Chocolate Orange Pecan Cookies

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  64 cookies
Prep Time:  25 minutes Cook Time:  24 minutes

Chocolate Orange Pecan Cookies

These pint-sized cookies pack big flavors of cinnamon, orange, pecans, and chocolate—a bright combination for a winter's day.

Ingredients

1 cup (120 grams) chopped pecans, toasted (see Kitchen Tips)

2 cups (260 grams) unbleached, all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly grated (or ¾ teaspoon ground) cinnamon

2 sticks (1 cup/227 grams/8 ounces/16 tablespoons), unsalted butter, room temperature

¾ cup (159 grams) dark brown sugar

½ cup (102 grams) granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract

1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips (see Kitchen Tips)

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

64 whole pecans, shelled, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the pecans until finely chopped, but not powdery.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy, stopping the machine and scraping down the side of the bowl with a soft silicone spatula as needed. With the mixer at low speed, add the eggs and vanilla and mix for 30 seconds to blend. Add the flour mixture and the nuts, mixing until just incorporated and scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. Add the chocolate chipsand orange zest, mixing at low speed until evenly distributed. Don’t overmix (see Kitchen Tips).
  5. Working in batches, use a scoop or a spoon to portion the dough onto the prepared baking sheets in half-tablespoon-sized mounds (see Kitchen Tips). Flatten the cookies slightly before baking and press a pecan lightly into the center of each. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until just set and lightly browned on the bottoms, rotating the baking sheets between the oven racks and from font to back halfway through the baking time, to ensure even baking. Let cool for a few minutes and transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

Kitchen Tips

  1. Toasting the nuts beforehand will bring out a warmer flavor in the pecans, but if pressed for time, you can skip this step. If you would like to toast the nuts, try The Weiser Kitchen’s Roasted Nuts.
  2. You can substitute mini chocolate chips if you prefer more petite morsels of chocolate; for a different texture, use a combination of chocolate chips and finely chopped Mexican stone-ground chocolate like Taza.
  3. The dough is stiff enough to scoop immediately, but you can refrigerate before proceeding if you wish. You can also roll the cookie dough into a cylinder, refrigerate for several hours, and slice for icebox cookies.
  4. These cookies will not spread a lot, so you can place them fairly close together on the baking sheet.

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