Butter Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

These big, chewy, hearty oatmeal cookies are filled with sweet, buttery, toasted pecans and little bites of caramel. - Bake or Break
I’m not a fan of fussy recipes. You know, the ones that have a few steps in the directions that just seem unnecessary. But sometimes there’s that one extra step in a recipe that takes it from pretty good to pretty amazing.

That’s the situation with these cookies. Sure, you could just add some pecans to the dough. But taking a few minutes to toast those pecans in a little butter and sugar makes them so much better that it’s worth that bit of extra effort. Not only do you get a great toasted flavor, but you also get a little extra bite of sweetness and butteriness.

I should also probably mention that these buttery, sweet pecans are also quite good all on their own. You might want to take that into consideration and just make extra for snacking. I must confess that not quite all of the ones I made for this batch made it into the cookies.

These big, chewy, hearty oatmeal cookies are filled with sweet, buttery, toasted pecans and little bites of caramel. - Bake or Break

With those sweet, toasty pecans and lots of brown sugar in these cookies, the addition of a little bit of caramel to the batter enhances the flavor and adds chewy bites throughout the cookies. Store-bought soft caramels cut into small pieces are such a simple way to infuse a little extra caramel flavor into these delicious cookies.

I use a 3-tablespoon scoop for forming the cookies. I like the uniformity of cookie size and shape for even baking. Whether you use a scoop or not, those big pecans in the dough can make forming the scoops a little tougher. Just make sure the scooped dough is not too loosely formed, and they’ll turn out just fine.

I bake a lot of cookies. But I must say these are now one of my favorites. I just love their big flavor! These are some serious cookies, my friends. They’re the perfect blend of chewy, nutty, and sweet in a big, bakery-sized cookie.

Butter Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes per pan

These big, chewy, hearty oatmeal cookies are filled with sweet, buttery, toasted pecans and little bites of caramel.

Ingredients:

For the pecans:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups pecan halves and pieces*
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • pinch salt

For the cookies:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 soft caramels, cut into small pieces**

Directions:

For the pecans:

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans, sugar, and salt.
  2. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the pecans are toasted and the sugar sticks to them (about 7 or 8 minutes). Set aside to cool.

For the cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the oats. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Stir in the pecans and the caramel pieces.
  5. Drop the dough by 3-tablespoon portions onto the prepared pans, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Flatten the top of each cookie slightly. Bake 12 to 16 minutes, or until the edges are browned.
  6. Cool the cookies on the pans for 5 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes:

*I use mostly pecan halves, but it’s fine to have some smaller pieces as well.

** I recommend cutting each of the caramels into several small pieces. I usually make two parallel cuts and then 2 cuts perpendicular to those to make 9 smaller pieces (like a hashtag). Larger pieces of caramel tend to harden up in the cookies after they’re baked. If you have access to caramel bits, these should work, too. You’ll need about 2 ounces, or about 3 to 4 tablespoons.

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