Have you ever tried something that literally makes your entire body exude happiness? Well, these are those types of cookies. These brown butter pecan cookie bars are perfect for gathering with family and friends. Plus, brown butter makes everything better. Wipe that drool away, and get to baking these!
Cookies are perfect all year long, and while I love making them for holidays, a sunday baking with family and friends is just great.
What is brown butter?
Brown butter turns milk solids of butter brown, so essentially it's lightly 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. Below, I'll map out exactly what to look for when making brown butter, and you'll lean on this fun little trick every time you make cookies.
What are the ingredients for these cookie bars?
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 below exactly.
- 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 as much as you'd like.
See the recipe card below for specific information about quantities.
How do I make this recipe?
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:
Add the butter to a light-bottomed medium pan and turn flame on to a medium heat. It will begin to sputter and foam. 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.
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:
Preheat the oven to 350º. Cream the browned butter and sugars together with a hand mixer. Add in eggs one at a time and mix. and vanilla extract mix. Add in flour and baking soda and mix. Add chocolate chips and pecans. Fold into dough.
Pour the batter into a 9x9 baking tin lined with parchment. Spread evenly so that the batter is distributed throughout the tin.
Bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes, letting cool for 15 before slicing.
Hint: Don't worry about letting the batter chill in the fridge before baking. This recipe is meant to be baked right away as it will bake in container versus as individual cookies.
Recipe Swaps and Substitutions
Looking to make this cookie gluten free? Don't prefer pecans? Make this version your own with some tried and true swaps:
- Flour - instead of using all purpose flour, swap for gluten free flour! I would suggest a 1:1 flour, as I have not tested with an oat or almond flour with this recipe and cannot attest to the change in texture.
- Nuts - use walnuts if you like those instead.
- Sugar - you can easily swap the brown sugar for some coconut sugar if that's your preference.
Brown Butter Uses:
I absolutely love using brown butter in a variety of ways:
- Pastas - I love using brown butter over some tortellini (recipe coming asap!)
Make a cup of brown butter and you've got a million ways to use it!
Kitchen Equipment and Tools
Having a few trusty baking tools in your kitchen really makes a difference. Here are a few must-haves if you're looking to make delicious cookies every single time:
- 9x9 tin
- Parchment paper
- Hand or stand mixer - I only have a hand mixer, and I love it!
One other kitchen tool that I rely on heavily is the use of a scale. Kitchen scales help to make sure that the recipe turns out the exact same each time. A gram is a gram, however, a cup is not the same as a cup for me and for you. Why? We all scoop flour or sugar differently, so when we measure, we are getting the same weight each time. I highly suggest investing in a quality scale, I promise you it makes a difference. Some of my favorites are listed here.
You can store any cookies in a plastic or glass container and can be left on the countertop for up to 5 days. If you have leftover or want to make a batch for another day, freeze the cookie dough in an air tight freezer storage bag and be sure to label the date in which the dough was formed. Also, indicate the bake time and temp: bake at 325º for 18 minutes.
Add some flaky sea salt to the tops of the cookies for an added salty sweet flavor.
Hungry for more?
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Chewy Brown Butter Pecan Cookie Bars
- 1 9x9 tin
- 1 sheet of parchment paper
- 1 spatula
- 1 large mixing bowl
- measuring cups and spoons
- 1 hand or stand mixer
- 1 kitchen scale optional
- 256 grams all purpose flour 2 cups
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 8 oz butter browned
- 100 grams cane sugar
- 125 grams dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup pecans halves
- 1 cup chocolate chips
For the Brown Butter
- Add the butter to a light-bottomed medium pan and turn flame on to a medium heat. It will begin to sputter and foam.
- 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.
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 350º.
- Cream the browned butter and sugars together with a hand mixer.
- Add in eggs one at a time, then pour in the vanilla and whisk to combine.
- To the same bowl, add in flour and baking soda and mix.
- Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans.
- Once the batter is formed, pour the batter into a 9x9 baking tin lined with parchment. Spread evenly so that the batter is distributed throughout the tin.
- Bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes, letting cool for 15 before slicing.