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. Always on the lookout for new cookie recipes to try and these look too delicious not to! Also love your blog, so pleased I stumbled upon it!

    http://lyndajanecakes.blogspot.co.uk/

    x

  2. These cookies looked crammed to the brim with delicious-ness! I’m going to have to try the cornstarch trick with my next batch of cookies.

  3. Those puddle of caramel look like heaven!! Definitely trying these…love the cornstarch addition to make them soft.

  4. i’m not a nuts-in-baked goods person but i know a few people who are, so this would be a great gift! i love the idea of the caramel. 🙂

    1. sometimes i like nuts in my baked goods, sometimes i don’t – they work here and i know i wouldn’t miss them anyway with all the salted caramel. thanks sarah 🙂

  5. My 13-year-old daughter would LOVE these. She’s a caramel freak! I love how you constantly blend so many different flavors together and they come out perfect!

    😀

  6. When I go back to the US (I got BlogHer Food tickets! Are you going?!) I’m going to have even a huger list of stuff to bring back, thanks to you. 🙂 I need caramels! These look SO good. Long live the cookie queen. 😀

    1. i’m not sure i’ll be able to go to BlogHer next year Erin!!! my friend is getting married that weekend. 🙁 But yes – put caramels on your list!!!

  7. I think I am doing like 25 days of cookies or more….I have to keep adding your cookie recipes to my lists of to make for Christmas!

  8. Sally, you are the total queen of cookies! These look so chunky-licious. I really need to try your cornstarch trick soon, because I want cookies that turn out like these!

    PS. I’m hosting a cookie swap this weekend and I am SO EXCITED I think I’m going to make your chocolate-dipped pretzel peanut butter things…I’ve been wanting to make them for awhile and this will be perfect! (Aka when other people are around to eat them!)

    1. Hi Erika! You are so sweet. You have to try cornstarch in your next cookie batch ok? You will just love the results, I promise. Have fun with those chocolate peanut butter pretzel bites – they have been and still are one of my favorite “recipes” – they are completely ADDICTING… just a warning. 😉 A cookie swap sounds so fun!

  9. These cookies are absolutely amazingly delicious. Maybe some of the best. I sprinkled coarse kosher salt in mine instead of sea salt, as I am not a sea salt fan. The texture was a little crumbly, though, I will say.

    1. Hi Melissa! I’m so glad to hear that. The texture is supposed to be soft and chewy. Do you live in high altitude? Sorry they were crumbly but regardless, I’m glad you like them!

  10. I made these cookies on a Saturday and they were gone Sunday morning! BEST cookie recipe I’ve ever come across, thank you!

    1. Hey Liz! That’s great! I love these cookies too – they are my mom’s very favorite. Caramel, chocolate, pecans – can’t go wrong.

  11. Hi Sally! These cookies look Amazing!! I am making my list and heading to the store to get what I need to make them. What kind of caramels do you use? Do I have to find salted caramels? Not sure which ones to get. Thankss.

    Kim

  12. Sally, I tried making these cookies, like these but with pretzel instead of pecan. I changed the dough a little, but the carmel just oozed everywhere and melted all over the pan. How do I get the caramel to not do that? I mixed it in the dough, should I just put it on top of the balls instead of mixing it in? And I used homemade soft caramels, do you think that makes a big difference? Anyway, still seriously delicious!

    1. Hi Aimee – yep, you can’t mix the caramels into the dough. I noted that in the post: An important item to note before baking these cookies is that the caramels are not added to the dough with your other mix-ins. Rather, you will stick a few small cut-up pieces of soft caramel candies onto the tops of your cookie dough balls as you drop them onto the baking sheet. Doing so will prevent caramel from melting and creating a burnt river of caramel underneath your cookies as they bake.” Let me know if you retry them. Thank you!

      1. Thanks for your help! I guess I wasn’t thinking clearly when I thought I could mix them in. I will definitely be making these again with the caramels just on top and I will let you know how it goes!

  13. Do you think these would be okay to freeze? They look delicious but I still don’t think I could eat them all by myself! 🙂

  14. I’m an extremely novice cookie maker, do you think I could bake the caramels in the middle of the cookie, like what you do with your Dark Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies.

    1. You sure can! I did that in this recipe (but I used a different cookie dough recipe): https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/06/09/salted-caramel-chocolate-chip-cookies/

  15. I was thinking about putting caramel sauce in the cookie base (since its just sugar and milk fat in another form). Thoughts on that?

    1. I fear the cookies would spread uncontrollably from liquid sugar. But you could try it out if you’d like. I can’t be 100% certain without trying it out.

  16. Anyone ever try using the Caramel baking bits instead of the wrapped Caramels? If so, how many cups would be recommended to substitute?
    Thanks!

  17. I’ve made these before and LOVED them! I am thinking of making them tonight for a friend’s birthday.

    What are your thoughts on white chocolate chips in place of or mixed with the semi-sweet chocolate chips? Just wondering if you’ve tried that at all.

    1. I’ve never tried that before but something tells me white chocolate chips would be amazing, Kate! Especially paired with the pecans and caramel. Try it!

      1. Oh. My. Gosh. It is SO good with white chocolate chips… I am simply reeling from the deliciousness! 😀

  18. Also, adding a box of instant vanilla pudding causes cookies to be soft (even if you leave them in a few minutes too long) and thick!

  19. OMG These look amazing! I am going to try to make these as soon as possible. Also I would LOVE to share some of our cupcake wrappers with you if you’d like to test them out on your upcoming cupcake recipes. Just send me a note.

    Thanks so much!

  20. Hi Sally, have you ever put these cookies in the freezer to save for later? I can never eat as many cookies as I bake, so that’s what I usually do. I’m not sure how the caramel would hold up in the freezer. What do you think?

  21. Sally,

    What happened to the plain Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip cookie recipe? I think the original post was also published via Culinary Chat. I can’t find it anywhere. Any help would be appreciated! 

    1. This one? I’m unsure which recipe you are referring to. https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/06/09/salted-caramel-chocolate-chip-cookies/

      1. Thanks for the reply! It was the one with the caramel bits pressed into the top  before baking & sea salt sprinkled on top after baking. I had requests for it from my husband’s Marines for Thanksgiving 🙂 I just used this recipe, minus the nuts. 

  22. I noticed you state to drop 1 TBsp of cookie dough. My husband wants bigger cookies than that. If I did 2 TBsp how much longer do you think I should bake them?
    We are die hard fans of your Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Strawberry Short Cake Cupcakes. I can’t wait to try these!

    1. The recipes are completely different 🙂 These are much softer, the others are chewier, these use softened butter (as opposed to melted) and the ratios of ingredients are slightly different. Let me know if you try them!

  23. I just finished baking these delicious cookies! Seriously, they are amazing. So glad I doubled the recipe. Friday night’s are always homemade pizza night at our house. These cookies are going to be a great dessert.

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