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Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

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Chewy, sweet, and nutty these chocolate chip pecan cookies are irresistible for good reason! For maximum chew, take your cookies out of the oven when they're still slightly underdone.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Chocolate chip pecan cookies on a cooling rack.

These easy chocolate chip pecan cookies are one of my Dad’s favorite Christmas cookies (they are also Santa’s favorite)! I have a thing for old-fashioned cookies (like snickerdoodles without cream of tartar and brown sugar shortbread cookies). Adding pecans to classic chocolate chip cookies brings a new flavor and texture to a classic. You can’t go wrong with tried, tested, and true.

These cookies are not the large, rippled, bakery-style cookies you see all over social media. Instead, they are small and thick like my grandmother used to make. I like to remove my cookies from the oven when slightly underdone; The residual heat of the pan will continue to cook them slightly after removing them from the oven, resulting in a soft, chewy center. If you like crispier cookies, leave them in the oven a few minutes longer.

These are such perfect simple cookies for the holiday season; they also freeze well, so you can bake them in advance to have ready when guests arrive or for gifting. However you present them, this recipe will never go out of style.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

✔️ You probably have everything you need to bake a batch right now!
✔️ Pecan chocolate chip cookie dough can be made in one bowl in about 10 minutes.
✔️ Pecans help balance out the richness of the chocolate chips.

Ingredients For Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

Ingredients to make chocolate chip pecan cookies.

Ingredient Notes

  • Brown Sugar: Brown sugar contributes to the chewiness and color of the cookies. Light brown sugar is more common for balancing sweetness, but you can also use dark brown sugar.
  • Chocolate Chips: Semi-sweet chocolate chips are the traditional choice for chocolate chip cookies.
  • Pecans: You can use whole pecans and chop them yourself or buy pre-chopped pecan pieces.

It’s important to note that when making substitutions in recipes, the texture and flavor may be slightly different. However, these substitutes are the best options to change the original recipe.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Baking Soda: Baking powder can be used in place of baking soda. Use triple the amount of baking powder to replace the baking soda.
  • Butter: You can substitute unsalted butter; however, you may have to increase the salt amount in the recipe. You can also substitute a good quality dairy-free butter.
  • Chocolate Chips: Dark or milk chocolate chips are a solid replacement for semi-sweet. Also, you can chop up a chocolate bar to make chocolate chunk cookies or substitute white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, or butterscotch chips.
  • Pecans: You can use almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, or any other of your favorite nuts instead of pecans. If you don’t like cookies with nuts, you can omit them completely.

Recipe Variations

Add any of the following ingredients for a twist on this pecan chocolate chip cookie recipe:

  • Coconut: Shredded coconut can add a unique flavor and texture. Try adding ½ to ¾ cup, either sweetened or unsweetened, based on your preference.
  • Dried Fruit: This recipe would be great with dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped dried apricots. Use about 1 cup, keeping in mind the additional sweetness they bring.
  • Double-Chocolate Version: Replace ¼ cup of the flour with unsweetened cocoa powder to make double chocolate chip pecan cookies.
  • Espresso Powder: To enhance the chocolate flavor, add one teaspoon of espresso powder. It won’t make the cookies taste too much like coffee but will deepen the chocolate flavor. Be mindful not to serve these to young children before bed!
  • Rolled Oats (Not Instant Oats): Add ½ cup of rolled oats for a chewier texture. This can be in addition to or replace some of the nuts.
  • Sea Salt: I love Maldon sea salt flakes, but you can use any brand you like. Sprinkle a pinch on top of the cookies before baking and finish with another tiny pinch when they are still warm.
  • Spices: Add cinnamon, ginger, or homemade chai spice for a warm, spiced flavor. Start with ½ teaspoon and adjust to taste.
  • Toffee Bits: Toffee bits would be incredible in these pecan cookies! Try one cup and up to 1 ½ cups.

Recipe Video

Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of this post, or scroll to the bottom to see the PRINTABLE recipe card with ingredient measurements and complete instructions.

How To Make Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

Process shots one through four of how to make chocolate chip pecan cookies.

STEP 1: Combine the butter, brown, and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl.

STEP 2: Use a hand or stand mixer to mix everything together until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time and mix. Add the vanilla and mix.

STEP 3: Add the flour, salt, and baking soda into the bowl.

STEP 4: Switch to a wooden spoon or a spatula and stir the cookie dough about halfway.

Process shots five through eight of how to make chocolate chip pecan cookies.

STEP 5: Add the chocolate chips and pecans to the bowl.

STEP 6: Stir until the chocolate is well-distributed and the flour is just mixed in.

STEP 7: Use a cookie scoop to scoop cookie dough balls directly onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

STEP 8: Bake the cookies until the edges are set and the middles are slightly underdone. Press a few more chocolate chips and pecan pieces on each baked cookie while still warm (optional). Cool on a wire rack.

Expert Tips

1. Using a kitchen scale and an oven thermometer increases accuracy and consistency. I highly recommend using one!
2. Bake the cookies for 2 to 4 minutes longer for crispier cookies.
3. Overmixing once the flour is added can lead to tough, dense cookies. Stop when the flour is just mixed in.

Recipe Notes

  • A cookie scoop will give you consistent-size cookies; I use a 2-tablespoon scoop for this recipe. If you don’t own a cookie scoop, you can weigh 28-gram portions on a scale or eyeball the amounts. Roll the dough into balls before placing them on the baking sheets.
  • With this recipe, you can make larger or smaller cookies; however, the baking times will change. Keep your eyes on the cookies in the oven, looking for lightly golden edges and slightly underdone middles.
  • You can pre-scoop the dough and refrigerate or freeze the scoops for later.
  • Some people like to age their cookie dough in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. You can totally do this if you want to!

Storage

  • I like to store chocolate chip and pecan cookies in a large zipper-top freezer bag in the freezer. Thaw at room temperature and eat. You can also store them in an airtight container on the counter at room temperature for up to five days.
Multiple chocolate chip pecan cookies on a black wire cooling rack.

Recipe FAQ

What makes cookies chewy vs. crunchy?

A few factors influence cookie texture—first, the amount of fat in the recipe. More fat equals more chew. Second, the amount of sugar is crucial. Cookie recipes with more granulated white sugar are crunchier, whereas cookies with more brown sugar are chewier. And lastly, baking time. For super chewy cookies, consider removing them from the oven when they are slightly underdone.

What is the secret to chewy cookies?

Of course, the ingredients you use play a huge role in the factor; however, an easy way to ensure chewy cookies every time is to remove them from the oven when they are still slightly under-cooked in the middle.

Which are the best chocolate chips for cookies?

Semi-sweet chocolate chips have been the traditional choice for chocolate chip cookies; however, the best chocolate chips for cookies are the ones you like and/or can afford.

Did you make these chocolate chip pecan cookies? Please rate the recipe and tell me how it went in the comments below. Also, stay in touch with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to see more delicious food and recipes!

Printable Recipe Card

Chocolate chip pecan cookies on a cooling rack.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

Author: Kelly Neil
Chewy, sweet, and nutty these chocolate chip pecan cookies are irresistible for good reason! For maximum chew, take your cookies out of the oven when they're still slightly underdone.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Course Cookies & Bars
Cuisine American
Servings 48 servings
Calories 157 kcal

Special Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons or digital kitchen scale
  • Baking sheet(s)
  • Parchment paper
  • Mixing bowl
  • Hand or stand mixer
  • Wooden spoon or rubber spatula
  • Cookie scoop optional
  • Wire cooling rack(s)
Need Metric Measurements?Use the button options below to toggle between US cups and Metric grams.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¾ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus extra for the tops of the cookies (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups pecan pieces, plus extra for the tops of the cookies (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Place the butter and both sugars in a mixing bowl. Use a hand or stand mixer to beat together until well combined, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add one egg and mix well. Add the second egg and the vanilla. Mix well.
  • Sprinkle the flour, salt, and baking soda evenly over the wet ingredients. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir the cookie dough by hand until about halfway mixed.
  • Add the chocolate chips and pecans. Stir everything together until the chocolate and nuts are well distributed and the flour is just mixed in. Be sure to incorporate all of the dry flour from the bottom of the bowl.
  • Use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop the dough directly onto the prepared baking sheets. Place the sheets in the oven and bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes (or until the edges are pale gold and the middles are still slightly underdone). Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks. Optional step—gently press a few more chocolate chips and pecan pieces on top of each hot cookie. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

Video

Recipe Notes

    • A cookie scoop will give you consistent-size cookies; I use a 2-tablespoon scoop for this recipe. If you don’t own a cookie scoop, you can weigh 28-gram portions on a scale or eyeball the amounts. Roll the dough into balls before placing them on the baking sheets.
    • With this recipe, you can make larger or smaller cookies; however, the baking times will change. Just keep your eyes on the cookies in the oven, looking for lightly golden edges and slightly underdone middles.
    • You can pre-scoop the dough and refrigerate or freeze the scoops for later.
    • Some people like to age their cookie dough in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. You can totally do this if you want!

STORAGE

    • I like to store chocolate chip and pecan cookies in a large zipper-top freezer bag in the freezer. Thaw at room temperature and eat. You can also store them in an airtight container on the counter at room temperature for up to five days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 157kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 109mgPotassium: 72mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 142IUVitamin C: 0.04mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know on Instagram @kellyneildotcom or tag #kellyneil!

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