This recipe for my Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies is classic, easy, and crazy delicious! They’re chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside!
Of all of my cookie recipes, this Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie recipe is probably my favorite. It was the first cookie recipe I posted, and I suppose I’m a little nostalgic about that. Regardless, it’s a seriously great recipe!
What makes cookies chewy?
Chewy, gooey cookies have a special knack for making us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The secret to their delightful chewiness lies in a couple of key players, but mainly it’s brown sugar. The brown sugar works with the other ingredients harmoniously to hold onto moisture, resulting in a soft and tender cookie texture. It’s like they create a cozy little haven within each cookie, making sure you get that satisfying chew with every bite.
Do I really have to chill cookie dough?
To chill or not to chill, that is the dough-lemma we cookie enthusiasts face! It’s like a personality test for your sweet treats.
Chilling cookie dough is like sending it to a spa retreat – it gets all relaxed and zen, allowing the flavors to mingle and the ingredients to bond like old friends at a reunion. It also helps the dough firm up, preventing cookies from spreading like gossip at the work water cooler, which is the main reason for me.
On the other hand, baking dough right away is like catching a cookie in its pre-makeover state. It’s spontaneous, and it spreads in the oven more, resulting in thinner cookies that embrace the crispy side of life.
So, in essence, chilling creates plump and chewy cookies while skipping the chill delivers crispy and thin ones. But hey, let’s be real: whether chilled or unchilled, all cookies are delicious. It just depends on what kind of cookies you want to make.
What if my cookies spread too thin?
If your pecan chocolate chip cookies spread too thin in the oven, it’s likely that you either have used too little flour or that your butter is too warm. Most commonly, it’s the butter issue. Chilling the dough for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator will firm the butter back up and help to keep them from spreading too quickly.
- Butter – Unsalted is best to control the salt content, but salted will work in a pinch. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you’ll want the butter to be room temperature but not too soft and certainly not melted. Butter that’s too warm will melt too quickly in the oven’s heat and cause the cookies to spread too quickly.
- Sugar – Plain granulated sugar helps to give these cookies a crisp exterior and helps to provide structure in the cookies.
- Brown Sugar – Either light or dark brown sugar will work here. The brown sugar helps to make the cookies chewy, and the acid in the sugar helps to activate the baking soda to make these cookies lighter.
- Vanilla – I’ve talked about it a lot recently, but I’ll say it again… Either vanilla extract or the less expensive vanilla flavoring will work in this recipe. I actually prefer the flavor of the vanilla flavoring over the vanilla extract in many instances.
- Eggs – Two large eggs that are at room temperature are going to give you the best results in this recipe. The eggs provide structure, help to hold the ingredients together, and keep the cookies soft.
- All-Purpose Flour – I wouldn’t recommend swapping the all-purpose, baking soda, and salt for self-rising flour in this recipe.
- Salt – Plain table salt works just fine in this recipe – nothing fancy here.
- Baking Soda – Baking soda helps these cookies brown up faster and more beautifully and gives them a little lift.
- Chocolate Chips – I prefer the flavor of semi-sweet chocolate chips in this recipe, but milk chocolate chips or even dark chocolate chips will work.
- Pecans – Chopped pecans add great flavor and texture to these cookies. You could swap the pecans for another nut like pistachios, walnuts, or almonds.
OMG! These are the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve tried. I stumbled across this recipe while trying to find a cookie recipe to try during our stay safe at home period. My boys gobbled them up! I followed the recipe exactly and they came out perfect! Thank you! It’s exactly what we needed at a time like this.Kim M.
This post was originally published 4/26/2011 and was updated 8/30/2023.
Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature, not melted)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or flavoring
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone baking mat.
- In a large bowl, use a stand mixer or hand mixer to cream the butter and sugars together until well combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, mixing well after each addition.
- Once combined, stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.
- (For thicker, chewy cookies, refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes before scooping. For thinner, crispier cookies, bake immediately.) Use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet in heaping 1 tablespoonfuls.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Allow to rest on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container on the counter.
* If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. The values do not include optional ingredients or when ingredients are added to taste. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.