Chewy salted pecan chocolate chip cookies with caramel are a delicious combination of salty and sweet and soft and crunchy.
These cookies combine all of the classic flavors of turtle candy into a buttery chewy cookie.
Paired with a glass of cold milk these cookies will become your next favorite treat.
Make them even better by popping a cookie into the microwave for 15 seconds. You will be rewarded with a warm chocolate chip cookie that also has a gooey caramel center.
Looking for more cookie recipes? Specifically varieties of chocolate chip cookies, which I can't seem to get enough of. Try these Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies, these Caramel Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, these Bacon Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies, these Condensed Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies, or these Amaretto Chocolate Chip Cookies.
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Why You Will Love This Recipe
- These chewy cookies are the perfect combination of sweet and salty.
- With chocolate chips, pecans, and caramel all in one cookie, these cookies are loaded with flavor.
- Like most chocolate chip cookies these cookies freeze really well. Mix up a batch and freeze them so that you can enjoy a freshly baked cookie or two anytime.
Bread Flour: Bread Flour has a higher protein content which results in a chewier cookie.
Baking Soda: Provides the leavening for the cookies.
Butter: Room temperature butter is easier to cream together with the sugar. I use unsalted butter. If you only have salted butter you will need to omit the salt in the recipe. There is about ¼ teaspoon of salt per stick of salted butter.
Brown and White Sugar: This recipe uses both types of sugar. The brown sugar adds moisture while the white sugar helps the cookie dough spread while it is baking.
Egg + Egg Yolk: Eggs should be at room temperature. The additional egg yolk adds extra richness and fat which results in a softer cookie.
Vanilla: When baking I prefer pure vanilla extract rather than imitation.
Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: You could use regular chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet chocolate, but I found mini chocolate chips easier to use when wrapping dough around pieces of caramel.
Pecans: Feel free to switch up the nuts if you don’t have pecans. Walnuts would also taste great.
Caramels: My favorite caramels for stuffing into cookies are Werther’s Original Soft Caramels. They have just the right texture and melt beautifully. You could also use other brands of soft caramels, Rolo candies, or any other caramel-filled candy bar like Snickers or Milky Way. I recommend cutting each caramel in half to prevent molten caramel from erupting while the cookies bake,
Flaky Sea Salt: Flaky sea salt provides a nice contrast to these sweet pecan chocolate chip cookies. Maldon sea salt is one of the best.
Kitchen scale: Kitchen scales make baking faster and neater. Accuracy matters in baking. Scales are more precise than measuring cups. Too much flour or not enough sugar can dramatically change a recipe. The most accurate way to bake is to measure your ingredients by weight rather than volume.
A kitchen scale also reduces the number of dishes you will need to wash because you are measuring each ingredient directly from the container into the mixing bowl without the use of measuring cups.
This scale from OXO is the one I use after it was recommended by Alton Brown. What makes this scale great is the display pulls out to make viewing measurements easier when using a large bowl.
Stand Mixer: I have a stand mixer from KitchenAid. My mom and brother bought it for me for my birthday almost 15 years ago. I use it weekly and it still works just like it did when it was brand new. It makes so many kitchen tasks easier and comes with a variety of attachments.Sign up for KitchenAid's Newsletter to receive 10% off your next order!
Rubber spatula: For folding batters together, I prefer a stiffer spatula like this one from OXO. It fits comfortably in my hand, is dishwasher safe, and is heat-resistant up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Both the handle and head are silicone coated which makes it easy to clean and safe to use with my non-stick cookware and bakeware.
My secret for perfectly baked cookies is this AirBake cookie sheet. My cookies bake evenly every time I use these pans. AirBake cookie sheets have two aluminum layers with a layer of air in between them. The layer of air decreases the temperature of the top layer of metal, preventing the bottom of the cookie from browning too quickly. These pans are also really easy to clean. Just wipe them clean with a little soap and hot water. It is not recommended to fully submerge these pans in water or place them in a dishwasher.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter, and sugars with the paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth.
Lower the mixer speed to stir and add in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
Fold in the chocolate chips and chopped pecans with a spatula.
Wrap the dough in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.
While the dough is chilling, unwrap the twelve caramels and cut each one in half.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll the dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons of dough each. The dough may be a bit crumbly but will become smoother as you roll it.
Break each dough ball in half and sandwich a piece of caramel between the two haves. Smooth the two halves together by rolling the dough between your hands to make a smooth ball. Make sure the caramels are completely sealed inside.
Place the balls on the baking sheet leaving at least 2 inches in between each cookie. Flatten the balls slightly with your hand to help them spread and sprinkle each one with sea salt.
Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Allow the cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Baking Tip: My mom's trick for evenly baked cookies is to rotate the cookies while they bake. Place the first baking sheet of cookies on the lower rack of the oven and bake until they begin to spread out (usually the same amount of time it takes me to divvy out the dough on to the second baking sheet.) Move the first baking sheet of cookies to the top rack and rotate 180-degrees to finish baking and place the second baking sheet of cookies on the bottom rack. Continue this process until all of the cookies have been baked.
- Make sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature. This ensures the ingredients mix evenly and will give you the best final texture. To quickly bring the eggs to room temperature, place the whole eggs in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes.
- You could use regular chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet chocolate, but I found mini chocolate chips easier to use when wrapping dough around pieces of caramel.
- Refrigerate the dough for 2-3 hours to allow the flour to fully hydrate and the butter to solidify which will keep the cookies from spreading too much.
- Use a cookie scoop for evenly portioned cookies. Take the guesswork out of portioning cookies by using a cookie scoop to make sure each cookie is the same size. Alternatively, you could cut the block of cookie dough into even pieces with a knife.
- My secret for perfectly baked cookies is this AirBake cookie sheet. My cookies bake evenly every time I use these pans. AirBake cookie sheets have two aluminum layers with a layer of air in between them. The layer of air decreases the temperature of the top layer of metal, preventing the bottom of the cookie from browning too quickly. These pans are also really easy to clean. Just wipe them clean with a little soap and hot water. It is not recommended to fully submerge these pans in water or place them in a dishwasher.
- Line your baking pan with parchment paper. In case some of the caramel does ooze out clean-up will be much easier.
- Baking times for all recipes are only suggestions. The actual baking time will vary depending upon your oven. It is helpful to know your oven and worth purchasing an inexpensive oven thermometer. Oven temperatures can vary as much as 50 degrees plus or minus.
- Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. These cookies are so soft and gooey they may fall apart if you try to move them too soon.
Make-Ahead, Storing, and Freezing Instructions
Make-Ahead: You can mix up the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Storing: Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Freezing Cookie Dough: Unbaked cookie dough balls can be frozen for up to 3 months.
After rolling the dough into balls and stuffing them with the caramel, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, remove from the baking sheet and place in a zip-top bag. Label with the date and contents.
When you are ready to bake cookies, remove the cookie balls from the freezer, let them sit at room temperature while the oven preheats, and then bake. You may need to add a minute or two to the baking time.
Freezing Baked Cookies: Baked cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Once the cookies have cooled completely, place them on a sheet pan and freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen cookies to an airtight container or zip-top bag. Label with the date and contents.
Thaw frozen cookies overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, In fact for the best results this cookie dough needs to chill for at least 2-3 hours. But feel free to leave the dough in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Refrigerating cookie dough before baking is essential to prevent them from spreading. If the dough isn't refrigerated the butter in the cookies melts quickly causing them to spread. A hot oven also helps to prevent cookies from spreading. A hot oven allows the cookie edges to set quickly before the cooking has a chance to spread out too far.
If you have ever struggled with dry crumbly cookie dough you will want to check out my tips on how to fix it.
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