Oatmeal Pecan Cookies

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Delicious and flavorful oatmeal pecan cookies — crisp on the edges and chewy in the center!

These oatmeal pecan cookies are a classic that everyone loves! If you aren’t sure about nuts in your cookies, this is the perfect recipe to start with! OR click if you’d like to stick with oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (no nuts).

Up close and overhead shot of an oatmeal pecan cookie

Oatmeal Pecan Cookies

I’m so excited to share with you these oatmeal pecan cookies! Not only are these my absolute favorite oatmeal cookies ever, but they have been tested and tested so I am way excited for you all to try them! They’ve been made so often mostly because the toddler and I love making cookies (way too often), but also because I sent them to a few of my friends, so a lot of batches had to be made 🙂 I participated in a mailing cookie exchange with this recipe and it was so fun. How it works? Pick a few friends, perfect a cookie recipe, and mail a dozen (or however many you want) cookies to everyone. In exchange you’ll get their favorite cookies in the mail back! It’s a fun thing to do around the holidays if you’re away from family/friends!

What can you expect from this Oatmeal Pecan Cookies Recipe?

My favorite cookie is an oatmeal chocolate-chip cookie (does that make me boring?!). So, I wanted these to be the very best. The “very best” (in my opinion) is a soft & chewy oatmeal cookie that has crisp edges/bottom and an ultra soft, slightly under-baked center. These cookies fit that bill. They’ve got those crispy & crunchy sugary edges, a soft slightly under-baked center, plenty of melted chocolate throughout, and overall plenty of chewiness.

picture of oatmeal pecan cookie split in half to see the gooey chocolate center

What ingredients should you use for these Oatmeal Pecan Cookies?

  • It’s important to use the right ingredients in this recipe. Margarine doesn’t substitute for real unsalted butter, a large egg is essential, and don’t use any other kinds of oats besides Old Fashioned Oats! The oats are particularly important because old fashioned oats is what gives these such a great texture. When you use quick oats, the cookies are much drier and cake-like. Because quick oats are so small they basically act like a flour and will make your cookie have a completely different texture (not necessarily bad, but they won’t work in this recipe!). Steel cut oats won’t work at all.
  • Good quality chocolate chips, or even chopping up a high quality chocolate bar really heightens the flavor and gives these cookies something special! I prefer Ghirardelli or Guittard chocolate chips for these cookies. To me, there’s nothing better than milk chocolate chips in an oatmeal cookie, but you can use semi-sweet or dark chocolate if you prefer that in your cookies.

Tips to make the BEST Oatmeal Pecan Cookies:

  • It’s important to have room temperature butter for this recipe. Allow the butter to come to room temperature on its own for best results. I LOVE melted or soft butter in most my cookie recipes, but it results in a greasy oatmeal cookie. Don’t microwave or melt the butter!
  • Creaming the butter and brown sugar is really important for this recipe so make sure to do that with hand mixers for a good 3 minutes. The other important part of the method for making these is chilling the dough and then rolling the dough balls.
  • The flour measurement is very important. If you press your measuring cup into a bag or carton of flour and then pull it out, you are compressing a lot more flour into that cup. For these cookies, I spoon the flour into a measuring cup and then level it to the very top of the measuring cup.
  • Chill the cookies: I know, I know, who wants to wait for cookies after making delicious dough? But honestly, these cookies don’t work without being chilled. Chilling matters because the fats need to re-solidify and the oats need time to absorb the “liquid” in this recipe. If the dough is baked immediately, the cookies will spread while baking and become thin, hard, and crispy. The longer the fat stays solid, the less the cookies will spread. I also chill the dough again quickly after forming the dough balls because our hands warm up that dough and you want the dough balls going into the oven as cold as possible.
  • Possibly the best tip I can give for these cookies: watch the bake time! They will go from soft, chewy, and delicious to overall crispy and blah with just a few extra minutes in the oven. I pull them out even when they look a little gooey in the center because they cook more after being removed from the oven and when they set up they are super soft and chewy. Watch the bake time carefully as that will impact the overall end texture of these cookies!
Up close and overhead shot of an oatmeal pecan cookie - crisp edges and soft and chewy center

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Oatmeal Pecan Cookies

5 from 9 votes
Delicious and flavorful oatmeal pecan cookies -- crisp on the edges and chewy in the center!
Print Recipe

Oatmeal Pecan Cookies

5 from 9 votes
Delicious and flavorful oatmeal pecan cookies -- crisp on the edges and chewy in the center!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Oatmeal pecan cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 20 cookies
Calories 115kcal
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (the equivalent of 1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature, NOT melted
  • 1/2 cup (110g) dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup (100g) white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons (86g) white flour (when you measure make sure to spoon and level)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup (25g) oat flour (blend up regular oats in the blender)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/2 cup (147g) old fashioned oats (not quick oats)
  • 1 cup (180g) milk chocolate chips, plus more for adding to the tops of the cookies
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  • Make sure your butter is at room temperature and not melted.
  • Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until light and creamy, at least 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  • In another bowl add the flour and cornstarch. To make oat flour, blend up regular oats in a blender or food processor until they resemble flour. Measure to get 1/4 cup and add that in. Add in the baking soda, fine sea salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and old fashioned oats.
  • Add the dry to the wet and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Coarsely chop the pecans and add them in.
  • Stir together all of the ingredients and then cover tightly and chill for at least an hour. These cookies don't cook well without being chilled.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Scoop out balls of dough (if you have a food scale, do cookie balls about 1.8 ounces in size)
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a baking liner. Place balls of dough (no more than 9 cookies at a time) on the cookie sheet. Return the tray of cookies to the fridge for 10 minutes.
  • Bake for 7-9 minutes or until lightly browned at the edges (even if the center looks a little under-done -- it cooks more after being pulled out of the oven). These cookies set up and become extremely delicious and chewy if they're slightly underbaked.
  • Err on the side of slightly under-baking these cookies for soft, chewy, and tender cookies!
  • Press some extra chocolate chips into the tops of the cookies if desired. If desired, add a sprinkle of sea salt to the cookies. Cookies best enjoyed within 2-3 days.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 115kcal

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Delicious and flavorful oatmeal pecan cookies -- crisp on the edges and chewy in the center! via chelseasmessyapron.com
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56 Comments

  1. I can tell right now, the hard part for me is going to be waiting for the dough to chill! I also love Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies and I am excited to try yours with the cornstarch and oat flour. Love the little shape of the dough you make too! Can hardly wait to try these.

    1. Sure! 🙂 I just like to control the amount of salt more precisely so I generally use unsalted butter and add additional salt to my preference, but salted would work great, just leave out the additional salt or add in less.

    1. I’m sorry Kim, I don’t have any experience with high altitude baking so I’m not sure on these. Wish I could be of more help.

  2. Regarding that oat flour, when you say “regular oats”, are you referring to quick oats, or can old fashioned oats be used here as well?

  3. These sound delicious!! You talked about sending these cookies in a mailing cookie exchange – what would be the best way to package and ship these cookies so that they arrive fresh and unbroken?

    1. Yes!! Cookie exchanges are the best! If you line the postage box with bubble wrap before placing the container in it that should be enough to keep them in great shape! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Chelsea – can I just tell you how happy I am right now? I just took a bite of these spectacular cookies. I have to say I am absolutely blown away. The texture is fantastic and the rich buttery flavor mixed with the carmel-y taste of brown sugar is absolutely to die for!! I sprinkled mine with some fleur del sel and my taste buds are doing a happy dance. Thank you for creating such a delicious cookie recipe for all of us!!!

    1. Oh my gosh you made my day!! I’m sooo happy you enjoyed these!! They are some of my faves too! Thanks Carol! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Would I be able to make the dough, form the cookie balls, then freeze them for a later date? For example if i wanted to make just 5 cookies out of the 20 which the recipe yeilds,

  6. 5 stars
    I made these for the grocery store cashier. I was only going to try one to see how they tasted with nutmeg in them, since I usually only add the cinnamon. I’m having a very hard time stopping at one. I need to do something {anything } outside the kitchen. These are very very good. Thank you. If he gets any, I’m sure he will agree, but at this point, that’s a big if!!!

  7. Chelsea, have you ever had the problem with these cookies not really spreading? Ive made them two years straight for Christmas cookie exchange, and I cant get mine to spread out hardly at all. Im not high altitude (OHIO), please help!

    1. Hey Heather! I haven’t had that problem; but I believe a little less flour would quickly remedy it 🙂 (Either that or less chilling time! Are you chilling for longer than an hour by chance?) Try with 3 tablespoons less flour and/or chilling for only 30 minutes and I’m betting you’ll get cookies that spread. (Also when you measure your flour, be sure to spoon the flour in and level it off to avoid packing in too much flour) Enjoy!

      1. I had the same problem. I followed the directions exactly. I’m not at high altitude and the cookies did not spread. ????

  8. These were good, but I like my cookies a bit fluffier. I should’ve done more regular flour and less oatmeal. Tasty, but I won’t make them again.

  9. Hi! The fam says they are good, but um… they came out so thin and flat. I used a small ice cream scoop to make the balls. I read the entire post including your tips. I cant figure out why their so flat. Thoughts?

  10. In “Ingredients,” you list “1/2 teaspoon salt.” In “Instruction“ (#3), you the salt referenced is “fine seal salt.”
    Why the difference in referring to this ingredient?

  11. In “Ingredients,” you list “1/2 teaspoon salt.” In “Instruction“ (#3), you the salt referenced is “fine seal salt.”
    Why the difference in referring to this ingredient?

  12. 5 stars
    These were THE BEST OATMEAL COOKIES I HAVE EVER EATEN!!! I am at high altitude so they did come out flat but seriously who cares when they taste this good!!!?! I only had raisins, no pecans or chocolate but omg incredible. Thank you!!

  13. 5 stars
    I added some pieces of chopped kraft caramels to these and they turned out delicious! I put aside half the batter and mixed in raisins and walnuts. They were just as good, and tasted like a completely different cookie! Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Yum! I love those substitutions and need to give them a try! Thanks for the tip and for your comment! 🙂

    1. So happy to hear you loved this! Pumpkin pie spice sounds like an amazing addition! Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  14. This may be a silly question, but are there other names for white flour?? Every time I go looking, I cannot find it and it always mentions AP again

  15. 5 stars
    These are SOOOOOOO awesome! I’m gluten free, so I substituted oat and rice flour for all the flour, and they turned out awesome! Thank you!!!!

    1. I haven’t tried making these jumbo so I can’t say for sure; I’m concerned they won’t spread well being super huge though

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