Salty-Sweet Butter Pecan Cookies

By on November 23, 2019

Salt and sugar go together like coffee and cream — each brings the other to new heights. These butterscotch cookies are heavily laced with toasted pecans and butterscotch chips. Love salty/sweet? They’re rolled in a mixture of sugar and salt before baking, which gives them over-the-top flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups pecan halves
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon butterscotch, vanilla-butternut, or butter-rum flavor
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar, cider or white
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups butterscotch chips
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, mixed with 1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, for topping*

*If you’re making smaller (teaspoon cookie scoop-sized) cookies, increase the coating to 1/2 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 3/4 to 2 teaspoons salt.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

Place the pecans in a single layer in a pan, and toast until they’ve darkened a bit and smell toasty, about 8 to 9 minutes. Set them aside to cool, then chop coarsely.

In a large bowl, combine the sugars, butter, shortening, salt, espresso powder, baking soda, vanilla, flavor, and vinegar, beating until smooth and creamy.

Beat in the egg, again beating until smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure everything is thoroughly combined.

Mix in the flour, then the chips and toasted nuts.

If you’re going to refrigerate the dough, cover the bowl, and refrigerate for about 4 to 5 hours; or overnight. Cookie dough refrigerated for 3 1/2 to 4 hours will spread moderately; chilled overnight, it will spread much less.

Mix the 1/3 cup sugar and salt for the coating, and put it in a bowl. Use a spoon (or a tablespoon cookie scoop) to scoop 1 1/2” balls of dough into the sugar/salt mixture, rolling to coat. Then transfer to the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2” between them on all sides; they’ll spread quite a bit. Or use a teaspoon cookie scoop to scoop 1 1/4” balls of dough.

Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes — 11 minutes for smaller cookies, 12 for larger ones. Their edges will be chestnut brown and their tops a lighter golden brown. (For dough that’s been refrigerated, add 30 seconds to 1 minute to those baking times.) Remove them from the oven, and cool on the pan till they’ve set enough to move without breaking. Repeat with the remaining dough.

 

Prep: 18 mins. Bake: 10 to 12 mins. Total: 34 mins. 

Yield: About 4 dozen 3” cookies, or 7 dozen 2 1/4” cookies 

 

All recipes and photos courtesy of King Arthur Flour. Go Forth and Bake!