This Southern Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe is from my mother-in-law. When my husband made me these cookies for the first time while we were still dating, I knew I had to marry him. This is easily my favorite cookie recipe and it is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. These are the cookies I bring to parties and social gatherings. Hopefully, I’ll get to make them for people again soon.
I call these Southern Chocolate Chip Cookies because my husband’s family is from the South and because they have pecans, which are often associated with Southern cooking. I grew up saying “puh-cahn” but many people in the U.S. pronounce it more like “pee-can.” I wanted to find out the “right” way to say pecan so I, of course, spent a little time on Wikipedia. Pecans are endemic to the North American continent and the name we use for them is too. The word “pecan” is derived from an Algonquin word—a language that is still spoken by over 2,000 people belonging to the Algonquin First Nations. Unfortunately. I don’t have the linguistic knowledge to understand the phonetic guide so helpfully provided by Wikipedia. It seems people who speak the Algonquin language are the only ones who really know how the word “pecan” is meant to be said.
Regardless of the etymology of their name, I am very happy to have pecans in my life. They are truly delicious and by far my favorite nut to bake with. After all, pecans are a key ingredient in my Browned Butter Brownies.
It’s really important not to skip any steps in these cookies. Yes, you need to sift the flour and melt the butter. No, you cannot make these cookies with two whole eggs instead of one egg and one egg yolk. I know it hurts to waste an egg white, but I’ve tried using two whole eggs and it throws off the whole recipe. Instead of throwing out that extra egg white use it for something else like an omelet or mousse. And yes, these cookies are huge. Don’t try to make them smaller! That will mess with baking times and throw off the crunchy and chewy ratio.
One of the best parts about this recipe is you don’t have to chop the pecans. Just dump the pecan halves in the dough as they are. Some of the pecan halves will break down a little as you stir, but most of them will stay intact. You want the pecan halves to remain whole so they can deliver maximum texture and crunch.
These cookies are quite large but in this case bigger is better! Follow the directions and use a ¼ measuring cup to scoop and shape the cookies. This will ensure that your cookies bake correctly with the time and temperature listed in the recipe.
Southern Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter (melted)
- 1 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 350° F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, sift together the 2 cups flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, and ½ teaspoon salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together ¾ cup melted butter, 1 cup brown sugar, and ½ cup white sugar.
- Beat in 1 teaspoon of vanilla, the egg, and the egg yolk until light and creamy.
- Add the sifted flour mixture and stir until combined.
- Stir in the 2 cups chocolate chips and 1 cup pecan halves.
- Place ¼ cup scoops on the prepared cookie sheet and bake at 350° F for 14 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges start turning golden brown.
- Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes. Carefully transfer to a cooling rack (the cookies will still be soft and warm). Store leftover cookies (if you have any) in an airtight container. These cookies also freeze well.