brown butter pecan sandies and cinnamon icebox cookies

Sometimes you just need a good ‘ol butter cookie.  A cookie that is in your freezer at the end of the day, waiting for you to come home and reward yourself with a few slices of dough or a couple of crisp, buttery cookies, warm and fresh out of the oven.  Can you hear the brown butter pecan sandies and brown butter cinnamon icebox cookies yelling “Pick me! Pick me! I’ll be there for you, promise!”?

Brown butter pecan sandies and cinnamon icebox cookies are simple to throw together and keep in your freezer for friends who pop by unannounced, or for your late-night cookie cravings.

Brown butter pecan sandies and cinnamon icebox cookies are simple to throw together and keep in your freezer for friends who pop by unannounced, or for your late-night cookie cravings.

Brown butter pecan sandies spawned from a near flood incident.  At the very end of 2015, the rains came down and the floods came up, and our apartment almost drowned in the waters.  We are so fortunate to have loving family nearby who all dropped everything to haul sandbags and furniture and save our home in the midst of the rising waters.  There was no way to possibly repay them for all that they did and for how much they helped, so Will and I decided the least we could do was host everyone for dinner.  We wanted to incorporate and poke fun at the crazy traumatic incident that brought everyone together a month before and that was the reason for the thankfulness dinner, so the idea of pecan sandies emerged.  Or, more appropriately named pecan sandie bags, in this incident ;).

Brown butter pecan sandies and cinnamon icebox cookies are simple to throw together and keep in your freezer for friends who pop by unannounced, or for your late-night cookie cravings.

While pecan sandies make for a great play on words, these are even better than your average pecan sandie.  Made with brown butter and toasted pecans, they have a deep, rich flavor and a shortbread-like texture.  They are amazing warm out of the oven, but also pair perfectly with your coffee the next day (talk about the best coffee break ever).  Throw in a dash of bourbon, and the flavors become even more enhanced.  Brown butter pecan sandies and cinnamon icebox cookies are both simple to make, but have such complex flavors.  My parents call these crack cookies, because you eat one and you just want another and another and another.  I can’t disagree.

Brown butter pecan sandies and cinnamon icebox cookies are simple to throw together and keep in your freezer for friends who pop by unannounced, or for your late-night cookie cravings.

One of the best parts – these are ONE BOWL COOKIES!  One bowl = less dishes!  Woohoo!  I’ll go ahead and throw out the disclaimer that they do need some time to chill, but other than that they only take about 15 minutes to prep and are so straightforward.  Brown the butter, mix ingredients in, chill, slice and bake and eat!  I made a cinnamon variation for those times you aren’t in a nutty, chunks-in-my-cookies kind of mood.  While they use the same cookie base and method, the flavors are surprisingly very different, but both so so good!  I try to keep a roll of dough in the freezer at all times for when those late-night cookie cravings hit, or for when unexpected visitors pop by to visit.  These are the easiest to slice, throw on a pan, and pour some milk and coffee while they bake.  Bonus, they make the whole apartment smell AMAZING.  What’s not to love here?

Brown butter pecan sandies and cinnamon icebox cookies are simple to throw together and keep in your freezer for friends who pop by unannounced, or for your late-night cookie cravings.

Brown butter pecan sandies and cinnamon icebox cookies are simple to throw together and keep in your freezer for friends who pop by unannounced, or for your late-night cookie cravings.

Brb, making these cookies again.

Brown Butter Pecan Sandies and Brown Butter Cinnamon Icebox Cookies

Brown Butter Pecan Sandies
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2- 2 ¼ cups flour
1-2 tablespoons bourbon (reserve to use if your dough is too dry)
1 ½ cup raw pecans, very finely chopped, separated

Place the butter in a medium saucepan with tall sides. Stirring often, allow the butter to melt, sputter and brown until it is amber in color and smells toasted. This should take about 5-8 minutes. The butter will bubble and foam then die down. It should be browned once the bubbling has settled. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. It doesn’t have to be cold, just cool enough so you can touch it without burning yourself.

Stir in the vanilla, granulated sugar, brown sugar and salt. Add 2 cups of flour and stir until the ingredients are fully combined. If the dough is too moist to form a ball and hold it in your hands, add the remaining ¼ cup flour, a few teaspoons at a time. If the dough is too dry and crumbly, add 1-2 tablespoons bourbon or water. Stir in ¾ cup the chopped pecans. Roll the dough into a log shape, about 2 inches in diameter. On a large cutting board, roll the log of dough in the rest of the chopped pecans, pressing down all around to ensure that the pecan coating will stay in place. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour, or refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper.

Unwrap the chilled cookie dough onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife cut the log of dough into ½ inch slices. Do not move the knife back and forth in a sawing motion; just use one quick forward cutting motion with your knife. Place the cookies on your prepared baking sheets, about an inch apart. Bake for 10-14 minutes, just until the edges begin to turn golden. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet then carefully transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely. They are a bit fragile so be careful as you move them from the tray to the rack.

Brown Butter Cinnamon Icebox Cookies
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
2- 2 ¼ cups flour
1-2 tablespoons water (reserve to use if your dough is too dry)
½ cup coarse turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Place the butter in a medium saucepan with tall sides. Stirring often, allow the butter to melt, sputter and brown until it is amber in color and smells toasted. This should take about 5-8 minutes. The butter will bubble and foam then die down. It should be browned once the bubbling has settled. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. It doesn’t have to be cold, just cool enough so you can touch it without burning yourself.

Stir in the vanilla, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt and 2 ½ teaspoons cinnamon. Add 2 cups of flour and stir until the ingredients are fully combined. If the dough is too moist to form a ball and hold it in your hands, add the remaining ¼ cup flour, a few teaspoons at a time. If the dough is too dry and crumbly, add 1-2 tablespoons water. Roll the dough into a log shape, about 2 inches in diameter. In a small bowl, combine the turbinado sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar. On a large cutting board, roll the log of dough the cinnamon sugar mixture, pressing down all around to ensure that the pecan coating will stay in place. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour, or refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper.

Unwrap the chilled cookie dough onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife cut the log of dough into ½ inch slices. Do not move the knife back and forth in a sawing motion; just use one quick forward cutting motion with your knife. Place the cookies on your prepared baking sheets, about an inch apart. Bake for 10-14 minutes, just until the edges begin to turn golden. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet then carefully transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely. They are a bit fragile so be careful as you move them from the tray to the rack.

 

Cookies adapted from Half Baked Harvest

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