A twist on the traditional chip cookies, this is a one-bowl recipe you don't want to miss. They're thick and chewy, with caramel flavor from the brown sugar and crunch from the creamy pecans. Bake them directly without chilling the dough, or refrigerate/freeze for later use.
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For me, it's cookie season year-round, and there's always a reason to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies.
When you add pecans and use only brown sugar, it's a different experience with a golden hue and caramel flavor that is unique and fantastic.
Why make this recipe
- Easy: this is a simple, one-bowl recipe for chip cookies with pecans that can be out of the oven in half an hour.
- Freshness: you can control what ingredients go in these homemade cookies and have them warm not long after taking them out of the oven.
- Make ahead: the cookie dough can be scooped and frozen, so you can bake a fresh batch of cookies whenever you get a craving.
- Flavorings: we love them with vanilla, but you can add orange zest or ground cinnamon to the batter for a different flavor.
- Chocolate chips: use your favorite semisweet chip. I love Ghirardelli premium baking chocolate chips, Callebaut 54% chocolate wafers, and Nestle toll house semisweet chips.
- Unsalted butter.
- Brown sugar: light or dark.
- Vanilla: I use pure vanilla extract or pure vanilla paste when available, but a good vanilla essence (artificially flavored) also works.
- All-purpose flour.
- Salt: I like to use kosher salt when baking. But regular table salt works just fine.
- Baking soda and baking powder: make sure they're not expired.
See the recipe card at the end of this post for quantities.
This is a traditional one-bowl cookie recipe. It can be made by hand, with an electric mixer, or in a stand mixer.
- By hand: use a spatula or wooden spoon. I make it this way usually. If the butter is soft, it's very easy to mix everything by hand.
- Electric or stand mixer: it's convenient and easy. Mix on medium until you add the dry ingredients. Don't overbeat after adding the flour; use them at low speed.
The final cookie dough is sticky but smooth and has no dry spots.
IMPORTANT: once you add the flour, mix until it's all well incorporated but don't overbeat. Use the lowest speed of the mixer. I like to end mixing with a silicon spatula to ensure the ingredients are fully integrated and no dry spots remain.
- Cookie sheet: you can butter or line the baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Baking time: if you want softer cookies, remove them from the oven while the center is still soft, maybe even slightly underbaked or feels a tad too tender to the touch. For me, it's 10 minutes, but it can take a minute more or less depending on your oven, the temperature of the dough, and the size of your cookies.
Leave space between the cookie dough scoops so the cookies can expand during baking.
These cookies are darker than regular chip cookies due to the brown sugar.
- Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier.
- Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer(like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- Chilling: you can bake the cookies right after mixing the dough or chill it first. The difference is in its consistency and sometimes flavor. The chilled dough expands less and can have a more rounded flavor as the ingredients have time to meld together. In my experience, the difference is not that big, and I usually bake half and then chill the rest.
- Freezing: another great way to make these cookies ahead is by freezing the unbaked dough. Scoop the cookie portions and place them on a baking sheet; no need to leave much space between them. Freeze until rock solid and then transfer to a bag to remove the cookie sheet and use less space in the freezer.
- Storing: keep in an airtight container or jar. If you want them to remain soft, add a few pieces of bread to the container.
- Variations: flavors that pair well are coffee (like a tablespoon of coffee liqueur or ½ a teaspoon of coffee extract), hazelnut liqueur (Frangelico) or almond liqueur like Amaretto. Add white chocolate chips or walnuts instead of pecans.
Related recipes you might like:
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- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350ºF / 180ºC.
- Butter baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.
- Beat butter with both sugars in a large bowl until creamy. You can use the stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand-held electric beater.
- Add egg, vanilla and almond extract (if using) and mix well.
- Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) and mix at low speed until a few dry spots remain. Don’t overbeat at this point.
- Add the chocolate chips and pecans, and mix until no dry spots remain. I like to switch to a spatula for this part.
- Scoop portions of cookie dough and place them on the prepared sheets, spacing them two inches apart. Or drop by tablespoons if you don't have a cookie scoop.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until edges are firm and cookies are golden but still soft in the center.
- Let cool completely on cooling racks or a wire rack.
- Keep in tins or cookie jars.
- Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
- Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- No chilling time: you can bake these cookies directly after you mix the dough. But, though it's not a requirement, you can chill it if you have leftovers or because you like the texture better after a stay in the refrigerator.
- Even-sized cookies: the easiest way to get uniform cookies is to use a cookie scoop (or a small ice cream scoop) to portion the dough.
- Make ahead and freeze: make the cookie dough and scoop portions onto a baking sheet. You don't need to leave space between them but make sure they're not touching. Freeze them until they're rock-solid, and then transfer them to an airtight container or plastic bag so you can recover the cookie sheet and use less space in the freezer. Bake the frozen scoops directly in a preheated oven, no need to thaw them.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: chocolate chip pecan cookies