Best Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies
These old fashioned chocolate chip cookies with pecans are inspired by the tried and true chocolate chip cookie recipe that’s been used in my family for as long as I can remember. Packed with sweet chocolate chips and crunchy pecans, these soft and chewy cookies are a crowd-pleasing classic.
The best thing about these cookies is the gooey center paired with perfectly crisp, golden edges. This super simple recipe can be made from start to finish in less than 20 minutes. It’s quick and easy enough to whip up on a weeknight when you want something sweet!
How to Get the Perfect Cookie Texture
One of the most important steps in making these chocolate chip pecan cookies is “dropping” them on the counter as soon as you take them out of the oven. This technique pushes the excess air out of the cookies, making them a bit flatter and less puffy.
Getting rid of the extra air in the cookies will make them thick and dense rather than light and fluffy. You’ll end up with chewier cookies that have a soft, gooey center and slightly crispy edge. This texture is part of what makes them so addicting!
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Brown Sugar
One reason why this is my favorite cookie recipe is because of the higher ratio of brown sugar to granulated sugar. While white granulated sugar aerates the cookie dough, the moist, dense, and compact consistency of brown sugar contributes a moist and chewy texture.
Although brown sugar can increase the spread of your cookies, this recipe has the perfect balance of flour, sugar, and shortening to ensure they don't spread too much. If you love super soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies, this is the recipe for you!
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
There are so many things to love about these chocolate chip cookies with pecans! Extra rich and full of chocolatey flavor, these cookies are perfect for any occasion. Here are a few more reasons this will be your new go-to chocolate chip pecan cookie recipe!
- The cookie dough can be whipped up in just 10 minutes
- It’s made with only 10 simple ingredients
- It makes 4 dozen soft and chewy cookies
- They store really well in the freezer
- It can easily be doubled to feed a crowd
Shortening: This recipe uses shortening instead of butter so these cookies keep their shape very well and spread less during baking. I highly recommend using butter-flavored shortening for a richer flavor. I use the Crisco brand shortening in these cookies.
Brown sugar: The brown sugar in this recipe not only adds sweetness but also moisture and chewiness. I use light brown sugar in these cookies. Dark brown sugar may work in this recipe but I have not tested it out.
Granulated sugar: Aside from being a sweetener, the granulated sugar in this recipe provides a nice golden brown color and perfect crispiness.
Pure vanilla extract: The pure vanilla extract provides an additional layer of flavor and richness. I recommend using pure vanilla extract rather than imitation vanilla because it will affect the flavor of your cookies.
Eggs: Eggs add structure and flavor to these cookies. They also have a leavening effect that contributes to the final texture.
Flour: The flour in these cookies provides structure and thickness. You can use either all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour in this recipe. See the “Recipe Tips & Tricks” section to learn how to measure your flour accurately.
Baking Soda: Baking soda is used to create a light and fluffy texture while still allowing the dough to spread during baking.
Salt: The salt enhances the other flavors and interacts with the flour to provide additional structure to the dough.
Chocolate chips: I use milk chocolate chips in these cookies but you can substitute these for whatever you like best. Semi-sweet and dark chocolate chips also work great in this recipe.
Chopped pecans: The pecans add a savory nutty flavor and crunch to these cookies. You can buy chopped pecans or chop them yourself with a rolling pin or a food processor.
How To Make This Recipe
For this recipe, I like to use my KitchenAid stand mixer with the paddle attachment, but an electric hand mixer can also be used. Follow the steps below for the best ever old fashioned chocolate chip pecan cookies.
Making the dough
Start by making sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature. The only cold ingredient in this recipe is the eggs. I usually put my eggs in a bowl of really warm water for 5-10 minutes to warm them up before adding them to the dough.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until it’s light and fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Next, add the eggs to the sugar mixture and beat well.
Once the eggs are fully combined, add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix the dough just until the ingredients are fully incorporated to ensure it does not get over-mixed. Stop the mixer and scrape down the side of the bowl as needed.
The texture of the dough should be thick and somewhat sticky. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and prepare an ungreased cookie sheet by lining it with aluminum foil. Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto the lined cookie sheet.
Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, keeping a close eye on them. They are ready to come out of the oven when they are barely golden brown on the edges and still slightly gooey in the center.
Immediately after taking the cookies out of the oven, drop the pan firmly onto the counter. Let them cool slightly to firm up before serving.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
Accurately measure the flour: An easy shortcut to measuring flour accurately is the spoon and level method. Use a spoon to fluff the flour and scoop it into the measuring cup before leveling it off with the back of a knife. Avoid shaking or tapping the measuring cup to even the top as this will pack down the flour.
Don't overmix the dough: When making this cookie dough, mix the ingredient just until they are fully combined to avoid overmixing. Overmixed dough will result in flat cookies that spread too much during baking.
Use an ungreased cookie sheet with aluminum foil: For the best results with this recipe, line your baking sheets with aluminum foil rather than parchment paper. Additionally, I do not recommend using any non-stick spray because it can cause the cookies to spread too much.
Don’t overbake the cookies: Be sure to take the cookies out when they are still a bit gooey in the center with barely golden edges. Although they may still look a little doughy, the cookies will continue baking on the hot pan after coming out of the oven. For this reason, you don't want to wait until the edges are dark golden brown to take them out.
Drop the cookies after baking: It’s important to drop the cookie sheet firmly onto the counter right after you take them out of the oven. This releases excess air from the cookies resulting in the perfect thick, dense, and chewy texture.
Cookie Tools You'll Need: Click To View
How to store leftovers
You can store leftover cookies in a sealed plastic bag or airtight container for up to a week. They will stay soft and chewy all week long. They don't usually last that long though!
To keep these cookies fresh even longer, you can store them in the freezer for up to 4 months. Just set them on the counter to thaw when you are ready to enjoy them again.
There are so many ways to enjoy these old fashioned chocolate chip cookies. Pecans add a delicious savory crunch to this recipe but these cookies are delicious with a ton of different mix-ins. If you are looking for other variations of this recipe, here are a few mix-in ideas that we love!
- Butterscotch chips and chocolate chips
- Chopped walnuts and chocolate chips
- White chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips
- Chopped pretzels and peanut butter chips
Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies
This recipe for pecan chocolate chip cookies makes about 4 dozen cookies. Although it’s great for big parties and get-togethers, that may be more than you need.
To make a small batch of these chocolate chip cookies with pecans, you can easily half this recipe! Just use half the amount of each ingredient called for. You will end up with about 24 cookies instead of 48.
Cookie Problems & Resolutions
I’ve made these old fashioned chocolate chip cookies with pecans about a thousand times so I have run into just about every problem in the book. These are the most common issues people run into when making this recipe and how to avoid them.
Overmixed dough: When cookie dough is overmixed, too much air is whipped into the dough. This causes the cookies the rise and then fall flat during baking. To avoid overmixing, mix the dough just until the ingredients are combined.
Dry or crumbly dough: This is usually caused by adding too much flour. Be sure to use the spoon and level method to accurately measure your flour. (See the “Recipe Tips & Tricks” section.)
Burned cookies: There are several reasons why cookies can burn. Using a dark cookie sheet or simply baking them too long are common causes. Lining your trays with foil and taking your cookies out when the centers are still slightly gooey will prevent burning.
Cookies stuck to the sheet: If your cookies are stuck to your baking sheet, you may have let them cool for too long. To avoid ruining the cookies, pop them back in a warm oven for a minute or two to soften up. Once they are a little warm, they should easily come off the baking sheet.
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Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Pecan CookiesAugust 26, 2022
- Rubber Spatula
- Baking Sheet
- Cookie Scoop 2-inch
- 1 cup shortening butter-flavored
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 2 cups flour all-purpose or whole wheat
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- 1½ cups chopped pecans
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until it’s light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs to the creamed mixture and beat until fully combined.
- Mix in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix the dough just until the ingredients are fully incorporated to avoid overmixing. Scrape down the side of the bowl as needed. The texture of the dough should be thick and somewhat sticky.
- Stir in the chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto the cookie sheet.
- Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, keeping a close eye on them. They are done when they are barely golden brown on the edges and still slightly gooey in the center.
- Immediately after removing the cookies from the oven, drop the pan firmly onto the counter. Let them cool slightly to firm up before serving.
- Use room temperature ingredients
- I recommend Crisco butter flavor shortening
- Accurately measure the flour using the spoon and level method
- Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil
- The cookies are ready to come out of the oven when the edges are just barely golden and the centers are still somewhat gooey
- Firmly drop the cookie sheet on the counter immediately after removing it from the oven for the perfect dense and chewy texture