We now have a chocolate chip pecan cookie recipe that is the double chocolate version of this one! I loved it so much last year I wanted to create something similar but that would emulate those fruit & nut chocolate bars more closely, making the dough itself chocolate.
Butter: European or american style is fine (the former will give you better spread and slightly richer flavor); be sure it’s unsalted. If you are using salted butter, reduce the salt by half.
Flour: It’s best if you use a scale to measure the flour to be precise. If using a gluten-free 1-to-1 swap or oat flour, let the dough sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Cocoa Powder: Natural or dutch cocoa powder; natural has a lighter color and flavor (it’s what’s pictured here) whereas dutch will be darker and richer, and will spread a bit more than what you see here.
Nuts: If you don’t want pecans you can use any other nut (pistachios would be wonderful here!), you can also leave them out and just use the fruit.
Dried fruit: I used dried cranberries but raisins or dried cherries work well here too.
It’s best to buy raw pecans and toast them yourself. I do this for 10 minutes on a cookie sheet at 350 F. If your pecans are roasted you should still toast them but just for 5-7 minutes.
Another option is to candy the pecans, this is a great way to make them extra crunchy and flavorful: mix ½ – 1 cup pecans with 2 tablespoons maple syrup and ¼ tsp of a spice (I like using ginger but cinnamon, chinese five spice or cardamom works too!). YOu’ll bake them on a cookie sheet at 375 for about 15 minutes, turning them at the 7 minute mark.
However you prepare your nuts, be sure to have them fully cool before adding to the cookie dough.
You could make this dough and store it in the fridge ahead of time but preferably, especially if you are using natural cocoa, scoop the dough portions onto a plate and flash freeze them for 10 minutes, then transfer to a ziplock bag for longer storage.
My cookies didn’t spread/My cookies spread too much!
These issues come up most when the flour/butter measuring was off; they’ll spread more with less flour and more butter and vice versa. I provide scale measurements to avoid this. Using chopped chocolate encourages better spread in a cookie but these are likely to spread fine either way. Also, butter temperature can have an effect on the cookie spread: if it’s overly soft and nearly melty the cookies will spread more.
These aren’t chocolaty enough.
The chocolaty flavor will come from the type of cocoa chosen; natural cocoa has a lighter taste, dutch is much darker. I chose natural cocoa for these because there’s so much going in terms of the additions that I didn’t want the dough itself to be overwhelming.
These are too sweet/not sweet enough.
The added chopped chocolate you choose will have a big impact on sweetness; choose milk chocolate for sweeter (45% cocoa solids and below) and dark chocolate (at least 55% cocoa solids) if you don’t want it sweet.
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