This post and giveaway are both sponsored by Calphalon.
All thoughts and opinions are my own. I only support brands that I love and that I use in my own kitchen. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep cook on a whim cooking!
These Browned Butter Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies are all of my favorite things packed into one HUGE cookie: toasted pecans, melty, dark chocolate, and the best part: 2 sticks of browned butter. A sprinkle of sea salt on top gives them just the right finishing touch. They are baked just long enough to not be too doughy, but the middles still have just the right amount of cookie-dough-ness. The toasted pecans add the perfect, not-too-crunchy crunch, and the chocolate puddles sprinkled with flaky sea salt just send me to the moon. The best I tell you. Keep reading for the recipe and details on the giveaway!
I’m so excited to share this recipe I developed in partnership with Calphalon for National Cookie Day using their new line of Countertop-Safe Bakeware. This bakeware is equipped with heat-resistant, no-slip silicone feet that protect countertops from surface damage and accidental burns while eliminating the need for trivets or potholders. I’m also so excited to be giving away a set to one of you! A huge thanks to Calphalon for their generosity! Leave me a comment below telling me what you’d bake using this set and for additional entries hop on over to Instagram @cookonawhim and leave me a comment there! The Giveaway is open to US residents. Entries will be accepted until Monday, December 9th at 9:00 am EST. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified via email or DM on Instagram. Winner will receive a 6 piece set (see photo below) shipped directly from Calphalon. If you want to see the set in more detail, hop over to Instagram where I have an unboxing story highlight titled ‘Calphalon.’
When I set out to create a cookie worthy of National Cookie Day and the beginning of the holiday cookie season I knew it had to be truly magnificent on all levels. These browned butter pecan chocolate chunk cookies deliver. Each of the steps I take you through all contribute to layers of flavor that work together harmoniously to create what I feel is the perfect cookie.
What goes into these cookies
Layer one: browned butter. Oh browned butter, how do I love thee? Browned butter is like magic. Just a few minutes on the stovetop and you’ve transformed already delicious butter into an even more delicious, toasty, nutty, caramel-like elixir. It takes any recipe (sweet or savory) to whole new heights.
Layer two: brown sugar. Using brown sugar in a cookie is nothing new, but using a heavier brown sugar to white sugar ratio amplifies the caramel notes and adds moisture.
Layer three: Toasted and chopped pecans. Yes, we’re toasting them before we add them to the cookie dough. Another step, but so worth it and no, you can’t skip it. If you taste a pecan straight out of the bag and then taste a toasted pecan you will understand why I add this step to my recipes. They are just better. The texture is better, the flavor is nuttier. And your cookies will be that much better because of it. UN-toasted nuts in cookies, cakes, scones, etc is one of my pet peeves.
Layer four: Really good, dark chocolate that we chop into chunks. You want those chocolate puddles? This is how you get them. I love chocolate chips, I’m a fan of store-bought chocolate chunks, but I will always, always go for chop-it-yourself, really high quality chocolate bars for my best cookie recipes.
Layer five: Flaky sea salt. Dark chocolate loves salt. The end.
I’m sure we’re all very familiar with the internet-famous, face-sized cookies from Levain bakery in NY. They are a pretty basic, very delicious chocolate chip cookie dough, scooped into huge craggy mounds and baked until just set on the edges and still doughy and meltingly delicious on the inside. I developed these browned butter pecan chocolate chunk cookies with those cookies in mind, but this is in no way a copy cat recipe.
Pulling from another famous NY cookie, Jacques Torres’ Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies (why do all the great cookies come from NY??) I have you chill this dough for a few hours or overnight if it’s easier. I know, another step, but I promise it’s worth it! The scooping and chilling step is really important to allow the flour to hydrate and all the flavors to mingle. It also helps them hold their shape in the oven so you have a big, hefty mound of cookie instead of a flat pancake. And speaking of the flour, a mix of all purpose and cake flour gives these the perfect texture.
How do the holidays tie in with this recipe? Well, when I was a child, my dad would always set out a big bowl of shell-on nuts and we’d snack on them all through the holiday season. This is a tradition I’ve carried on and there is something so special and so old-fashioned about it that just tugs at my nostalgic, sentimental heart strings. Pecans were my dad’s favorite and I still remember him showing me how to carefully crack them and use the little pick to get the meat out of the shell. A true labor of love.
To me, a cookie doesn’t have to be in the shape of a snowflake, flavored with peppermint, and dusted in powdered sugar to be a holiday cookie. It just has to be special. It has to evoke a feeling, a memory, make us think of someone we love or someone we miss. That’s what these cookies do for me. Surrounding them with greenery and fairy lights doesn’t hurt either. I hope you’ll give these cookies a try; feel free to sub in your favorite (toasted!) nut for the pecans or just double up the chocolate chunks if you’re totally opposed or allergic to nuts. Either way, make some! Santa will thank you.
I’d love to hear what your favorite holiday cookie is and/or a holiday tradition you’ve carried over from your childhood. Let me know in the comments below! I’ll be sharing lots more holiday recipes and a few more giveaways in the upcoming weeks, so make sure to subscribe here and follow me over on Instagram so you don’t miss anything!Print
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks plus 2-3 tablespoons butter
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1.5 cups cake flour
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup toasted, chopped pecans
1 3.5 to 4 ounce bar good quality, dark chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli 72% intense dark chocolate)
flaky sea salt for topping (I use Maldon)
To Toast Pecans:
- preheat oven to 350
- Place about 2 cups pecans on a baking sheet and place in preheated oven.
- Roast for 10 minutes, stir, and roast for 5-10 minutes more until pecans are darker in color and smell very nutty.
- Remove and allow to cool to room temperature before chopping finely and reserving 1 cup for recipe.
To brown butter:
- place 2 sticks of butter in a saucepan over medium high heat.
- Allow butter to melt and foam.
- Continue cooking and stirring occasionally until butter turns a dark amber color. You will have to push the foam aside in order to see the color of the butter underneath.
- Once browned, remove from heat and pour into a heat proof measuring cup. You will need to add a couple tablespoons of soft butter to make up for evaporation during the browning process. Just add what you need to reach 1 cup total.
To make cookies:
- Place 1 cup browned butter, sugars, vanilla, and eggs in large mixing bowl (you can use a mixer, but I just stir this one up by hand).
- Stir until you have a smooth, cohesive mixture.
- Add flours, baking soda, and salt.
- Mix until almost all of the flour is absorbed.
- Add chopped pecans and chocolate and mix thoroughly.
- Using a large cookie scoop or a 1/4 cup measure, scoop dough and roll into large balls.
- Place balls on parchment lined baking sheet and press tops down just slightly so they are not rounded on top.
- Once all dough is scooped, rolled, and flattened, cover with plastic and let rest in refrigerator for 2 hours or up to 12.
To bake cookies:
- preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Space cookies 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet.
- sprinkle each cookie with a tiny bit of flaky sea salt
- bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes
- remove from oven and allow to cool on baking tray
Keywords: cookie, holiday baking, browned butter pecan chocolate chunk cookie