Super soft-baked chocolate chip cookies with salted caramel and pecans. One of the best chocolate chip cookies of all time!
Perhaps it’s the memories of my childhood milk and cookie snack time or my never-ending love for a classic chocolate chip cookie. Maybe it’s the unparalleled and addictive smell wafting from the kitchen as they bake or the endless add-ins you can throw into a cookie dough.
I’m in love with baking cookies, especially this time of year.
How to Make Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
The dough for today’s cookies is the same dough as my Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies. Cornstarch, my secret weapon in cookie recipes, makes a silent appearance yet again. I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you again, I swear by cornstarch in my chocolate chip cookies!
- Adding cornstarch to your cookie dough will produce softer-than-ever cookies! It doesn’t impact the flavor at all. One bite of your tender cookie and you’ll wonder why you haven’t added cornstarch to your chocolate chip cookies this whole time. We add a touch to our chewy chocolate chip cookies and shortbread cookies, too.
Salted Caramel Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies
I added a little something salty and sweet to my sweet chocolate chip cookies the other day: a sprinkle of sea salt, a bit of caramel, some delicious pecans. Just like your favorite turtle candy! My mom and I always shared a small bag of turtles during Christmas. Biting into one always brings me back home, and I wanted to capture that same nostalgia in today’s cookie.
You’re going to overload the chocolate chip cookies, super-chunk style. I used store-bought caramel squares, salted pecans, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and a generous sprinkle of sea salt on top.
- Important tip: do not add the caramels to the cookie dough. Rather, cut the caramels into 4 pieces and stick them into the tops of your cookie dough balls before baking. Doing so will prevent caramel from burning into a burnt caramel river all over your cookie sheet.
Sure enough to be one of your favorite cookies this holiday season, these overstuffed, super-chunky, double-chewy, soft-baked cookies will please anyone and everyone. I mean, who can pass up a cookie? Especially a cookie looking this good?!
Why Chill Cookie Dough?
- The colder the dough, the less the cookies are likely to over-spread into greasy puddles. You’ll have thicker, sturdier, and more solid cookies.
- Chilling cookie dough ensures a heightened flavor as well. All the flavors in your cookie recipe will get friendly with one another during the chill time. Whenever I make cookies, I try to plan ahead and chill the cookie dough overnight.
After chilling, let your cookie dough sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes (or more, depending on how long the dough has chilled) before rolling into balls and baking. Your cookie dough may be a solid rock, so letting it slightly loosen up helps. The dough will still be much more solid than it was pre-chilling.
You won’t get enough of these irresistible salted chocolate chip cookies with gooey caramel and pecans!
- 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup (71g) chopped unsalted or salted pecans
- 16 wrapped caramels, cut into 4 or 5 pieces each
- sea salt for sprinkling
- In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be thick. Add the chocolate chips and pecans, then mix until evenly distributed. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 3-4 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough so the cookies don’t over-spread.
- Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
- The cookie dough will be slightly crumbly, but will come together as you roll into individual balls with your hands. Roll balls of dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each, and arrange 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Press a few pieces of caramel onto the tops of the cookies and sprinkle each with sea salt.
- Bake for 11-12 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. The centers will look soft.
- Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 3. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze cookie dough.
- Pecans: I used salted raw pecans. You can use unsalted, roasted, and/or whichever pecans you love most.
- Tip: Do not place dough onto warm cookie sheets; allow sheets to cool between batches.
- Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.
Keywords: caramel pecan chocolate chip cookies, salted caramel pecan chocolate chip cookies