Brown Sugar Butterscotch Pecan Cookies

For the past 6+ years I’ve been trying to perfect one of my husband’s favorite treats: butterscotch pecan cookies. And as you can probably guess there were lots of really epic fails along the way. Several “just ok” recipes, but never “the one,” until now! I took my bakery style chocolate chip cookies and turned them into these golden beauties. They’re thick, soft and filled with butterscotch chips and chopped pecans.

Brown Sugar Butterscotch Pecan Cookies

One of the biggest problems I had in the past was that I could never get my butterscotch cookies to hold their shape. They were always flat and way too buttery. I knew when I started reworking my bakery style cookies that I wouldn’t have that problem again. I opted for browned butter to increase the “nutty” flavor and used 100% brown sugar to keep these cookies extra thick and soft. Both were very good delicious decisions 🙂

Brown Sugar Butterscotch Pecan Cookies

Like my chocolate chip cookie recipe, these do require a bit of chill time in the refrigerator. Why? First, we browned the butter versus creaming a stick of room temperature butter, so naturally the dough is a bit more greasy and soft. Second, we want to make sure that the dough is firm to prevent the cookies from spreading too thin while baking (and it gives the cornstarch time to do it’s job). And third, the flavor of the cookie develops as it rests. I gave these cookies 2 hours in the refrigerator and they baked up perfectly! If you notice that your cookies are a little round, gently pat the dough so that it has a flat top prior to sticking the next batch in the oven. These cookies should be about ½″- ¾″ thick after baking.

Brown Sugar Butterscotch Pecan Cookies

These brown sugar butterscotch pecan cookies are a new favorite- and husband approved 🙂 I know I’ll be making this recipe time & time again!I hope you’ll give this recipe a try too, you’re going to love these cookies!

Brown Sugar Butterscotch Pecan Cookies

Brown Sugar Butterscotch Pecan Cookies Recipe

Thick brown sugar cookies made with browned butter and filled with butterscotch chips and pecans. These cookies are THE BEST!!
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Chill: 2 hrs
Servings: 3 dozen cookies
Calories: 206kcal
Author: Life Made Simple Team
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  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter - room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup pecans - chopped


  • In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Swirl occasionally until it begins to foam. The butter will pop, once that stops, you will begin to see brown bits for and it will smell nutty. Let the mixture cook for 1-2 more minutes and then strain through a mesh sieve into a small bowl. Discard the browned bits.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt, set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl of the bowl of a stand mixer beat the browned butter and brown sugar for 1-2 minutes. Add the vanilla extract, then the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, mix until just combined. Fold in the butterscotch chips and pecans. Place the dough into an air-tight container and chill for 2 hours, preferably 24. The longer the dough chills, the better it tastes.
  • When ready to bake, set out the dough for 20 minutes prior to baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats, set aside.
  • Using a standard size cookie scoop (1.5 tablespoons) place dough onto the prepared baking sheets (12 per sheet). Sprinkle the tops with a little sea salt, then place in the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown on the edges and lightly golden brown on the tops. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3 minutes on the sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


-The dough for these cookies gets better with time. You can store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 171mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 219IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe source: Life Made Simple

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About the Author


Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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  1. Hi there. I saw they were called browned butter cookies, but the instructions don’t actually call for browning the butter. Is that right? I could just be missing something 🙂 thanks!!

    1. Um hello! Somehow I totally skipped that part! Thank you so much for letting me know!!! The recipe has been updated 🙂

  2. Thank You!! I think?? After making (and eating) these, I had to swim and go to the gym a few extra times to burn off the calories… and well worth it!! I don’t normally have a sweet tooth but carmel or butterscotch are my go to, when I do. Also, I don’t often bake. These were a bit challenging, but worth the effort and wait. I kept dipping into the raw cookie dough while it was in the fridge… soooo good.

  3. Hi there. I made these delish cookies. My only question…the dough was very dry and crumbly and difficult to mold into balls. Do you think I did something wrong?

  4. These turened out really good… I loved the combination of flavors, I never tried browning the better before love the idea <3

  5. Hi! I’m going to attempt to make these for my boyfriend tomorrow and I am terrible at baking. Does it matter if I use dark brown sugar or light brown sugar? Also any tips you may have to lessen my chance at ruining these is much appreciated! Thank you 🙂

  6. Hey! How long can I keep the dough in the fridge? My son’s birthday is coming up and I’d like to prepare it a few days ahead. Thanks!!

  7. I tried your recipe yesterday but after removing the dough from the fridge and leaving it out for 20-30 minutes, it was still very hard to make it into a ball. When I was rolling it to put on the baking sheet, some started ‘cracking’. Am I doing something wrong? Also, is it possible to only add the butterscotch chips on top of each cookie before putting it in the oven as some of the cookies ended up with alot of butterscotch.