Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ingredients
For the Buttered Pecans:
1 and 1/2 cups pecan halves, finely chopped
1 and 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies:
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted until browned
2 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (don’t pack the flour into the measuring cup!)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons bourbon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
12 ounces semi-sweet OR dark chocolate, roughly chopped into chunks
24 pecan halves, for decoration, optional

Instructions
For the Buttered Pecans:
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in chopped pecans and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside until needed.

For the Brown Butter:
Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook for about 3 minutes – stirring almost constantly – until the butter has browned. Pour the brown butter into a heatproof bowl, being sure to scrape all of the “toasted” bits into the bowl as well. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or until the butter is at room temperature. You’ll know the butter is at room temperature when you press a finger into the top and it makes a slight indentation. It should not be liquid at all.
Once the butter is at room temperature, you’re ready to get baking!

For the Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside until needed.

In a large bowl combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda; whisk well to combine then set aside until needed.

In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine browned butter and both sugars and beat on medium-speed until light and fluffy; about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla and bourbon and beat until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating for 15 seconds after each addition. Turn mixer off.

Using a wooden spoon or sturdy rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour, stirring only until the flour begins to disappear. Fold in the chocolate chunks and buttered pecans.

Roll 3 tablespoon sized scoops of dough between your palms to form a ball (they should be big; almost a 1/4 cup), then place on prepared sheets (make sure to leave enough room in between each cookie for inevitable spreading). Continue this process until all the dough has been rolled. Press a pecan on the top of each cookie dough mound, if desired.

Place baking sheets in preheated oven, one at a time, and bake for 9 to 10 minutes, or until golden at the edges but still soft in the middle. Repeat with all cookie dough. Sprinkle cookies with sea salt right when they come out of the oven. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely.

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