Oh my goodness guys, these cookies. These buttery, nutty, and crumbly brown butter maple pecan cookies are made with toasty brown butter and filled with roasted pecans. Dipped in a maple glaze made with maple syrup and a sprinkle of pecans, these cookies are so incredibly delicious, and would be the perfect addition to your holiday cookie platter. Bring these to your next cookie swap and they are sure to be a hit.
Why You Will Love These Cookies
- These brown butter maple pecan cookies are similar in texture to a shortbread cookie, so the cookies will have a soft, sandy, shortbread texture when baked.
- These cookies are buttery, and nutty, toasty and deep in flavor. Brown butter is the star of these cookies and provides so much flavor.
- The maple glaze takes these cookies to the next level. Using real maple syrup in this glaze along with a little bit of a good quality maple extract, really amps up the maple flavor. Maple, brown butter and pecans are a knock out flavor combination.
Fine sea salt
All purpose flour
Pecans - finely chopped and toasted
Maple syrup - Use real maple syrup, not pancake syrup.
Maple extract - Maple syrup has a mild maple flavor. The extract gives some extra maple flavor.
Cream, milk - optional
- Brown the butter until deep golden brown. Cool to just warm.
- Refrigerate the brown butter until solid but still scoopable.
- Beat together brown butter, confectioners sugar and salt.
- Beat in the flour and pecans until just combined. Add a few tablespoons of cream if needed.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface or mat and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
- Flatten the dough to a disc and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350F and line two cookie sheets with parchment.
- Roll the dough to ¼" thick and cut out cookie shapes. I used a 3" fluted cookie cutter.
- Place cookies on cookie sheet and chill for 20 minutes.
- Bake the cookies until they begin to brown around the edges and the center is set.
- Cool completely on the cookie sheet before glazing.
- Whisk together the confectioners sugar, maple syrup, maple extract and salt until combined. Whisk in water as needed to thin the glaze.
- Dip the cookies into the glaze, halfway, then place on parchment paper to dry. Sprinkle with pecans. Let the glaze set before serving.
- Once chilled and ready to use, roll out the dough while it is still wrapped in plastic wrap. The dough will stretch the plastic wrap and will be especially helpful in getting the dough to keep its shape, and getting a head start in rolling it out.
- Browning the butter takes minutes, but cooling and solidifying the butter takes some time. You can make the brown butter in advance, up to a week ahead if needed. Exact times for cooling in the recipe card are estimates.
- With any cookie dough that needs to be chilled, allow the dough to come to cool room temperature before rolling it out, if you've let the dough chill to the point the butter has firmed back up. Trying to roll it out cold is not recommended. It will be near impossible to keep the dough together and will be incredibly difficult to roll it out.
Storage and Freezing
Cookie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Baked and unglazed cookies can be stored in an airtight container and frozen for up to 3 months. They can also be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Glazed cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 3-5 days. Keep the cookies from sticking to each other by layering them in a single layer, with layers divided by parchment or wax paper.
Brown butter can be tricky, because we're not always sure how much water evaporates during cooking. I make these cookies often and never need to add any liquid. But, if the dough seems too dry when mixing, you can add up to three tablespoons of cream, half and half, milk, or yogurt to the dough. You want the dough to just be able to hold together, and no large pockets of dry flour to remain. Adding just a small amount of liquid will not effect the texture or flavor of the cookies. However, too much liquid can make the cookies tough, so use only as needed.
With the first round of chilling, the dough is not being chilled to keep it cold necessarily, but it's to let the dough rest and let the flour properly absorb the liquid and to relax the gluten so that it is easier to roll.
The second round of chilling is for the butter to harden a bit so the cookies will keep their shape when baking.
Rolling the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper or wax paper, will help prevent any sticking and make the dough easier and faster to roll. Bonus, it's also less mess. I almost exclusively do this with most roll out doughs these days.
More Cookie Recipes to Try
Brown Butter Maple Pecan Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup confectioners sugar
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2-3 tablespoons cream or half and half (if needed)
- ½ cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped (plus some for sprinkling)
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon maple extract
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- In a medium sauce pan over medium low heat, cook the butter until it is a deep golden brown color and smells nutty and toasted, about 5 -7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.1 cup unsalted butter
- Let the butter cool to luke warm, for about an hour. Place the cooled butter in the refrigerator until solid but scoopable and still soft, for an additional 1-2 hours. The texture will be similar to shortening, or tub butter.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the brown butter, confectioners' sugar and the salt until well combined.½ cup confectioners sugar, ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Beat in the flour and the pecans until just combined, and no large pockets of flour remains in the bowl. If the dough is still dry and sandy, stream in the cream until the dough starts to come together.2 cups all purpose flour, ½ cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped (plus some for sprinkling), 2-3 tablespoons cream or half and half (if needed)
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface or a non-stick mat, and form the dough into a ball. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and flatten to a disc, about 1" high. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two cookies sheets with parchment.
- On a lightly floured surface or a non-stick mat, roll out the dough to about ¼" thick.
- Using a round fluted cookie cutter, cut out rounds out of the dough and place on the parchment cookie sheets, leaving about 2" between the cookies. Chill the cookies for 20 minutes.
- Bake the cookies for 15-17 minutes until the edges are just starting to lightly brown and the centers of the cookies look set. Cool the cookies completely on the baking sheet.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar, maple syrup, and maple extract until smooth. Add the water as needed. The glaze consistency should be thick enough to coat the cookie, similar to melted chocolate in texture.2 cups confectioners sugar, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 2-3 tablespoons water, ½ teaspoon maple extract, ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Dip the cookies into the glaze, halfway, then place on parchment paper.
- While the glaze is still wet, sprinkle with finely chopped pecans. Let the glaze set before serving or storing.