Salt and Pepper Butterscotch Pine Nut Cookies

So is that about the weirdest combination of ingredients you’ve ever heard of for a cookie!?? I sure thought so when my mom brought me the recipe.

So don’t go running scared thinking Leigh Anne has lost it – salt AND pepper in a cookie!?!

Well, this particular cookie is an award winning cookie.  My mom loves the show Chew.  I haven’t actually seen the show but this recipe was their Cookie Swap Winner.

I think my mom was too scared to try it herself so that’s why she gave me the recipe.  So this week I was craving a cookie.  When that happens chocolate chip is usually my default winner.  But I was in the mood for something a little different, a little more exciting so I decided to give this recipe  a try.

I was a little leary but I figured it won a contest, it had to be good.

I love butterscotch chips so that was no problem and I also like pine nuts.  Cookies always have salt in them so that was no issue either – it was the pepper that had me a little hung up.  When I posted on my Facebook Page that I had just put pepper into my cookies I had several comments assuring me I wasn’t crazy but that you too had cookie recipes using black pepper.

The recipe calls for you to brown the pinenuts in butter – yum!

You keep stirring until the butter begins to brown and gets all foamy.  They will burn easily so watch them closely!

Keep cooking and stirring until the nuts are a nice golden brown color and your butter is brown too – I loved browned butter!!

Now it’s time to add in that flaky sea salt and cracked black pepper.  I have both in little grinders that I got at Trader Joes.  You want flaky sea salt and  fresh ground pepper not the fine stuff you usually have in your salt and pepper shakers.

I was feeling a little better about things at this point because the nuts browned in butter with salt and pepper tasted amazing!  You let it cool a bit and then add it into your cookie dough.  Onto the cookie sheet they go.

Bake until the edges are nice and golden brown – about 8 minutes.

So – the verdict.  They were delicious.  I loved all the different taste sensations going on in my mouth.  I always like a little bit of salt but the kick of the pepper was so fun to – it comes after the sweet and the salt.  I had to eat several of them just to see if they would react the same in my mouth – sweet, then salt and then the kick of the pepper!

Pepper in a cookie – totally a good idea!!

Salt and Pepper Butterscotch Pine Nut Cookies

recipe from The Chew

Printable Recipe

2 C flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp table salt

2 sticks (1 Cup) unsalted butter (if you use salted butter eliminate the 1/4 tsp salt above)

3/4 C brown sugar

3/4 C granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

1 bag butterscotch chips (11 oz.)

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 C pine nuts

1 Tbsp flaky sea salt

1 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper.

Mix together and cream butter, sugar and vanilla.  Beat until nice and soft (the consistency of butter cream frosting)  Add in eggs and beat for 10 seconds after each egg.  Add in flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix in butterscotch chips.

Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a small non stick pan ( I used my cast iron) Stirring as the nuts begin to toast and brown.  Use a wooden spoon.  Be careful as they will burn easily.  The butter will get nice and foamy as the nuts brown.  When the nuts are golden brown and the butter is browned, remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Add in the sea salt and cracked pepper.

Add into the cookie dough.

Place dough by the scoopful on to a parchment lined cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.  Bake in a  375 degree oven for about 8 minutes of until they are golden brown. Cool on a rack.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.


Leigh Anne
Hi – I’m Leigh Anne! I have been a homebased mom for 30 years since my first baby boy was born! I love working with women and helping to inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams while still maintaining motherhood and family as their number one priority. I blog about everything I enjoy – creating treats and meals in my kitchen, spending time in my garden, entertaining and party planning, reading, self improvement and tips and ideas on style and fashion.
Leigh Anne
Leigh Anne

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  1. says

    Those pine nuts look scrumptious, I want to eat them with a spoon! But I’m wondering, since butterscotch isn’t my favorite, what might be a good substitute for the butterscotch chips?

  2. Mia says

    Made these for my mom for her birthday and she loved them :)

    On an offtopic note: out of curiousity, what plugin did you use for your pictures/slideshow when you click them?

  3. Mira says

    Made these today! But ran into an odd problem–they ended up expanding a lot more and ended up being very very flat… They are still very tasty, but I’m just not sure why this happened. Do you have any ideas?

    I followed the recipe to a tee so I’m really confused

      • Mira says

        Nope. Our house is only 2 floors (plus a furnished basement) and I used the main level… I even used the lower oven.

        Shall look into adding a bit more flour next time then.

        • says

          Mira, I meant do you live at sea level or a higher elevation. Where do you live? If you are in Utah or such you are at a much higher elevation and may need to adjust the recipe for higher elevation cooking. If you find that your cookies flatten out like that just try adding a few more tablespoons of flour and that should help.


  1. […] watching.  I had never heard of the show but  after I tried one of the recipes she sent me for  Salt and Pepper Butterscotch Pine Nut Cookies that I shared on the blog, I figured I better check out this show.  Glad I did.  It is such a fun […]

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