Salty-Sweet Butterscotch Pecan Cookies

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Ok people. These are the best cookies I’ve ever had. I thought nothing could top my favorite spiced molasses cookies, but they have finally met their match in these heavenly gems. If you are a fan of sweet and salty flavor profiles, you will fall head over heels in love with these. The magic begins with a great cookie dough, then you add butterscotch chips and toasted pecans, and then roll them in a sugar and salt mixture and bake. David took the majority of them into work, and I believe they created quite a stir. Note- they taste even better the next day. If you lay these out for Santa, I guarantee you will make it to the very top of his “good” list.

adapted from: King Arthur Flour
makes: about 4 dozen

1 1/3 cup pecan halves
2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2/3 cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter

½ cup vegetable shortening
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 large egg
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups butterscotch chips
1/3 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon (or more) salt, for topping

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

Place the pecans in a single layer in a pan, and toast till they’ve darkened a bit and smell toasty, about 8 to 9 minutes. Leave whole or roughly chop. Set them aside.

In a large bowl, combine the sugars, butter, shortening, salt, espresso powder, baking soda, vanilla, and vinegar, beating until smooth and creamy. Beat in the egg until smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula. Mix in flour, then chips and toasted nuts.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4-5 hours or overnight.* (see below)

Mix 1/3 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Scoop 1 ½ inch balls of dough and roll to coat. Transfer to prepared baking sheets with 2 inches of space in between.

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Bake for 10-11 minutes or 12 for larger ones. The edges will be chestnut brown and the tops a lighter golden brown.

Remove from the oven, let them cool on the pan for a bit, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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* If you bake the cookies right away, you’ll have a flatter, lighter-colored cookie. Refrigerate it for 4 to 5 hours and the cookies will be flat, but not “puddle-y”. Chill 8 hours or overnight, and the cookie dries out a bit, with some of the starch in the flour turning to sugar. The cookies will be darker, more caramel-y and won’t spread nearly as much. If you have the time, this is the best option. I made the dough in the morning and baked the cookies in the evening. The dough ended up being in the fridge for about 8 or 9 hours.

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2 Replies to “Salty-Sweet Butterscotch Pecan Cookies”

  1. Those cookies look and sound phenomenal! I wish I had one right now. I love the combination of salty sweet and nuts. What could be better? Do you use regular salt or kosher salt when you roll the dough balls in the salt/ sugar combination?

  2. The Ruby Spoon says:

    Marge, they are so good! I’m going to bring some home for Christmas for you guys (along with some molasses spice cookies as well). I used table salt for the rolling, but I think kosher salt would be good too, maybe even better since the crystals are bigger.

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