Every year, I bake a pretty insane amount of cookies. And every year, I end up with a favorite new cookie recipe that I develop for the holidays, and this year it’s these Chocolate Pecan Cookies. Honestly, they are insanely simple, unique, and they have this amazing salty-sweet quality that I’m obsessed with.

These cookies are baked in a full sheet of dough, and once they come out of the oven, you slice them into diamonds in the pan before they cool. If you haven’t yet, I HIGHLY suggest thinking of ways to bake cookies in a sheet, or into bars of some kind- it’s so much easier! Actually, these cookies are super simple and easy the whole way through, so let’s get to it.

How to Make Chocolate Pecan Cookies

The base of these cookies is a chocolate shortbread cookie, with just a touch of cinnamon and coffee in it. Both of these flavors actually tend to bring out the chocolate flavor, so the cookies end up tasting like a slightly complex chocolate pecan cookie! The dough is super simple- just butter, sugar, coffee, vanilla, flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and salt. The dough takes a while to come together in the mixer, and it will look super crumbly at first, but just keep beating it. Once your dough is completely formed, it should look something like this:

Then, we’re rolling out the dough while it’s still soft between two pieces of parchment paper. You want the dough to be fairly thin, about 1/8 inch thick, and about the size of your large sheet pan. Slide the dough onto your sheet pan while it’s still between the parchment paper, and then peel off the top piece of paper.

Brush the top with egg white, covering the whole thing evenly. And then we’re sprinkling on our finely chopped pecans (I pulse them a few times in a mini food processor) and a generous sprinkle of coarse sugar. Gently press the nuts and sugar into the dough, just to help it adhere a bit better.

Then, it needs a trip to the fridge before baking- you want it to really chill for a good 30 minutes to an hour, or you can cover it and chill it for up to 3 days before baking. Finally, we’re popping the whole thing into the oven for a bake. It’s done when it looks dry and set, and after making these cookies 5 times, I can say with confidence that they are lovely when slightly under baked, and when slightly over baked, so don’t stress!

Cut them right when they come out of the oven, leaving them in the pan. The dough is soft when it comes out, so it’s better to cut it at this point! Then, let it cool completely in the pan, and enjoy!!

Tips for High-Altitude Chocolate Pecan Cookies

These cookies, since they are baked in a sheet and have simple ingredients, are pretty easy to make and very forgiving. But here are a few tips and tricks to help you along the way!

  • Mix the dough well, and probably longer than you think you need to. It starts off crumbly and dry, but will eventually form a fully hydrated, firm dough. You want to beat this long enough for every bit of flour to be hydrated, so be generous with your mixing time!
  • Really finely chop the pecans or they won’t hold onto the dough. I like to use a mini food processor to pulse the pecans a few times until they are quite small. This will help them better hold onto the dough, and it makes them easier to cut and eat.
  • Use dark dutch processed cocoa powder to get a deep color and a pronounced chocolate flavor. I find that natural cocoa powder just doesn’t shine enough in a recipe like this one. In general, I almost always prefer dutch processed cocoa in baking at high-altitude!
  • I am at about 5,000 ft above sea level and I usually find that my recipes work well with no adjustments for people who live at about 3,000-7,000 ft above sea level.

Hope you guys enjoy this one, I’m so proud of this recipe- it really is a new favorite for me, and something I’ll make every year at Christmas!

Chocolate Pecan Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbs. strongly brewed coffee cooled
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tbs. dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans (pulse pecans in a small food processor if you have one!)
  • 3 tbs. coarse sugar

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the coffee and vanilla extract until combined. Then, add in the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and salt. Beat for several minutes- the dough will first look very dry and crumbly, but after mixing for a few more minutes, it will come together. You want to make sure there are no dry pockets of flour left!

  2. Place the dough on a large sheet of parchment paper, and place another sheet of paper on top. Roll out the dough until it's about 1/8 inch thick, and the rough size of a large baking sheet. Keeping the dough between the paper, transfer it onto a large baking sheet.

  3. Peel the top layer of parchment paper off. Brush the dough generously with the egg white, being sure to coat it completely. Sprinkle on all of the finely chopped pecans, and spread evenly over the entire dough. Evenly sprinkle the coarse sugar on top of that, and gently press the pecans/sugar onto the dough to help it better adhere to the dough.

  4. Place the whole sheet pan into your fridge for 45 minutes to an hour. If you want to, you can cover the dough tightly in plastic and chill for up to 3 days before baking.

  5. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake the cookies in the sheet pan, still intact as one large sheet of dough, for 18-22 minutes, or until the dough around the edges looks dry and set. These cookies are great whether they are slightly underbaked or slightly overbaked, so don't stress!

  6. Once the cookies come out of the oven, cut them while they are still hot. Slice the dough into strips, and then into small diamonds. Leave the sliced slab of cookies in the pan to cool completely, and then they can be removed the pan gently and packed in a tin or air-tight container. Enjoy!


2 Comments

  1. Barbara

    December 24, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Just made your chocolate peppermint cookies!!!
    Love them…delicious, and festive looking,
    Can’t wait to try this newest recipe.

    Reply
    • Dough-Eyed

      December 29, 2020 at 11:44 am

      oooo yum!! Those are so good too!!

      Reply

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