Brown Butter Pistachio Popcorn Cookies

I know what you are thinking...  

"Another cookie recipe?!"

But give me a chance...   

Brown Butter Pistachio Popcorn Cookies {Pedantic Foodie}

I do not typically share the elephantine load of baked treat recipes that one might expect from a food blogger around this time of year.

Brown Butter Pistachio Popcorn Cookies {Pedantic Foodie}

There is one, very simple reason for that choice.

Most of my favorite holiday cookies really are not that dazzling.  Come Christmastime, I prefer the uncomplicated.  The unadorned, antediluvian cookies that my great-grandmother used to pack into red and green tins.  Sugar cookies as thin as parchment, Russian tea cookies thick with confectioner’s sugar and bleeding with butter, and soft peanut butter balls dipped in rich chocolate ganache - affectionately known as “buckeyes.” 

Brown Butter Pistachio Popcorn Cookies {Pedantic Foodie}

I will take all the innovation and neoclassicism you can devise come December 26th, but for now, all I want is to be drenched in edible nostalgia.

Brown Butter Pistachio Popcorn Cookies {Pedantic Foodie}

That being said, yesterday morning I woke up and decided that I wanted to throw pistachios, popcorn, and brown butter (Do I hear angels singing? Oh, no, sorry... That was just my Pandora station.) into my cookie dough. 

Brown Butter Pistachio Popcorn Cookies {Pedantic Foodie}

Never underestimate the creativity that can come from your 9am cravings. 

Brown Butter Pistachio Popcorn Cookies {Pedantic Foodie}

It’s been a couple years since I first discovered the magic of popcorn cookies.  Leave it to Deb to come up with something so unapologetically indulgent.  

Brown Butter Pistachio Popcorn Cookies {Pedantic Foodie}

I understand the skepticism, but trust me on this.  It is the new pretzels-in-your-ice-cream.

Disclaimer: This recipe will tell you to make about twice as much popcorn as you actually need for the cookies, but I do not need to tell you why, now do I?  


Have you ever browned butter before?  

Do you like things that smell wonderful and taste even better?  I know you do, of course you do!  This is why we are friends. 

Brown Butter Pistachio Popcorn Cookies {Pedantic Foodie}

Butter is heated until it is slowly bubbling, then all of our little bits of fat become toasty brown and we have something that is just about as close to heaven as we can get from these earthly kitchens of ours.

Oh, hello cookies!

Brown Butter Pistachio Popcorn Cookies {Pedantic Foodie}

These cookies are so full of crunchy, salty-sweetness, it's almost too much for a girl's heart to handle.


Crispy, golden edges and soft, chewy centers.  I think these cookies just may have earned themselves a place next to my great grandmother's sugar cookies. 

Brown Butter Pistachio Popcorn Cookies {Pedantic Foodie}

Christmas is next week.  Breathe in and out.  Enjoy every moment.  And try, please try, to avoid that post office if you possibly can. 

Brown Butter Pistachio Popcorn Cookies {Pedantic Foodie}


Pedantic Foodie

Brown Butter Pistachio Popcorn Cookies

makes roughly 18 cookies

- 1 tablespoon coconut oil

- 1/4 cup popping corn 

- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided (at room temperature)

- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 

- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt (plus extra for salting popcorn)

- 1/4 cup brown sugar

- 1/2 cup granulated sugar 

- 1 large egg 

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted pistachios

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Place a 4-quart saucepan over medium high heat and add coconut oil.  When the oil has melted, add popping corn and cover.  

Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the kernels begin to pop.  Once this begins, shake the pan vigorously over the heat until you no longer hear kernels popping. 

Remove the pan from the heat and salt the popcorn to taste.  Set aside. 

Place 1/4 cup butter in a small frying pan and place over medium heat.  Once the butter begins to bubble, watch it carefully.  The goal is for the butter to become rich topaz in color, with tiny darker bits laying on the bottom of the pan.  This should take about 5 minutes.  

Once the butter has browned, remove from heat and use a spoon to scrape off the white froth from the top of the butter.  Allow the butter to cool while you prepare the cookie batter. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. 

In the work bowl of your stand mixer combine remaining 1/4 cup butter with sugars.  Beat on medium speed, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the mixture is airy and well-combined. Beat in egg. 

With the mixer on low speed, slowly incorporate browned butter and vanilla extract.  

While continuing to mix, gradually add the flour mixture until all of the dry ingredients are well incorporated. 

Fold in pistachios and 1 1/2 cups popped corn. 

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and use an ice cream scoop to portion out the dough into 2 tablespoon balls. 

Bake for 9-12 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown.  The centers should still look slightly soft.  

Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.  Store in airtight containers until ready to serve.  Enjoy!