Giant Dark Chocolate Cookie with Espresso and Toasted Pecans
Learn how to make the giant cookie of your dreams! This huge cookie is filled with dark chocolate, toasted pecans, and espresso. It’s gooey, rich, and decadent.
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Techniques Used: Brown Butter for Baking, Creaming Method for Cookies, How to Toast Pecans
Giant cookies are what dreams are made of! You could almost call this a cookie cake but it’s more rustic than a perfectly round cookie. Plus there’s no need to add frosting to this cookie. It’s already so rich and decadent there’s nothing else you need besides a glass of cold milk to wash it down.
This giant cookie is perfect for sharing- or not!
How to make a giant cookie
Our giant cookie will start by making browned butter. Doing so will add richness, nuttiness, and a hint of caramel. The butter is browned at least several hours before making the cookies so that it has time to cool before being added to the dough. You can also brown the butter the night before.
Step 1: Brown the Butter
Cut the butter into pieces and place in a saucepan over medium-low heat and melt. Stir frequently and keep an eye on it. You will start to smell the butter when it is getting close to browning. If it is bubbling too much, turn it down to low heat. It will smell nutty and then will start turning an amber color. You want it to be a fairly deep amber color, but watch it closely because it can burn quickly. This whole process only takes about 5 minutes since it’s a small amount of butter.
After the butter is brown, remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. You don’t want to use hot or even warm butter in this recipe because you won’t be able to cream it with the sugar and it will result in a really greasy cookie. It took mine about 1 1/2 hours to come to room temperature and to re-solidify.
Step 2: Toast the Pecans
To toast pecans, put them in a dry pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally, paying close attention so they don’t burn. The pecans will become very fragrant once they are toasted. Remove from heat and allow to cool before making the dough.
Step 3: Cream the Butter and Sugar
Once the butter has come to room temperature, cream it together with the brown sugar either using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat until pale in color and fluffy. Since it’s a small amount of butter and sugar, you will need to scrape down the bowl every so often while beating.
Mix in the egg and vanilla extract. Scrape down the bowl again until fully combined.
Step 4: Mix in the Dry Ingredients
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixer. Mix until fully combined but do not over-mix or you will have a chewy, dense cookie.
Step 5: Add the Mix-Ins
Fold in the toasted pecans and chocolate chips to the batter using a rubber spatula.
Step 6: Scoop the Dough
Pile the cookie dough into one ball onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread out with the back of a spoon or spatula until it’s about 1- 1 1/2 inches (2.5-4 cm) thick.
Top with a few more chocolate chips.
Step 7: Bake
Bake for 16-18 minutes on 350ºF (180ºC). When it’s done, you will notice that the edges will be slightly crisp to the touch and the middle will be slightly underdone. The cookie will continue to set while it’s cooling.
How to make Smaller Cookies
You can easily convert this recipe into smaller, traditional size cookies. Instead of piling the dough into one giant ball, scoop it out into 8 smaller mounds of dough. This smaller size of cookie only needs to bake for about 10-12 minutes.
These cookies are filled with all my favorite things: brown butter, dark chocolate, espresso, and toasted pecans.
- 56 grams (4 tablespoons, ½ stick) unsalted butter
- 50 grams (½ cup) chopped pecans
- 100 grams (½ cup) brown sugar, light or dark
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 20 grams (¼ cup) dark chocolate cocoa powder (or dutch processed cocoa powder)
- 75 grams (½ cup + 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
- 75 grams (½ cup) chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark), plus more for topping
- Brown the Butter: At least 1 ½- 2 hours before baking the cookie, cut the butter (56 grams, 4 tablespoons) up into small pieces and put it in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Allow the butter to melt and start boiling. Turn down the heat to low if it's bubbling too much. Stir frequently until the butter turns golden brown and smells nutty. Pour the brown butter into a bowl and set aside to cool until solid.
- Toast the Pecans: Put the chopped pecans (50 grams, ½ cup) in a dry pan and place over medium heat. Stir frequently for a few minutes until the nuts smell toasty. Remove from the heat to cool before making the dough.
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the cooled & solidified browned butter and brown sugar (100 grams, ½ cup) on medium/high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Since it's a small amount of butter and sugar you will need to stop and scrape down the bowl periodically.
- Add Egg and Vanilla: Add the egg (1 large) and the vanilla extract (1 ½ teaspoons) and mix until incorporated.
- Add Dry Ingredients: In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the baking powder (1 teaspoon), espresso powder (½ teaspoon), salt (½ teaspoon), cocoa powder (20 grams, ¼ cup), and flour (75 grams) until evenly distributed. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just absorbed, only about 15-20 seconds. You don't want to over-mix the dough.
- Add Mix-Ins: Add in the chocolate chips (75 grams, ½ cup) and the toasted chopped pecans. Fold in until evenly distributed. The dough will be very thick.
- IF MAKING THE LARGE COOKIE: Mound the dough into a large ball on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to smooth out the dough into a round disc about 1- 1 ½ inches (2.5- 4 cm) thick. Top with a few more chocolate chips and bake for 16-18 minutes until set. The edges will be slightly crisp while the middle looks slightly underbaked.
- IF MAKING INDIVIDUAL COOKIES: Scoop 8 balls of dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Top each mound with a few more chocolate chips and bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are set and the middles look slightly underbaked.
- Cool: Allow to cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before removing.