When you’re craving something a bit more robust than your basic chocolate chip cookie, turn to this Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Recipe. Each bite is chewy and deeply flavored with browned butter, toasted pecans, and dark brown sugar. Finished with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt, these cookies are rich and decadent and everything you want from a homemade cookie. 

Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

We set our sights on creating a chewy chocolate chip cookie that was not only studded with toasted pecans, but infused with the flavor of pecans. If that wasn’t a tall enough order, we also wanted it to be made with whole-wheat flour and bread flour. This may sound odd—but the combination of these two flours adds toasty, nutty flavor and actually creates a chewier cookie.

Plus, to ensure these cookies are chewy through-and-through, we use both brown sugar and white sugar, add an extra egg yolk, and employ the popular pan-banging method from Sarah Keifer. 

chocolate chip cookies stacked on a white parchment paper, one cookie with a bite taken out of it and facing up
  • Flour: we developed this recipe using a combination of whole-wheat pastry flour and bread flour. This combination results in the biggest flavor and chewiest texture. You can use all-purpose flour instead—but measure it by weight instead of cup to match the weight of the other two flours. Use extra whole-wheat pastry flour in our Healthy Blueberry Lemon Muffins and use extra bread flour to make our Milk Buns or Halva Cookies.
  • Baking soda: needed to give the cookies light so they can then fall back onto themselves and create stunning rippled edges. 
  • Unsalted butter: you can use salted. If you do, skip adding salt to the dough.
  • Pecans: make sure you’re using raw, unsalted and unroasted pecans for this recipe. 
  • Dark brown sugar: it’s important to use dark brown sugar (not light) for the added moisture and molasses flavor. 
  • Granulated sugar: using granulated sugar in combination with brown sugar creates the perfect chewy cookie with crisp edges. 
  • Kosher salt: needed to balance out all the sweetness!
  • Vanilla extract: we always prefer to bake with pure vanilla extract—but whatever you have on hand is delicious.
  • Egg + egg yolk: it’s important to use eggs labeled as “large” not medium, not Jumbo, you need large eggs. A large egg, out of shell, should weight about 50 grams. A large yolk should weigh about 20 grams. Using the correct size of egg is important for achieving the correct texture. If too small of an egg is used, there won’t be enough moisture and fat. Too large and too much moisture will be added. 
  • Bittersweet chocolate bar: we like to use 72% Ghirardelli chocolate bar. Use any chocolate you like, just be sure to use bar chocolate (not chips).

How to Make: Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Melt the Butter
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet and allow it to cook until just starting to brown. Keep an eye on as it cooks—butter can go from golden to burnt quickly.

    pecans in melted butter in a skillet
  3. Add the Pecans
  4. Add the pecans to the butter and toast the nuts and butter together until both are deeply browned and fragrant. Stir and swirl the mixture constantly to keep an eye on the progress. You may need to stir the foam around or pool the butter to see the true color. 

    browned butter, pecans and butter in a large glass bowl
  5. Combine Butter and Sugars
  6. Add the browned butter and pecans to a large bowl with the unmelted butter (this helps cool down the mixture). Stir until all of the butter is melted and combined. Add the sugars, salt and vanilla and whisk until smooth. 

    caramel-like batter in a glass bowl with a whisk
  7. Whisk in the Egg and Egg Yolk
  8. Add the egg and egg yolk and vigorously whisk the mixture until smooth; about 30 seconds. Let the mixture rest for 3 minutes then whisk again for 30 seconds. Continue alternating whisking and resting a couple more times until the mixture is smooth, thick and glossy. This step encourages the sugar to dissolve into the mixture, making for a chewier cookie.

    cookie dough in a large glass bowl with a spatula
  9. Stir in the Flour
  10. Add the flour to the mixture and stir to combine. Over-mixing makes tough cookies, but the beautiful thing about whole-wheat flour is that is doesn’t readily form gluten, so you can safely give this dough a good mix. 

    chocolate chip pecan cookie dough in a glass bowl
  11. Fold in the Chocolate
  12. Add the chopped chocolate and stir to combine. 

    scoops of cookie dough on white parchment paper
  13. Scoop and Freeze the Dough
  14. Scoop the dough into large 3-tablespoon balls (or use a #24 scoop). Arrange the dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, get the oven preheated. 

  15. Bake the Cookies
  16. Transfer the frozen dough balls to a separate parchment-lined baking sheet set a few inches a part. Bake the cookies 10 minutes, then start the pan-banging! Lift the baking sheet up, then drop it down onto the rack. Bake 2 more minutes, then repeat lifting and dropping the pan. Continue this process until edges are golden brown and centers are slightly puffed and look under-baked.

  17. Finish with Sea Salt
  18. Sprinkle the cookies with flaky sea salt right as they come out of the oven then let them cool completely on the baking sheets. 

    Test Kitchen Tips for Baking Cookies

    • Weigh your ingredients instead of using cup measurements. This ensures you’re using the correct amount—to the gram!—of each ingredient. If you don’t have a food scale, make sure you are fluffing the flour, spooning the flour into the measuring cups, and leveling off with the back of a knife or straight-edged handle. This is how we develop recipes.
    • Make sure you are using rimmed baking sheets, these are our favorite. Opposite of what you might think, avoid using a cookie sheet (which has no sides) which will likely over-bake the cookies. 
    • Line your baking sheets with parchment paper—it’s essential for creating a nonstick surface that will also encourage browning and crisping.
    chocolate chip cookies stacked on a white parchment paper

    You can either bake these cookies ahead of time or make the dough ahead of time. Here are a few different options:

    Arrange the dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze the cookie dough until solid, at least 2 hours. Transfer the dough to a zipper-lock bag and store in the freezer for up to 4 months. 

    Do not thaw cookie dough prior to baking. Increase bake time by a minute or two if needed. 

    Make Ahead and Store Cookies at Room Temperature

    Once cookies are baked and cooled completely, transfer them to a resealable zipper-lock bag or airtight container. They should stay chewy for up to 4 days. 

    Make Ahead and Store Cookies in Freezer 

    Transfer baked and cooled cookies to a zipper-lock freezer bag or air tight container, layering small pieces of parchment paper between each cookie. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Allow to thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating. 

    chocolate chip cookies stacked on a white parchment paper, one cookie with a bite taken out of it and facing up
    Why do my chocolate chip cookies look flat after baking?

    There are a few reasons this could have happened. Your oven could run slightly hotter than it says. If your oven is too hot, the fat melts faster than the cookie is able to set, causing a flat cookie. It’s imperative that you adequately preheat your oven (allow it to keep preheating a few minutes after it says it’s preheated) and get yourself an oven thermometer so you can check the actual temperature and adjust as needed. 

    How long does it take cookies to harden?

    Cookies will start to harden and become less chewy about 3 days after baking. If your cookies are rock-hard, you can place a piece of sandwich bread in the bag or container with them and they will soften. They won’t be chewy, but they will become softer. 

    Do chocolate chip cookies freeze well?

    They do freeze well! Store the baked and completely cooled cookies in a resealable zipper-lock bag for up to 4 months. Let the cookies thaw for about 30 minutes before enjoying.

    What’s the best chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe?

    Well, we think the recipe you’re about to make is the best chewy cookie recipe! You can also learn more about how to make chewy cookies or try our Cardamom Cookies, Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies, or our ULTRA chewy Hermit Cookies

    Can you share a very chocolatey chocolate cake recipe?

    Absolutely, check out our Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake that’s finished with the richest, silkiest ganache.

    If you love this nutty chocolate chip cookie then be sure to check out our Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies!

    Swap out the pecans and use walnuts in our Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies.

    Try our chewy Cardamom Cookies for a fun upgrade to the classic spice cookie.

    Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies Recipe

    5 from 5 votes
    Prep Time 35 minutes
    Cook Time 15 minutes
    Chilling Time 35 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
    Yield 20 cookies
    Category Cookie, Dessert
    Cuisine American


    The perfect chocolate chip cookie, complete with crisp buttery edges, an uber-chewy interior and brown butter infused with the flavor of toasted pecans.


    • 1 ¼ cups (134g) whole-wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
    • ½ cup (65g) bread flour*
    • ¾ teaspoon (5g) baking soda
    • 14 tablespoons (200g) unsalted butter
    • ¾ cup (80g) raw pecans, chopped
    • ¾ cups (148g) packed dark brown sugar
    • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
    • 1 ¼ teaspoons Morton kosher salt
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 6 ounces (170g) dark chocolate bar, roughly chopped, such as 72% ghirardelli


    • Line 2 baking sheets (half sheet pans) with parchment paper; stack together, then transfer to refrigerator to chill.
    • Whisk 1 ¼ cups (134g) whole-wheat pastry flour, ½ cup (65g) bread flour and ¾ teaspoon (5g) baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
    • Heat 10 tablespoons (142g) butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter just barely starts to turn golden brown, about 1 ½ minutes.
    • Add ¾ cup (80g) chopped pecans and continue cooking, swilling pan, until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 2 ½–3 ½ minutes more.
    • Remove skillet from heat and transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl with remaining 4 tablespoons (58g) butter; using a rubber spatula to scrap butter and solids into bowl. Stirn until completely melted.
    • Add ¾ cup (148g) brown sugar, ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar, 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated.
    • Add 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times (for a total of 4 mixes) until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny.
    • Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in 6 ounces (170g) chopped chocolate.
    • Divide dough into 20 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange closely on a small baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes.
    • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350ºF degrees.
    • Arrange 6 chilled dough balls 3 inches apart on a chilled parchment-lined baking sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require multiple batches.)
    • Transfer sheet to oven and bake until cookies are puffed, 10 minutes. Lift baking sheet up about 4 inches, then drop baking sheet down onto rack. Bake until cookies puff again, 2 minutes, then repeat lifting and dropping pan. Bake cookies another 2 minutes, then repeat lifting and dropping pan. Bake cookies until edges are golden brown and centers are slightly puffed and look under-baked, 1–2 minutes more. (Total bake time should be 14–16 minutes.)
    • Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack; sprinkle cookies with flaky sea salt, if desired. Allow cookies to cool completely on sheet before transferring to an airtight container.



    This recipe can be made with all-purpose flour instead of a combination of whole wheat pastry flour and bread flour. We recommend weighing the flour instead of measuring by cup. If you plan to use all-purpose flour, use 200 grams.
    If you do not have a food scale, make sure you are measuring the flour correctly:
    1. Fluff the flour with a spoon or whisk. This aerates the flour and lightens it up.
    2. Use a large spoon to spoon the flour from the storage bin to the measuring cup.
    3. Sweep a flat edge, such as the back of a knife, along the top of the measuring cup to level the flour.
    Cookie dough can be frozen and baked at a later time. To freeze the cookie dough: scoop dough into individual dough balls using a #24 scoop (3 tablespoons).
    Use rimmed baking sheets instead of cookie sheets (flat sheets without sides). Cookie sheets will likely over-cook the cookies. 


    Serving: 1cookieCalories: 235kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 3.5gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 122mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 14g
    Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
    chocolate chip cookies stacked on a white parchment paper

    Pin This Recipe

    Love this recipe and want to save it? Pin this recipe!

    Pin This Recipe
    5 Test Kitchen Approved Tips
    Years of test kitchen experience distilled into a simple series to help you become a better, more confident cook!
    Photograph of America'sTest Kitchen with test cooks testing recipes

Share it with the world


About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

Learn More

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?