Brown Butter Pecan Cookie Bars

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I will fully admit I'm not the biggest cookie person. I will eat cookies and I will make cookies, I just prefer other types of desserts and sweets. That all changed after I made these insanely decadent brown butter pecan cookie bars. These cookie bars are the best dessert recipe I have on my blog, aside maybe from my homemade tiramisu and my galettes, but damn these are delicious, and excellent for any family gathering.

Brown Butter Pecan Cookie Bars

One of my favorite aspects about this recipe is the beautiful combination of the brown butter paired with the pecans, hence the name of the recipe. Brown butter is one of those things that just makes every recipe better. It does mean there's an additional step to this recipe, but because we are making cookie bars, there's no need for the recipe to chill or to use just softened butter. This is a "whip up and pop in the oven" type of recipe and as we know, easy recipes is my jam.

Why brown the butter?

Well, brown butter essentially turns the milk solids of the butter brown, so essentially it's lightly burning or toasting the butter until it forms a nutty, super aromatic butter. Browned butter gives anything whether sweet or savory an intense flavor, but it can easily go from just right to OMG WE BURNT THE BUTTER in a matter of seconds.

Brown Butter Tips

When making the brown butter, you really want to stay near the stove the entire time. Walking away or turning to answer a text can be game over in a split second. From my experience, here are a few things to remember:

  1. Do not use a dark-bottomed pan. You want to really observe when the butter goes from pale yellow, to amber, to darker in color as this is the process of browning the butter. Stainless steel pan is almost necessary here.
  2. Continue to stir the butter on a medium/medium-low flame. I found that this really helped the butter get to the amber color I was going for in this recipe.
  3. Once the butter gives a deep nutty or toasty scent, and you can see small dark bits in the pan, turn off the heat and pour immediately into a bowl. Let chill for a few minutes before you need to use it. Adding any hot butter to a mix that calls for egg will essentially scramble the egg. SO, remember, let it chill.

ANYONE can brown butter, trust me. I used to be so scared to try it, but once I finally let go of the fear of trying something new in the kitchen, I was very pleasantly surprised.

How else can I use brown butter?

I absolutely love using brown butter in a variety of ways:

  • Muffins
  • Cookies
  • Loaves
  • Pastries
  • Pastas
  • Fish
  • Chicken

Make a cup of brown butter and you've got a million ways to use it!

Ingredients

These brown butter pecan cookie bars require the staple ingredients when it comes to cookies, with the addition of the browned butter and pecans. Oh, don't forget a ridiculous amount of chocolate chips because, hello, we love chocolate chips.

  • Butter: The best part of this recipe is the brown butter, so remember to follow the steps exactly.
  • Eggs
  • Sugar: We use both dark brown sugar and cane sugar. The dark brown sugar gives a deeper flavor and more of a molasses flavor. If you want to use light brown, that will do fine here too.
  • Vanilla extract
  • All purpose flour: I don't typically use anything else other than AP flour for my cookies.
  • Baking soda: helps the cookie bars rise
  • Pecans: I bought halves and just broke them apart with my fingers. You'll probably need around one cup
  • Chocolate chips: the limit does not exist here. ADD THEM ALL.

Directions

As I mentioned, this recipe does not require chill time other than letting the butter chill in the fridge once it's browned. Otherwise, make and bake!

For the Brown Butter:

  1. Add the butter to a light-bottomed medium pan and turn flame on to a medium heat. It will begin to sputter and foam.
  2. Continue to stir the butter and keep on a medium heat, ensuring the solids do not burn at the bottom. The aromas from the browned butter should be intense with nutty and buttery notes.
  3. Let the butter brown; keeping an eye on the butter for 3-4 minutes and turn off the heat. Scrape the browned bits and the browned butter into a bowl and set in the fridge for approximately 1 hour.

For the Bars:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Cream the browned butter and sugars together with a hand mixer.
  2. Add in eggs one at a time and mix. and vanilla extract mix.
  3. Add in flour and baking soda and mix. Add chocolate chips and pecans. Fold into dough.
  4. Pour the batter into a 9x9 baking tin lined with parchment. Spread evenly so that the batter is distributed throughout the tin.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes, letting cool for 15 before slicing.

I can't tell you how amazing these cookie bars are, you're just going to have to make them for yourself and then report back to me saying, "WOW Morgan, you are right. These are the best cookie bars I have ever had." Don't say I didn't tell ya!

Hungry for more?

Looking to make more cookies? Here's some of my favorites:

Brown Butter Pecan Cookie Bars

Thanksgiving desserts don't always have to revolve around pies. These brown butter pecan chocolate chip cookie bars are perfect for gathering with family and friends and basking in all that gratitude we share during this time of year. Plus, brown butter makes everything better.

Author:
Morgan

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose (256g)
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar (50g)
  • 1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar (250g)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 sticks butter (1 cup), browned and cooled (16 tbsp or 8oz)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Instructions

For the Brown Butter:

  1. Add the butter to a light-bottomed medium pan and turn flame on to a medium heat. It will begin to sputter and foam.
  2. Continue to stir the butter and keep on a medium heat, ensuring the solids do not burn at the bottom. The aromas from the browned butter should be intense with nutty and buttery notes.
  3. Let the butter brown; keeping an eye on the butter for 3-4 minutes and turn off the heat. Scrape the browned bits and the browned butter into a bowl and set in the fridge for approximately 1 hour.

For the Bars:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Cream the browned butter and sugars together with a hand mixer.
  2. Add in eggs one at a time and mix. and vanilla extract mix.
  3. Add in flour and baking soda and mix. Add chocolate chips and pecans. Fold into dough.
  4. Pour the batter into a 9x9 baking tin lined with parchment. Spread evenly so that the batter is distributed throughout the tin.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes, letting cool for 15 before slicing.

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