I don’t bake with alcohol very often, mostly because I have this notion that you won’t taste the flavor of the alcohol, just the alcohol itself. Well, I’m glad that I put that aside for these cookies because they are delicious. Just be prepared to do some dishes, because while no one step is difficult, you will get a few pans dirty making the different components.
For the Buttered Pecans:
- 1 1/2 cups pecans, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
For the Cookies:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted until browned
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 2 large eggs
- 12 ounces semi-sweet OR dark chocolate chips
- pecan halves, optional
To begin, melt your two sticks of butter in a small saucepan over medium-heat, stirring frequently until the color turns a rich brown and you have lovely brown bits on the bottom of your pan. This always takes me longer than I think, so don’t be surprised if it takes up to 10 minutes. Also, keep a close eye on it because it can go from perfect to burned very quickly. Once your butter has browned, put it in a heat safe container to solidify at room temperature. You can also rapidly cool it in the fridge. You will know it’s ready when you press on the top and it makes a small indention.
After your butter is ready, toast the pecans in a skillet on the stove. Melt the butter and add the pecans, stirring frequently til they are toasted and smell wonderful, about 5 minutes. Now you are ready to mix together the rest of the batter.
Preheat the oven to 375. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda; whisk well to combine then set aside until needed. In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine browned butter and both sugars and beat on medium-speed until light and fluffy; about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla and bourbon and beat until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating for 15 seconds after each addition. Turn mixer off. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour, stirring only until the flour begins to disappear. Fold in the chocolate chunks and buttered pecans. Roll 3 tablespoon sized scoops of dough between your palms to form a ball (they should be big; almost a 1/4 cup), then place on prepared sheets (make sure to leave enough room in between each cookie for inevitable spreading). Continue this process until all the dough has been rolled. Press a pecan on the top of each cookie dough mound, if desired. Place baking sheets in preheated oven, one at a time, and bake for 9 to 10 minutes, or until golden at the edges but still soft in the middle. (Do not over-bake! When you pull them out of the oven they should look a little raw still. I did 9 minutes and they were perfect.) Repeat with all cookie dough. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely.