Brown Butter Pecan Cookies



1 1/2 cups pecan halves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted until browned
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
16 pecan halves, for decoration, optional


Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in chopped pecans and cook until lightly toasted, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Set aside.
Melt 2 sticks (8 ounces) butter in a skillet over medium heat; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
Remove pan from heat and pour butter into a large, heatproof mixing bowl. Add sugars and whisk well to combine. Stir in vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined.
Fold in the flour, stirring until just combined.
Fold in the toasted buttered pecans.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, and up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop 3 tablespoon sized rounds of dough onto the prepared sheet, leaving 2 inches in between each cookie for spreading. Sprinkle warm cookies with a little granulated sugar, if desired.
Firmly press a pecan half on top of each ball of cookie dough, bake in preheated oven for 9 minutes, or until edges are set and the center is still a little soft.
Allow cookies to cool on the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

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