About a month or two ago, I set off to make a fun fall cookie for Date Night In’s Gather Together date box and decided to recipe test a salted pecan and caramel cookie. I wanted something that almost tasted like a pecan pie, but bite-sized and packed with gooey caramel.
Recipe testing any type of dessert can be exhausting and take a lot of time. To me, baking something you’ve invented in your head is a lot more difficult than cooking because there’s less room for error and there are so many different elements to baking.
My first attempt at making this cookie, I used caramel sauce (what was I thinking?) and it completely melted the cookies and turned them into the flattest cookie I’ve ever seen. My second attempt, I adjusted some of the measurements and decided to add pieces of soft caramel candy, but the cookies were still not rising correctly!
I guess it’s true what they say – a third time’s a charm because my third and final (thank goodness) attempt worked! I increased the amount of flour in the recipe and stuck with the soft caramel candy. This cookie recipe was a labor of love and while I became discouraged and frustrated with each attempt, I’m glad I persevered and figured it out because I learned a lot and created a cookie perfect for this time of year!
These pecan and caramel cookies are the perfect sweet to bring to your upcoming Thanksgiving gathering(s). If you end up making them, don’t forget to tag #marinamakeseats!
Pecan and Caramel Cookies
Makes 12-14 cookies
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup of chopped pecan chips, plus more for topping
- 18-20 caramels, halved
- Sea salt for topping
- Parchment paper
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until they are smooth. Beat in the egg, then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and stir them into the creamed mixture until just blended. Scrape the sides with a spatula. Then, stir in the pecans and caramel. Next, drop tablespoon-sized balls onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Top each with an additional pinch of pecan chips and sea salt.
Bake for 13-15 minutes in the preheated oven or until golden brown around the edges (may take longer based on the type of cookie sheet you use). Allow cookies to cool on a wire rack.