These chocolate chip pecan cookies are my favorite cookies in the whole world and my favorite twist on classic chocolate chip cookies. Some people like their chocolate chip cookies chewy, some like them crunchy – for me these cookies have the best of both worlds – crunchy thin edges and chewy, soft center. They are studded with milk and bittersweet chocolate and my favorite nuts – pecans. They’re so good!
Here’s what you need to make the best chocolate chip pecan cookies:
- Sugar: I used half light brown sugar and half white sugar. White sugar makes the cookies spread more and brown sugar makes them more chewy and thick (you can read more on this subject in this article from Serious Eats: Cookie Science: The Real Differences Between Brown and White Sugars). You can’t just swap one sugar type for the other without changing the consistency of the cookies.
- Chocolate: you can use either just milk chocolate or just bittersweet chocolate or a mix of these two – this is my favorite option. I like the sweetness of milk chocolate and the rich flavor of bittersweet chocolate. You can use either chocolate chips or chopped chocolate. I prefer to use chopped chocolate than chocolate chips. The cookies with chocolate chips look prettier as the chocolate chips hold their shape and are just slightly melted. I must admit that I really love melted chocolate in these cookies and all the people in my family voted for the cookies with chocolate. Chopping the chocolate doesn’t take much time – it’s well worth it. Remember to use the best-quality chocolate you can get – your cookies will taste even better.
- Butter: use softened unsalted butter, 82% fat is best. You could add even more flavor to these cookies by using brown butter. How to make brown butter: cook the butter slowly over low heat until it changes its color from yellow to golden brown. Take the butter off the heat and put it in the fridge until it’s set. It shouldn’t be cold, just set and soft. Use it just like regular butter. Brown butter has a nutty, more complex taste. Keep an eye on your brown butter as it can quickly burn and be bitter. You can use brown butter in many other recipes, which improves their flavor – like this pumpkin chestnut soup.
- Flour: I used regular AP flour.
- Nuts: I used pecans because they are my favorite nuts but feel free to use any other nuts that you like – for example hazelnuts and walnuts would work well.
- Salt: without it, the cookies will taste flat. Salt intensifies the sweetness of the cookies.
How to make it step by step:
Start with preparing all the ingredients. The most important is to measure the flour correctly – if you pack it differently in your measuring cup than I did, you can get totally different cookies. Use a scale for best and consistent results.
How to measure flour: if you will use a kitchen scale to measure out all the ingredients, it all goes easy breezy! But if you’re using measuring cups, remember that 1 cup of flour can weigh 120-150g, depending on how you’re filling your cup. Don’t scoop the flour directly into the measuring cup, which can compact it! 1 cup of flour in my recipes weighs 125g. To correctly measure the flour, you need to:
- Fluff the flour by stirring it in the bag/flour container with a spoon.
- Spoon the flour and sprinkle it into your measuring cup.
- Sweep off the excess flour with the back of a knife.
STEP 1: Add the soft butter and both types of sugar into the mixing bowl.
STEP 2: Mix at medium-low speed for about 3-5 minutes until light, fluffy, and well-combined. You can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle-shaped attachment.
What if you forgot to soften the butter? Add the butter into the bowl and mix it for 1-2 minutes until it is softened, then add the sugar and cream (mix) with the butter.
STEP 3: Now add the egg and vanilla extract.
STEP 4: Mix at medium-low speed for 3-5 minutes until well combined.
STEP 5: Sift in the flour, baking soda, and salt.
STEP 6: Mix until the flour is half combined with the other ingredients.
STEP 7: Add the chocolate chips or roughly chopped chocolate and roughly chopped pecans to the bowl.
STEP 8: Mix until the chocolate and pecans are evenly distributed and the dough ingredients are combined.
STEP 9: Scoop the dough with a 3-tablespoons-ice cream scoop and roll the dough into balls between your hands (every ball should weigh about 40g/1.4oz). Don’t flatten the balls (you can do that if you wish that your cookies are flat and crunchy). Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.
Now you can bake the cookies right away or put the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes – the cookies will be more thick (the batter of the cookies on the photos was in the fridge for 30 minutes).
STEP 10: Bake at 350°F / 180°C for about 12 minutes if you’re baking the cookies straight away or for 13 minutes if the cookie dough has been in the fridge for 30 minutes. The baking time may slightly vary depending on the oven. The cookies should look like on the photo above – they should have golden edges but will be completely soft. Leave them on the baking sheet until cooled, for about 5-10 minutes (they will continue baking on the baking sheet).
Storing the cookie dough:
How to store chocolate chip cookie dough? It needs to be stored in the refrigerator. Store it in a tightly-closed container or in a bowl wrapped with plastic foil.
How long is it safe to keep raw cookie dough in the fridge? Store it for up to 2-4 days (this is according to the USDA). It would probably be good even longer but I wouldn’t try that.
I tried to bake the cookies with a dough that has been stored in the fridge for 24 hours and they turned out amazing. The dough will be more thick so after you form balls with your hands, flatten the balls a little bit and bake them the same as described in the recipe.
Storing the chocolate chip pecan cookies:
How long do homemade chocolate chip cookies last? I find that their texture remains similar for up to 3 days. After that, they will become more dry. They are safe to eat for up to 2-3 weeks.
How do you store homemade chocolate chip cookies? Store them in a tightly-closed container – the best would be a cookie tin. Before putting the cookies in the cookie tin, make sure they are completely cooled. Store them at room temperature.
Freezing the cookie dough:
This cookie dough is perfect for freezing. The cookies baked from a frozen dough taste exactly the same as freshly prepared ones!
How to freeze cookie dough: Make the cookie dough and form balls with your hands (as described in the recipe), then flatten the balls a little. Place them apart (the balls shouldn’t touch each other, otherwise they will stick to each other) on a baking sheet or a chopping board in the freezer. Leave them in the freezer until frozen – it will take about 1-2 hours. After they are frozen you can transfer them into zip-lock bags or tupperware containers.
How long can you freeze cookie dough: For best results, keep the cookie dough in the freezer for up to 3 months. It will be probably fine though, if you keep it longer.
How to bake frozen cookie dough: If you’ve followed my instructions (formed the balls and flattened them) you can bake the cookies exactly like freshly-prepared cookies. You don’t need to thaw the dough, just bake the cookies straight from the freezer. Put them in the preheated oven and bake for the same time as it says in the recipe. If you haven’t flattened the cookie dough balls, bake the cookies a little longer, for 15 minutes, instead of 13.
Chocolate chip pecan cookies
- 1/2 cup (115g) soft butter
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup (190g) flour, spoon and leveled
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 oz (85g) milk chocolate chips or chopped milk chocolate, I prefer to use chocolate
- 3 oz (85g) bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
- 1 cup (100g) pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C / Gas Mark 4, no fan (if you have a convection oven reduce the temperature by about 20° or follow the manufacturer's instructions).
- Add the butter and sugar into the mixing bowl. Mix over medium-low speed for about 3-5 minutes, until light, fluffy, and well-combined (you can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer, if using a stand mixer use a paddle-shaped attachment).
- Add the egg and the vanilla extract, mix over medium-low speed for another 3-5 minutes, until well-combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl from time to time with a spatula.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into the bowl. Gently mix until half combined.
- Add the chocolate chips or roughly chopped chocolate and roughly chopped pecans. Mix until the chocolate and pecans are evenly distributed and the dough ingredients are combined.
- You can bake the cookies immediately or (what I prefer) put the cookie batter in the fridge for 30 minutes (cookies will be a little thicker and more chewy in the center).
- Scoop the dough with a 3-tablespoons-ice cream scoop and roll the dough into balls between your hands (every ball should weigh about 40g/1.4oz). Don’t flatten the balls (you can do that if you wish that your cookies are more flat and crunchy). Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.
- Bake in batches for about 12 minutes if you’re baking the cookies straight away or for 13 minutes if the cookie dough has been in the fridge for 30 minutes. The cookies are done when their edges are golden. The cookies should be completely soft.
- Take the baking tray out of the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet (they will continue baking on the baking sheet).
- If you forgot to soften the butter: add the butter into the bowl and mix it for 1-2 minutes until it is softened, then add the sugar and cream (mix) with the butter.
- Chocolate chips vs roughly chopped chocolate: I prefer to use chopped chocolate than chocolate chips. The cookies with chocolate chips look prettier as the chocolate chips hold their shape and are just slightly melted. The cookies taste a little better with chocolate in our opinion.
- You can add only milk chocolate or only bittersweet chocolate.
- You can also use other nuts instead of pecans, for example, hazelnuts or walnuts. You can also use the same amount of chocolate instead.
- How to measure flour: Fluff the flour by stirring it in the bag/flour container with a spoon. Spoon the flour and sprinkle it into your measuring cup. Sweep off the excess flour with the back of a knife.
- How to store cookie dough: store it in the fridge for up to 2-4 days. Roll the balls, flatten them a little, and bake as described in the recipe.
- How to store the cookies: preferably in a cookie tin, for up to 2 weeks.
- How to freeze cookie dough: form balls and flatten them slightly. Place on a baking sheet or a chopping board apart and freeze, then transfer into containers. Bake straight from the freezer the same way as freshly prepared cookies.
- Calories = 1 cookie (1/21 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!