Buttered Pecans:
  • 180 gr pecan, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
For the Butter Pecan Cookies:
  • 310 gr all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 230 gr unsalted butter, melted until browned
  • 200 gr dark brown sugar, packed
  • 125 gr granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 16 pecan halves, for decoration

Instructions

For the Buttered Pecans:
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in chopped pecans and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside until needed.
For the Butter Pecan Cookies:
  • In a large bowl combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda; whisk well to combine then set aside until needed.
  • Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
  • Remove pan from heat and pour butter into a large, heatproof mixing bowl.
  • Add in both sugars and whisk well to combine. Add in vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and continue beating until eggs are just combined.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour, stirring until just combined. Fold in the buttered pecans.
  • Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, and up to 2 days. If you refrigerate for more than 4 hours, you'll need to let the dough sit at room temperature until it's scoopable.
To Bake:
  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Scoop 3 tablespoon sized rounds of dough onto the prepared sheet, leaving 2 inches in between each cookie for spreading.
  • Firmly press a pecan half on top of each ball of cookie dough, if desired.
  • Then bake in preheated oven for 9 minutes, or until edges are set and the center is still a little jiggly.
  • Allow cookies to cool on the pan for 15 minutes, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.

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