Maple Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

PECANS. 

Aren’t they such a glorious nut? With their beautiful chestnut brown color, deep ridges, and buttery flavor, I just knew they needed a cookie of their own. Not a cookie where they were the runner-up, added in at the last minute for a little extra crunch, but a cookie dedicated to their rich, toasty flavor. A cookie filled to the brim with little morsels of pecans in every bite. 

These are Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies, not Chocolate Chunk Pecan Cookies. Don’t get it twisted.Maple Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I once had someone tell me they didn’t like pecans because they taste like dirt. 

I try to be respectful of people’s various (albeit sometimes so, so bizarre) food preferences, but I’ve eaten dirt before and I can assure you that golden, toasty, nutty, beautiful pecans taste nothing like the stuff. You better believe that person was getting suspicious glances from me for the rest of the night.

And none of these cookies. More for us! Maple Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

To make these cookies, I started with some of my favorites like grass-fed butter, maple syrup, white whole wheat flour, and vanilla extract. Once I had a soft, maple-kissed cookie dough, I toasted up an entire cup and a half of pecans, chopped the heck out of them (this is the official term for chopping them until they’re just tiny, powdery bits-alternately, this can be done in a food processor if you’re not feeling up to the task), and folded them into the batter. You could stop here – though obviously I never can- and have perfect maple pecan cookies. Or, you could toss in a handful of roughly chopped dark chocolate- say, the amount of pecans you would normally fold into chocolate chip cookie dough as an afterthought- and end up with little nuggets of dark chocolate hidden amongst your pecan cookies. Maple Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Maple Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

The just-perfectly-sweet maple cookie dough paired with a lifetime supply of toasty, earthy (not dirty-don’t try to confuse me here, people!), buttery pecans, a few bites of dark, rich chocolate, and undetectable whole grain goodness is a game changer. Well, at least when it comes to cookies. 

Since I didn’t set out to make chocolate chip cookies with a few bits of pecan added, these don’t turn out much like a chocolate chip cookie. Whereas my favorite CCC has crisp edges and a practically gooey center, these cookies are a bit more delicate, even a teensy bit fluffy (but in a good way!) and totally in a league of their own. Maple Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

If you love pecans as much as I do, you are going to FLIP over these cookies. They’re:

Tender

Loaded with toasted pecans

Studded with dark chocolate

Perfectly sweet

Surprisingly whole wheat

& Kind of a big deal.Maple Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

After sampling my FOURTH cookie in one day (no shame in this cookie game), I came to realize:

  1. Breakfast dessert should be a thing because these cookies taste amazing after breakfast with a cup of coffee/tea. I also may have crumbled a few leftover cookies onto a bowl of yogurt and called it breakfast one day this week. 
  2. These cookies taste a lot like the softbatch cookies that come in a package at the grocery store, but obviously way, way better (also: I hate that softbatch has been unjustly morphed into a compound word and is no longer used as two separate words. It’s a SOFT. BATCH. Not SOFTBATCH. Ugh. Moving along.)
  3. I’m going to need another batch of these, ASAP. Maple Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Seriously, they’re so good. You HAVE to make these cookies! 

If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment telling me how they turned out! Or, take a picture and share it with me on Instagram. And don’t forget to check out my PANTRY STAPLES page to stock up on ingredients for this recipe! Happy baking, Friends! 

Maple Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Yields 12
A maple-sweetened cookie that's absolutely loaded with pecans. Tender, studded with dark chocolate, and perfectly sweet, these are the ultimate pecan cookie.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
12 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups raw pecans*
  2. 8 Tablespoons (1/2 cup or 1 stick) grass-fed butter, at room temperature**
  3. 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (dark amber, if possible)
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  7. 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  9. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/2 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate
  11. a few extra pecan and chocolate pieces, to press onto the tops (optional)
Instructions
  1. 1.Turn oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread pecans out on the pan. Put the pan directly into the oven to toast (no need to wait for it to preheat). Toast the pecans for 10 minutes, or until they start turning slightly more brown and smelling nutty/toasted. When finished toasting, remove from the oven and let cool on the pan. Keep the oven at 350 for the cookies.
  2. 2. While pecans toast in the oven, make the cookie batter. First, make sure your butter is very soft. If not, I recommend microwaving it in 10-second intervals on low power until soft. Add soft butter and maple syrup to a mixing bowl, then whisk to combine. Add the egg and vanilla, and whisk again to fully incorporate the eggs into the butter mixture.
  3. 3. Add all dry ingredients to the batter, and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until combined.
  4. 4. Transfer pecans to a large cutting board and chop until only fine bits of pecan remain (they should be about the size of oats- this will take you a few minutes of chopping). Alternately, you could dump the pecans into a food processor and pulse 5-10 times until the pecans are mostly ground up. You aren't looking for chunks of pecans, but for the pecans to just be small bits throughout the entire cookie, much like an oatmeal cookie. Add pecans to the cookie dough with the chopped chocolate, and stir to fully mix them into the dough.
  5. 5. Scoop cookies onto the same parchment-lined pan you toasted the pecans on. I used a cookie scoop to keep them all the same size, and got exactly 12 cookies. You could also portion them out with a 1/4 cup measuring cup, or just eyeball it with a spoon. If desired, press a few chunks of pecan and chocolate into the tops of each ball of cookie dough. Transfer the pan to the fridge or freezer to chill for 5-10 minutes, since the pecans may have slightly warmed the batter.
  6. 6. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until cookies are golden and still slightly soft in the middle. If overbaked, these cookies tend to get cakey/fluffy, not crunchy, so I recomment starting at 12 minutes and checking every minute after to make sure they don't overbake. Let cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes before eating.
  7. 7. Leftover cookies (if such a thing exists) can be kept at room temperature for up to 5 days, or frozen for several months.
Notes
  1. **If your pecans are already roasted, you can skip the first step, preheat your oven to 350, and proceed with the instructions as written.
  2. *Grass-fed butter is more nutritious than factory-farmed butter, and also has more flavor than generic grocery store butter. I can find Kerrygold Butter at every major grocery store (Trader Joe's is always the cheapest, FYI), and some stores carry Vital Farms brand butter (which is also grass-fed) or a local option, too. Using the highest quality butter possible makes a difference in the flavor of these cookies, so if you can't find grass-fed butter, I recommend buying an organic option instead.
Adapted from my Old-School Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
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