These chocolate chip pecan cookies are crispy around the edge, chewy in the center and filled with melted pools of salted (caramel) dark chocolate and tiny toasted chunks of pecans.
Why You’ll Love These Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
- Super quick and easy. Can prep, cook and serve the same day in under an hour!
- Comes out to 8 cookies which is perfect for a small get together. Recipe can also be doubled if needed.
- The brown butter with the toasted pecans and salted chocolate give the cookie a nice savory feel and makes them feel like “not your average cookie”
- Flour: I just used all-purpose flour for this recipe however, I HIGHLY recommend using a digital scale, as over-measuring the flour is the most common baking mistake and may result in dry cookies.
- Sugar: I used JUST light brown sugar for these cookies and I don’t recommend substituting it. Granulated sugar makes these cookies super pale and chewy and dark brown sugar is too dark and molasses-y. However, you could do half dark brown sugar and half granulated sugar as that would be the equivalent of light brown sugar.
- Reducing the amount will alter the texture of the cookies as well so I don’t recommend reducing it.
- Butter: I LOVE using salted butter in cookies, especially when browning the butter.
- Egg: I used 1 large egg in this recipe – it can be cold or room temperature.
- Vanilla: Don’t underestimate the power of vanilla extract in a cookie recipe. I stopped putting vanilla in EVERYTHING I make, but for cookies it’s essential.
- Baking Powder: just baking powder, no baking soda.
- Salt: I like sea salt but any salt works.
- Sea Salt Flakes: I would say this is optional but I’m not sure we can be friends if you don’t add extra sea salt flakes on top of your cookie lol
- Chocolate: I used Endangered Species Salted Caramel Chocolate (not sponsored) and 10/10 recommend, but any dark chocolate bar would work. The recipe uses chopped baking chocolate and the cookie does spread a tiny bit more than average. It also takes a little longer to set/cool after baking versus if you use dark chocolate chips.
- Pecans: Toasted and finely chopped. Toasting them enhances the flavor and only takes a few minutes, even though it’s not necessary I still recommend it.
- You can also leave them roughly chopped if you prefer the chunkier texture. I just prefer them to be smaller and in every bite.
Step 1: Toast the pecans in a small pot over low heat, just until they’re slightly darker and smell toasty.
Step 2: Finely chop pecans in a food processor AFTER they have cooled for a few minutes. You can leave them a little larger than I did, if you prefer.
Step 3: Brown the butter: Slice and place ½ the butter into a medium-size saucepan and cook it over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally. Set aside the other sliced half in a medium/large bowl.
Step 4: As the butter begins to bubble and foam, stir continuously. You’ll need to scrape the solids off the bottom of the pan. The milk solids will start to settle and darken. This will happen pretty quickly since it’s such a little amount.
Remove it from the heat and continue stirring for about another minute until the butter darkens into an amber color.
- For more detailed steps of browning butter and the tastes it brings out read through How To Brown Butter.
Step 5: Then add it over the other half of the butter slices and allow to rest for a a few minutes to cool.
Step 6: Add the light brown sugar to the butter and whisk together for about a minute.
Step 7: Add in the egg and vanilla and whisk aggressively for 2-3 minutes, until it’s smooth and has lightened in color.
Step 8: Add the dry ingredients and fold the cookie dough just until there are a few streaks left of flour.
Step 9: Add the chopped pecans and chopped chocolate and fold just until they’re evenly dispersed.
Step 10: Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes then split into 8 cookies (2.5 oz each) on an x-large baking sheet or 2 small baking sheets (they spread a lot so give them room).
Step 11: Bake for 10 minutes, remove and tap on the counter. Use a round biscuit cutter to scoot them around so they’re perfectly round and return to baking for 2-4 minutes.
Step 11: Remove and sprinkle with sea salt flakes allowing them to rest for at least 10 minutes before transferring them.
How to bake these cookies (convection and conventional)?
I always bake in a convection (fan) oven but when I took some polls on Instagram, most of you said you either don’t have one or you don’t know how to use your convection oven. So since I developed most of my recipes in a 350F convection oven, I decided to experiment with a conventional.
If you don’t know the difference, a convection oven has a fan that circulates the heat more evenly. This usually results in a quicker bake, so always do less time if you’re unsure and it also gives more even browning. If you’re not used to it, the change can be frustrating.
Most convection ovens will automatically reduce the temperature of the oven by 25F. So if I set my oven to 350F, my oven thermometer will read 325F. So when I bake the same thing in a conventional oven, I reduce the temperature to 325F and my oven thermometer still reads 325F.
Baking with a convection oven (fan)
Bake 2.5 oz cookies at 350F (177C) for total 12-14 minutes
Baking with a conventional oven (no fan)
Bake 2.5 oz cookies at 325F (163C) for 15-17 minutes
How To Get Perfectly Round Cookies
Most cookies bake a little bit uneven around the edges, especially if the dough is soft and not refrigerated before baking. To get your cookies perfectly round, as soon as you remove them from the oven, use anything round like a biscuit cutter/cup/mug, etc. to scoot the cookies around within the circle.
Be gentle so you don’t break the soft cookie but you have to be quick and do it as soon as the cookie comes out of the oven, before the edges set.
Frequently Asked Questions
The cookie dough is pretty soft so you’ll want to refrigerate the cookie dough for 30-60 minutes, until it’s scoopable. Then scoop it out and refrigerate the cookie dough balls on a plate or tray until they’re firm.
Now place them in a ziplock bag and freeze. To bake, remove them from the freezer as the oven is preheating and bake 325 F convection (fan) OR 300 F conventional (no fan) for 14-17 minutes or remove them a few hours in advance, bring them back to room temperature and bake like you would fresh.
I haven’t tested egg free cookies but you can make these cookies with dairy free butter and dairy free chocolate.
I have tested my base cookie dough recipes with 1:1 substitute for King Arthur and Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour Blends. The cookies turnout perfectly, they just have a traditional gluten-free flour flavor which is a little earthy/nuttier.
Of course! Whatever you’re craving today, almonds, pecans, peanuts etc. I do have a pistachio cookie linked at the top too!
How To Store Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
Place the cookies in a ziplock bag and keep them at room temperature for a few days. They obviously will dry out a little more the longer you leave them but I just pop them in the microwave for like 5-10 seconds before eating.
You can also freeze them after they’re baked and just thaw or microwave before eating.
Thanks so much for reading today’s post, if you have any questions just comment down below.
If you make these chocolate chip pecan cookies, I would love it if you left a star rating for it in the recipe card.
As always, have a blessed day and happy baking!
Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Recipe
- 3 oz pecans toasted and very finely chopped
- 1/2 cup (113g) salted butter cold – half of it gets browned
- 3/4 cup (150g) light brown sugar lightly packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 4 oz dark chocolate* roughly chopped
- pinch sea salt flakes
- Preheat the oven to 350F (177C) convection OR 325F (163C) conventional and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Place the pecans in a small pot, over medium-low heat, for just a couple minutes until they get toasty. They should darken in color and smell toasted.3 oz pecans
- Remove the pecans and place them in a food processor. Let them cool for a few minutes and then pulse them just until they're finely chopped but don't over pulse, you don't want it to look like nut flour.
- Slice the cold butter and place HALF into a medium bowl. Set aside.1/2 cup (113g) salted butter
- In a small pot, over medium-low heat, cook the other HALF of the butter for 5ish minutes, stirring intermittently until it begins to bubble and foam.1/2 cup (113g) salted butter
- Then stir continuously until you see the milk solids browning and settling on the bottom. Pour the butter into a bowl on top of the other cold slices of butter. Allow it to rest for a couple of minutes.
- Add the light brown sugar to the butter and whisk together for about a minute.3/4 cup (150g) light brown sugar
- Add in the egg and vanilla and whisk aggressively for 2-3 minutes, until it's smooth and has lightened in color.1 large egg, 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Add the flour, finely chopped pecans, baking powder and salt and fold the cookie dough just until there are a few streaks left of flour.1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp fine sea salt, 3 oz pecans
- Fold in the chopped chocolate, just until they're evenly dispersed. Refrigerate the cookie dough for 30-60 minutes, just until it's firm enough to scoop and holds it's shape.4 oz dark chocolate*
- Split cookie dough into 8 cookies (2.5 ounces each), (4-6 per cookie sheet, they spread a lot) and bake one sheet on the middle rack for 10 minutes, just until the edges are starting to brown.
- Remove them from the oven, give the pan a quick tap on the counter and use a round biscuit cutter to scoot them around so they’re perfectly round. Return to the oven for 2-4 more minutes and repeat. The edges should be lightly browned and the top no longer wet.
- Sprinkle with sea salt flakes on top and allow them to rest for at least 10 minutes on the pan before transferring off the cookie sheet.pinch sea salt flakes