Salted Caramel Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Super soft-baked chocolate chip cookies with salted caramel and pecans. One of the best chocolate chip cookies of all time!

Deliciously soft salted caramel pecan chocolate chip cookies! Cookie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Soft-baked salted caramel pecan chocolate chip cookies! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Deliciously soft salted caramel pecan chocolate chip cookies! Cookie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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?!

Chocolate chip cookie dough ball

Deliciously soft salted caramel pecan chocolate chip cookies! Cookie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Why Chill Cookie Dough?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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Deliciously soft salted caramel pecan chocolate chip cookies! Cookie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Salted Caramel Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

You won’t get enough of these irresistible salted chocolate chip cookies with gooey caramel and pecans!


Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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 4 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough so the cookies don’t over-spread.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Bake for 10-11 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. The centers will look soft.
  6. 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.

Notes

  1. 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 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. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
  2. Pecans: I used salted raw pecans. You can use unsalted, roasted, and/or whichever pecans you love most.
  3. Tip: Do not place dough onto warm cookie sheets; allow sheets to cool between batches.
  4. 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

136 Comments

  1. You really are the cookie queen! And you know I like my cookies, super-chunk style, especially when ooey gooey caramel candies are involved!

  2. Things I love about this post:

    1) The fact that these cookies are STUFFED with goodness. Always the best.
    2) The second picture. It has me drooling. You are the queen of perfect silpat pictures. I always have a hard time with them. And the salt crystals are so sharp, and practically jumping off the screen!
    3) Just an other one of your perfect looking flavor combinations!
    4) You. In general 🙂

    1. Ari! you are so sweet and so funny – and you are making me blush!! i appreciate it and glad you like my super up-close cookie shot! i thought it was toooooo close but whatever 🙂

  3. Turtle cookies! Be still my heart 🙂 look at those scrumptious puddles of sweet and salty caramel. Sometimes, I wish I could morph to the size of a Polly Pocket if only for the fact that I’d be small enough to swim in one of those luscious caramel puddles. Don’t you? Anyway, these cookies rock!

    1. thank you miss kayle! being in the kitchen as they baked – i couldn’t even WAIT for them to get out of the oven. the smell of baking cookies is almsot as good as how they taste… *almost* 🙂

  4. Love love love this combination! Although you are killing me with all these creations! I keep adding things to my ever-growing must bake list for this Christmas haha not enough hours in the day!!

  5. Thanks for relinking all the recipes you did, espi the Buttery Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake and the Brown Butter Milky Way Oatmeal Cookies and okay, the last three. Well the whole thing. I want all of them and had forgotten about a few!

    These cookies are awesome looking. Glad you were able to participate in the 12 Days series – can’t wait to see what other tricks you have up your sleeve! And yes, the cornstarch in cookies makes such a huge difference! And I love caramel, in any form. Great cookies, Sally!

    1. Thanks Averie! I know you love caramel and putting together this post reminded me how many recipes with caramel I need to make again!

  6. The ONE thing I cannot resist this season is salted caramel. How did you know??!? 😉 I am actually considering making these tonight and sharing them with my coworkers tomorrow. YUM.

  7. I am late on the salted-caramel bandwagon, but just made some cookies this week-end with it…it is HEAVEN! I am officially hooked.
    I will have to give your cornstarch trick a try. My cookies can tend to deflate sometimes, I always thought the altitude in Calgary had something to do with it, but maybe cornstarch is the answer 😉

    1. i know, isn’t salted caramel the best? especially in cookies. You must try the cornstarch and if you do – let me know how it goes! Thanks Denise!

  8. salty & sweet everything! i love the fluffy cornstarch addition, it’s always my fav! this looks so pillow soft – can i lay down on it? haha…it might disappear and i don’t know why 😉

  9. Ever since you blogged about adding cornstarch to your cookies, I’ve been dying to try it. Chewy cookies are the only way cookies should be, so perfecting the soft, chewy texture is essential. Putting cornstarch on my grocery list right this second!!

    And, as always, I’m in love with your pictures. I love how sharp the details are…all the way down to the salt crystals. So beautiful! I’ve been so insanely busy that my pictures are total crap at the moment. It’s really discouraging. BUT as soon as my school project is done and over with I’m going camera shopping!! 🙂

    1. Hi miss elaine! let me know how the cornstarch cookies go then – i expect a report back!! you will love them. camera shopping! how extremely exciting! email me anytime to talk cameras! sometimes i need to rush through photoshoots as well – and it’s frustrating. i know how you feel! good luck with your school project!

  10. These look so great! I just got some of those little caramel bits; they seem perfect for this! Also, I love your pictures and the way you are able to randomly scatter chocolate chips/pecans around on the table in the shot. I can’t be random to save my life, haha. Too engineer-y. 😉

    1. Caley – your comment made me crack up! I have a lot of friends who are engineers and I think they would LOSE their minds if they were with my during a photoshoot! Thank you for the compliment though! Love those caramel bits – perfect for this recipe!

    1. hi Jackie! I put a little bit of sea salt into a zipped-top bag and rolled over it with a rolling pin. You may also buy fine sea salt instead of course to avoid having to crush it yourself!

  11. These look absolutely amazing! I cannot imagine you topping them with the other 11 days. I will be sure to check them out.

    1. aww thanks Emily! the 12 days of cookies is actually a series of posts i am apart of with my network – i won’t be posting 12 in a row! sorry about the confusion. 🙂

  12. You’re after my sweet and salty cookie-loving heart with these dreamy cookies Sally! You have so many good tricks and tips for cookie baking. I hope you write a cookie cookbook someday! I’ll be first in line to buy it. I see someone else has nicknamed you the cookie queen! Love it.

    1. That means so much to me, Reeni – all of your sweet comments do! Your support is amazing, I hope to write a cookie cookbook one day!!! My dream.

  13. My mom and I both have a “thing” for chocolate turtles too! I love that there’s caramel literally oozing out of these cookies – fabulous!

  14. Sally these look great! I’m participating in the series too!! How fun is that?! You definitely make me want to grab a bag and caramel and eat it. Seriously, the cookie with the caramel drizzling out…OMG.

    1. That is AWESOME Aimee! I jumped at the opportunity to be apart of it! the caramel drizzling out – that was the best cookie of the batch. 🙂

  15. Just when I think you’ve posted the best cookie recipe there is…then you post another one! 🙂 I’m dying to try that cornstarch trick. I think I’ll bake some cookies this weekend, for “research” purposes!

    1. “research!” Yes, I love it Ashley haha!! Whenever Kevin wants to order dessert and i’m super full, he entices me by saying “but Sally.. it’s research…” lol

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