If I had to choose between a cake, sweet bread, or cookie for dessert, I'll always choose a cake or sweet bread. I don't normally crave cookies when I want something sweet. This is very much changing right now with all the pictures of Christmas cookies swarming the internet. Starting December 1st, fellow food bloggers started sharing their favorite Christmas cookie and so I decided to join in on the fun and be a part of the #virtualcookieparty! To combine my love for pastries with my cookie craving, I went a different route and made a skillet cookie. Imagine a large cookie with a warm gooey center and crisp edges and that's what you get with this southern butter pecan skillet cookie. Top it with ice cream and get ready to loosen that belt.
Southern Butter Pecan Skillet Cookie
- 1 cup butter (227 grams)
- 1 cup pecans (120 grams)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup brown sugar (200 grams)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (370 grams)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup caramel sauce, plus extra for serving (80 grams)
- vanilla ice cream, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt 1 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Continue to cook the butter until it begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl of your stand mixer. Chill the butter in the freezer until it begins to solidify but not completely, about 10-15 minutes. The butter should have the same consistency as softened butter.
- Toast 1 cup pecans until lightly browned, about 6-7 minutes. Chop the pecans into small pieces and toss in ½ teaspoon cinnamon.
- Combine 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour with ½ teaspoon baking soda and ½ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Remove the butter from the freezer and cream together with 1 cup brown sugar and ¼ cup granulated sugar until well combined, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time until well incorporated. Add 2 teaspoon vanilla and mix to combine.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring just until combined. Stir in the chopped pecans and transfer the cookie batter to a 10-inch cast-iron pan. Pour ¼ cup caramel on top of the batter and use a knife to swirl in the caramel.
- Bake the southern butter pecan skillet cookie for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. The center of the cookie will still be slightly gooey. Let cool for 10 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream and extra caramel sauce if desired.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
What makes this butter pecan cookie different than all the other butter pecan cookie recipes? Firstly, there's brown butter, because all great things start with brown butter. Secondly, there's caramel swirled into the cookie batter. And lastly, the cookie is baked in a skillet making it a giant skillet cookie! Ready to get started?
Brown butter is possibly one of my favorite things. Even the smell of browning butter is intoxicating. Heating butter evaporates the water content, concentrating the flavor and leaving you with nutty butter. So good. After the butter has browned, chill it until it becomes more solid but not completely. We're going to cream it with sugar so you want it to still be soft.
Why even bother chilling the butter? By creaming the fat with the sugar, you get a more cakey cookie. If you add the sugar directly to the warm butter, the cookie will be denser.
While the butter is chilling, toast the pecans in the oven until golden brown. Chop the pecans into small pieces and toss them in cinnamon to give them extra flavor.
If you don't have a stand mixer, you can easily prepare the butter pecan skillet cookie with a hand mixer or with your sheer strength (just kidding, it's very easy to mix by hand). Spread the cookie batter into a cast-iron pan or oven-safe pan and swirl in that caramel sauce. The batter is thick so use a paring knife to help swirl the caramel.
Bake the skillet cookie for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. The center will still be a little gooey but that's okay! You want a little gooey and besides, the cookie will continue cooking as it rests for 10 minutes.
No skillet cookie is complete with ice cream. Put a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of the cookie, drizzle on more caramel if you dare, and grab a spoon. Maybe two spoons if you want to share.
Now this southern butter pecan skillet cookie is what I'm talking about. It's sweet, it's nutty, it's warm, it's delicious.
For more cookie inspiration check out these peanut butter oatmeal spiked raisin cookies!