Chocolate Brown Butter and Pecan Sandwich Cookies

I dream a whole lot. Sleeping dreams, not future life goal dreams. While that's not especially unusual, the fact that I remember almost every one of my dreams is a bit different. I can remember dreams I've had months ago. They're like memories to me. I can describe a scene in my dream the same way that I would describe my own kitchen.

I can never control my actions in my dreams, either. It's like I'm watching a movie through my eyes. Very weird.

On top of that, I never realize that I'm dreaming. Whatever is happening in my dream is 100% real to me. It doesn't matter how strange or ridiculous the dream is, it feels real. This is a double edged sword. It means the good dreams are some of the coolest experiences I've had (is that sad?). But, it means my nightmares are terrifying.


I had an especially awesome dream about two years ago. I was in a big hilly meadow surrounded by pine trees. It a beautifully sunny day with no clouds in the sky and I was learning how to fly. I would run down one of the hills with my arms outstretched and jump. Each time, I would stay in the air longer. This went on for what seemed like hours. Eventually, I would be flying for minutes at a time. I could feel the wind on my face and birds were flying beside me. And it felt completely real. 

Bad dreams, unfortunately, are much more common. I can have one almost every night, or I can have one once every few weeks. I have created two categories for my bad dreams: scary and personal.

Scary dreams will have monsters, people threatening me, or scary situations. One of my biggest fears in small, dark, underwater places. I had a dream that I was stuck in an elevator that was slowly filling up with water and then the lights went out. Shout out to my brain for making my worst fear a reality.

Personal dreams involve people I'm close to doing things they wouldn't normally do, like be mean or not know who I am. These are more often worse than scary dreams. When I wake up after a scary dream, I know that spikes aren't going to shoot out of my floor, walls, and ceiling. But if I have a dream where my best friends are making fun of me, it hits closer to home.

One of the worst parts about my nightmares in that the feelings stick with me when I wake up, sometimes for hours. Particularly bad dreams can leave me feeling crappy for the whole day. People tend to give me weird looks when they ask me what's wrong and I reply with, "I had a bad dream last night"...

Even though the bad dreams are terrible to experience, sometimes I appreciate the experience it gives me. It's like watching a sad movie. Even though the main character that you were totally attached to dies, you didn't hate the movie and wish you never watched it. Same with bad dreams.

It's cool to look back on my dreams and remember them so clearly. The stories I come up with when I'm dreaming can be pretty funny when I look back on them. And the reality of it makes the good dreams absolutely beautiful. The weird thing is like I don't know if I would give up dreaming if I had the choice. 

I've never met anyone who as vivid and memorable dreams as I have. It makes me feel a little bit special, I guess. 


Do my dreams have absolutely anything to do with these sandwich cookies? No.

Do I think I am terribly interesting and you are dying to read more about my little quirks? Occasionally. 

And that's why this post is about my weird dreams.


Chocolate Brown Butter and Pecan Sandwich Cookies

Brown Butter Pecan Filling
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
3/4 cup powdered (icing) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Pecan Cookies
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (118 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 organic free-range egg
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the 1 1/4 cup of pecans on a baking sheet and spread them out evenly. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until they are slightly darker and fragrant. Let them cool on a baking sheet completely before chopping them. Turn off the oven.

For the brown butter filling, place the butter in a small saucepan. Melt the butter over medium heat. The butter will bubble and foam for a few minutes and darken quickly. Brown solids will sink to the bottom and the liquid will turn a golden brown. Once this happens, immediately remove from the heat and pour the browned butter into a small bowl.

In a food processor, combine the brown butter, powdered sugar, pecans, vanilla extract, and salt. Pulse until a thick paste forms, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Remove the filling from the food processor, cover, and chill while you make the cookies.

To make the cookies, sift the four, cocoa powder, and baking soda into  bowl. Set aside.

In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until creamy and pale. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and beat on medium-low speed to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and add the pecans, vanilla extract, and salt. 

Add the dry ingredients in 3 to 4 additions and mix until everything just comes together. Do not overmix the dough.

Chill the dough for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Portion the dough using a 1/3-ounce ice cream scoop. I don't have one of those, so I used my digital scale to make the cookies 0.33 ounces or about 2 teaspoons worth. They are supposed to be quite small. Shape the dough into balls and flatten them. Bake for 7 minutes and remove from the oven. Let them cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.

Bring the filling out of the fridge. Make sure the cookies are completely cooled before assembling them. Using the same scoop (or same weight/teaspoon measurements), scoop the filling and roll into a ball. Flatten the ball in your hands and place it on the underside of a cookie. Place another cookie on top and gently press together. 

Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!