Making Brown Butter Pecan Chocolate chip cookies is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to celebrate the Fall flavors we all love! Luxurious Chocolate chip cookies loaded with pecans, cinnamon, brown butter, and brown sugar make the cookies wonderfully rich yet very well balanced in sweetness with added sea salt. These cookies are chewy on the outside and gooey on the inside with deep chocolate and nutty flavors, a must-try during Fall or even Thanksgiving!
🌟 Why this is the best recipe
- Perfect chewy texture – Hands down, this is the ultimate chewy chocolate chip pecan cookies recipe! The secret behind chewy cookies is 1. resting them before baking 2. using a mix of high and medium protein content flour 3. not overbake them
- Irresistible Gooey & Fudge center – The Chocolate Pecan cookies should have a fudge, gooey texture. There is nothing worse than overbaked cookies with crumbly texture! I suggest rather underbaking these cookies than overbaking them. Besides over baking, reducing the fat content (butter) or over mixing the ingredients also results in cake texture as opposed to gooey
- Intense chocolate and nutty taste – I never compromise on taste! The combination of good quality dark chocolate chips with toasted pecans and a hint of cinnamon & sea salt will blow your mind! It will be your family favorite during Fall, or even for Thanksgiving! Try using the best quality ingredients, it will make a huge difference
- Quick & easy to make - Last but not least, it is hard to find a more delicious recipe with so minimal effort. Even if you are a beginner in the kitchen, you can comfortably try this Butter Pecan cookie recipe
- Honest & detailed tutorial - While this cookie recipe might look long, all the information I have written here, every tip and trick will help you achieve the perfect results without any issues on the way. Remember, baking is science, and every little detail written here is to help YOU!
📝 Ingredient notes
- Butter: Use always unsalted as you want to be in control of the quantity of the salt. I am using European-style 82% fat content butter in all my recipes. In this recipe, the butter needs to be browned. It is a super easy and quick step in the recipe, make sure you do not skip it. Check my tips below
- Light brown sugar: Granulated sugar can work too however brown sugar gives beautiful molasses flavor to the Pecan cookies. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my sugar guide
- Egg: Use room temperature eggs, as almost always in baking
- Flour: I find the best cookie recipe needs a mixture of soft (pastry) and hard (bread) flour, they both offer different benefits in terms of texture, alternatively use All-purpose only. If you want to be a pro when it comes to deciding what type of flour to use in your baking, please read my sugar guide
- Salt: An essential ingredient in most dessert recipes. Balances flavor and enhances other ingredients, do not leave it out, especially in recipes that contain chocolate
- Baking soda: They all work together to make your Butter Pecan cookies tender and chewy
- Cinnamon: There is just a slight cinnamon aftertaste on these Brown sugar Pecan Chocolate chip cookies. Feel free to use other spices eg. nutmeg or my home-made Pumpkin spice recipe
- Pecan: If the pecan you purchase is not roasted, it is worth toasting it for a few minutes as the process really brings out the nutty flavor. Of course, you can substitute it with other nuts eg. walnut, check my pecans vs walnuts article for more information.
- Chocolate chips: You will of course need some chocolate chips to make this Pecan Chocolate chip cookie recipe. Make sure you use high-quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate that has a pleasant taste! In this recipe, I am using is Callebaut Dark Chocolate (callets)This is high-quality chocolate (yet affordable) that contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter than the average supermarket chocolate. Alternatively, use milk chocolate chips, however, expect the taste to become much sweeter
🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all Ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post
👩🍳 How to make this recipe
1. How to make browned butter (buerre noisette)
Brown butter (beurre noisette) is a classic French one ingredient gold that just makes everything better! It has a deep nutty, complex flavor and really elevates butter to the next level. Use it for making chocolate chip cookies, medeleines, financiers (French teacakes), or even on savory dishes like on top of grilled salmon, gnocchi, etc.
Brown butter is effectively butter that has been melted and cooked until the milk solids in the butter get gently toasted. It literally takes only a few minutes and the nutty smell and taste of it are totally irresistible! You can also infuse brown butter while cooking the butter eg. with rosemary, lemon zest, etc.
Making it is incredibly easy, takes 5 minutes and everything tastes much better with it so please do not skip it!
- Heat butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Make sure the heat is not too much otherwise the butter will just burn quickly
- First butter should melt then it will foam
- Then, white bits (milk solids) will start to appear on the bottom of the pan
- The brown butter is ready when the white bits on the bottom of the pan will turn into golden brown and you will start to feel a lovely nutty smell
- Once your brown butter is ready, carefully pour it into a cold heatproof container so it will cool as soon as possible
That´s it! Making brown butter is super easy, you will manage it!
💡 Top Tip: Make sure you carefully watch the butter throughout the process, stir it regularly, and remove it from the heat before it starts burning
2. The process of making Chocolate Chip cookies with pecans
Making this Fall Cookie recipe is extremely easy and quick but there are a couple of key steps you have to get right to achieve the right texture
- With an Electric hand mixer cream together room temperature (!) browned butter and brown sugar for a few minutes
- Whip in the egg, just until combined
- Sift the dry ingredients; the two different kinds of flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. Sifting is necessary to avoid lumps later
- Fold the flour mixture in with the help of a Rubber spatula just until combined. Make sure you fold it only until the mixture comes together, literally 30 seconds
- Finally, fold in chopped pecans and dark chocolate chips. Leave some pecans and chocolate chips to place on top of the cookies just before baking
- Line 2 trays with parchment paper and with the help of a Digital scale divide the cookie batter into 10 equal cookies and place them on parchment paper leaving enough space between them to spread. Do not soften the surface of the ball, in fact, try to keep it as rough as possible for a nice, crackly surface
- Press more chocolate chips and pecans on the surface of the cookie dough balls
- Now comes the chilling time. See details below
💡 Top Tip: Do not use a mixer while making cookies and do not over mix the cookie butter. Over mixing ingredients would result in incorporating too much air and gluten into the mixture in which case the Chocolate Pecan cookies might get a crumbly, cake-like texture and we do not want that!
3. Why chill the Butter Pecan cookie dough before baking
You will have to chill the cookie dough for at least 1 hour and the main reason behind it is to avoid over-spread, sad-looking, flat Pecan Chocolate Chip cookies.
You might come across "no chill cookie dough" on the Internet, I can almost guarantee that the dry vs wet ingredients are unbalanced in any "no chill cookie" meaning when they are baked, they will be dry. The warmer the dough, the easier it will spread in the oven and our aim is to achieve thick, crackly surface, fudge cookies.
💡 Top Tip: Either 1 hour in the fridge or 20 minutes in the freezer is sufficient enough to chill the dough
4. How to bake
Baking the chewy Chocolate Chip Pecan cookies is a super delicate matter!
First of all, never bake any dessert without properly pre-heating your oven first, so start with that. The cookies will be baked at 175 C / 347°F (no fan) so preheat the oven +20C / 68F as the oven temp drops when you open the door. Always use Digital oven thermometer to avoid over-baked crumbly or under-baked cookies.
I bake these Chocolate Pecan cookies in the following way: 10 minutes at 175 C / 347°F (no fan). After 10 minutes cookies should already be somewhat spread and that is when I place even more pecans and chocolate chips on top. It is also a perfect moment to slightly shape the cookies and make them perfectly round, see tips further below in the next section. After, I bake them for another 5 minutes at again 175 C / 347°F. Please note, that each oven is different so you might need to adjust the times slightly.
The Chocolate Chip Pecan cookies are ready when the edge looks sot of baked and the middle slightly gooey but not raw. Do not overbake your cookies! Move them to a cooling rack when they are already partly set, like 5 minutes after they are out of the oven, then let them cool on the rack.
If, for some reason, you forgot your cookies in the oven, check my how to fix burnt cookies guide. Did your cookies spread too much? Check out my guide on why cookies came out flat and how to fix them.
Finally, sprinkle them with some sea salt. Salt helps to balance the flavors and enhance the rest of the ingredients. And why not drizzle the cookies with a spoonful of delicious homemade pecan butter?
These cookies are best eaten fresh or within the same day. Alternatively, you can store the cookies in an air-tight jar at room temperature for a few days, I recommend that you warm them up in the microwave before serving.
💡 Top Tip: Do not overbake your cookies! They should be slightly gooey straight out of the oven, then they will further set as they cool.
5. How to achieve a crackly surface on your cookies
First of all, please do not use substitutes or reduce the sugar in this recipe as it might result in a completely different texture than my Pecan Chocolate chips cookies. For health reasons, you can of course try to make them with less sugar, or with gluten-free flour, etc. but do not expect the same texture.
For the best crackly surface apply the tray bang trick (that has been around on Instagram for a while, I wish I could credit the person who came up with this brilliant idea):
After 10 minutes of baking time, take the tray out, and bang the whole tray gently to the kitchen counter 3-4x. It encourages crinkle formation on the top of the cookies and also helps if, for some reason, your cookies would not spread.
6. How to get gooey center on your Pecan cookies
For gooey Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies, first of all, you need a recipe that has the right ratio of ingredients eg. high enough fat content (butter) vs flour, good news is that this Pecan Chocolate Chip cookie recipe perfectly delivers on that!
Secondly, you must measure your ingredients with a digital scale, a little bit too much of this, not enough of that can majorly change this recipe eg. adding a little bit too much flour might ruin the gooey center you strive for.
Thirdly, do not overbake these Pecan Chocolate chip cookies! In fact, you have to take them out of the oven when they do not look properly baked yet… It is better to underbake these cookies than to overbake them.
Please note that you might need to experiment with your own oven in this regard, and you will see whether you need exactly 15 minutes of baking time like in my oven or maybe 1-2 minutes more or less.
7. How to achieve perfectly round cookies
Apply the circular trick:
After the tray banging, grab a large cookie cutter or any round shape thing in your kitchen (slightly larger than the size of the cookies in the oven). Hold the cookie cutter and make circular movements around the almost baked Pecan chocolate chip cookies which will slightly tighten the cookies, make them perfectly round shape and the movement also encourages crinkle forming on top. Incredible easy trick and works like charm! Place more pecans and chocolate chips on top then put the tray back in the oven and repeat the circular movement at the end of the baking time, if necessary.
🎓 Expert tips
- Brown butter will bring a delicious complex flavor profile, please do not skip it
- Use high-quality semi-sweet chocolate chips eg. Callebaut, that melt well and bring deep cocoa taste, not just sweetness
- Pecan can easily be substituted in this recipe with other nuts eg. walnut, pistachio, etc.
- Either 1 hour in the fridge or 20 minutes in the freezer is sufficient enough to chill the cookie dough before baking so it won´t spread too much in the oven
- I get the best results when baking these cookies on parchment paper or a perforated baking mat. I find they might get wet from the bottom if baked on silicone mat
- Avoid over-mixing and over-baking your cookies as that would result in a crumbly texture
- Sea salt at the end of baking is a must to balance the flavor and offset the sweetness
Yes, you can but why would you? Brown butter is a fundamental part of this recipe and brings wonderful flavor as well as texture
Yes, you can. I find high protein content flour adds extra chewiness to any cookies recipe, however, feel free to use all-purpose flour only
Yes, most probably you can, however, you can´t just replace flour with gluten-free flour 1:1 without reformulating the recipe. When one ingredient changes, some other ingredients need to be changed too in order to keep the balance in the texture and flavor.
Probably you can, however just as making it gluten-free, you will need to adjust the ingredients somewhat if the egg is left out. Sadly, I am not able to provide substitutes for all sorts of allergies and diets
Yes, the recipe would make wonderful Walnut cookies, Pistachio cookies, etc.
These cookies are the best eaten fresh out of the oven, however, you can store them for 1-2 days at room temperature if stored in an airtight container. Warm them up in the microwave before serving
You can easily freeze the cookies either before baking (after you divided them into balls) or after baking
🍪 More cookie recipes
The Best Pecan Chocolate Chip cookies (VIDEO)
- 170 g Unsalted butter to make 140g brown butter
- 120 (½ cups) Brown sugar
- 50 g (¼ cups) Granulated sugar
- 1 Egg approx 50g
- 100 g (100 g) Pastry flour low protein flour, can be replaced with all purpose flour
- 100 g (⅘ cups) Bread flour high protein flour, can be replaced with all-purpose flour
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Baking soda
- ½ Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 150 g (⅘ cups) Callebaut Dark Chocolate (callets) semi sweet high quality chocoate chips
- 150 g (1⅕ cups) Pecan chopped
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
- Start with making the brown butter. Heat butter in a saucepan on medium heat, first it will melt then it will foam. It is ready when the white bits on the bottom of the pan turn into golden brown and it has a nutty smell. Make sure you carefully watch it throughout the process, stir regularly and remove from the heat before it starts burning. Let it cool to room temperaturev
- Mix in the egg, just until combined
- Sift the two different kinds of flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon together then add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and fold with the help of a Rubber spatula just until combined. Do not overmix
- Fold in chocolate chips and pecans. Leave some for later so you can place more chocolate chips and pecans on top of the half baked cookies
- Prepare 2 baking pans with parchment
- Divide the dough into 10 equal balls (using a Digital scale is handy) and place them onto the parchment papers leaving enough space between them to spread. I recommend to bake 5 cookies at once
- Do not soften the surface of the balls, in fact try to keep it as rough as possible for a nice, crackly surface. Press some more chocolate chips and pecans on the surface of the cookies
- Let cookie dough rest in the fridge for an hour
- Pre-heat oven to 175 C / 347°F
- After 1h chilling time, bake the cookies for 15 minutes in the following way: Bake for 10 minutes then place more pecans and chocolate chips on top, then bake them for further 5 minutes.
- Apply the pan banging and circular trick with the cookie cutter, if desired. See tips above
- Let the cookies rest for a few minutes, then carefully remove from the parchment and let them cool on a Cooling rack. Sprinkle with sea salt
- Serve them while they are slightly warm
- The Cookies will further set as they cool. Store on room temp for a few days in air tight jar
- Measure your ingredients with a Digital scale for accuracy
- Do not skip making brown butter. Use 82% European style butter when making brown butter
- You can substitute pecans with walnuts, or pistachios
- Make sure you read my Expert tips section above to maximize your success. A short recipe alone is not able to cover all the necessary details, and science behind baking.
- While making the brown butter, cook the butter on medium heat and watch carefully so the butter won´t burn
- You should use the brown butter after it is not hot but before it solidifies
- Respect the chilling time in the recipe, do not skip it or the cookies might end up very flat
- Try not to overbake your cookies if you prefer them fudge and gooey