When it comes to a sweet treat this Easy Chocolate Chunk Pecan Cookie Brownie Bar Recipe is amazing. Is it a cookie? Is it a brownie? Truthfully it is the best of both. Soft in the center, crumbly on the outside, and delicious gooey chocolate with the crunch of pecan. If that hasn’t got your mouth watering then I don’t know what will.
I am always looking for easy cookie bar recipes with few ingredients and these chocolate chunk brownie bars fit the bill. Brownies were actually a creation straight out of Chicago by Bertha Palmer who was a Palmer House Hotel family member. They were created to be served at the Columbian Exposition World’s Fair in 1893. Tested in the world-famous Palmer House Hotel Kitchen, today bakers all over the world make delicious brownies using varied flavors and ingredients. I think these chocolate chunk pecan cookie brownies can rival any brownie recipe. Delicious with the crunch of pecan topped with that coarse sea salt and you get the perfect balance of sweet and savory.
This easy recipe is super simple to follow and to make. The key is the browning of the butter in a pan. It gives an extra nutty flavor and is a bit of a secret ingredient when it comes to making these pecan cookie brownies. You can have these sweet treats in the oven in a matter of minutes. The hardest part is waiting for them to cool enough for you to devour them. They don’t last long in our house.
These delicious cookie bars take little time and are simple for a first-time bake. Feel free to substitute chocolate chips if you prefer over creating chocolate chunks and happy baking!
Ingredients for these Chocolate Pecan Bars
With a few pantry staples as well as delicious pecans, cinnamon, and chocolate you can create wonderful brownies that your family and friends are going to love.
- ½ stick of butter, unsalted and softened
- Dark brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Pecans, chopped
- Semi-sweet chocolate bar, chopped
- Coarse sea salt for the topping
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to make Chocolate Pecan Cookie Bars
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare a 9x9 baking dish lined with parchment paper and set aside.
In a saucepan, brown the butter. To do this you need to melt the butter on medium heat, stirring every couple of minutes until the melted butter begins to create brown bits at the bottom of the pan. You will also notice there is a nutty scent.
Pour the melted brown butter into a large mixing bowl and let cool for a couple of minutes.
Add the brown sugar to the bowl and whisk together. Then add the vanilla and eggs whisking again until thoroughly combined.
Pour in the flour, cinnamon, and salt and combine.
Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to fold in the dry ingredients until a thick cookie batter forms. It will be similar to a brownie batter consistency.
Add in all but a few tablespoons of the chopped pecans and chocolate. Keep some to top the batter before going in the oven. Fold in the pecans and chocolate until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the extra pecans and the chocolate on top.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Sprinkle coarse sea salt on the cookie bars straight out of the oven. Let them cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes before cutting as it will help to create clean cuts.
Hint: Make sure the butter is browned. You want it to be melted and to have changed color. The nutty scent is a giveaway that the butter is ready for you to move on to the next step.
- Pecans - These are called pecan brownies, but if you don't like pecans, then try walnuts or hazelnuts as an alternative. You can also use a combination of nuts if you wish.
- Chocolate - We used semi-sweet chocolate for this recipe but it would work fine with dark, milk, or even white chocolate chips. Why not try a combination of different chocolates for extra flavor and sweetness? Or, try either peanut butter chips or butterscotch chips? If you prefer to use a bar of sugar-free chocolate, I like The Good Chocolate brand and it would be delicious as a substitute. And, if you prefer to use chocolate chips instead, they are terrific but they don't deliver as much chocolate flavor as chunking up a bar. If you can find chocolate already chunked in the grocery store like I can at times, this recipe will create easy bars to make.
- Gluten-free - You can easily make these brownies gluten-free. Just substitute your preferred all-purpose gluten-free flour.
- Spice things up - Yes you read that right. Chili and chocolate is a combination you never knew you needed in your life. Add some chili flakes to give these brownies an extra kick and flavor.
- Vanilla extract - If you want some extra nutty flavor then you could use almond or hazelnut extract as an alternative to vanilla.
- Serve - serve them along with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for an easy dessert recipe that everyone will love.
Storing these brownies is easy. If you do have leftovers, then place them in an airtight container or individually wrap them in plastic or saran wrap. You can store them at room temperature for 2 days, or they will last up to five days in the refrigerator.
You can also freeze them. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap or freeze them on a tray and then add them to a freezer ziplock bag for easy storage. They will last for 2 months in the freezer. Just pull one out to thaw and you can enjoy a delicious brownie in just a few hours.
Make sure you reserve a portion of the chopped chocolate and pecans to sprinkle on top of your brownie mixture before baking. The chocolate especially will help to get that crackly and crumbly top we know and love.
The trick is how you store them. An airtight container is essential when storing fresh brownies. You can also add parchment paper in between your brownies. A storage hack is to also add a slice of bread to the container. The moisture from the bread will help to keep those brownies fresh and soft for an extra few days.
The issue you might have had, if you find your brownies are rubbery and tough, is overmixing the brownie batter. It will add too much air to the brownie mixture.
Yes, definitely! They need to be at room temperature before you cut them into cookie bars. As they cool they will start to solidify. Slicing them too soon means you risk them falling apart.
If you are looking for an easy cookie bar recipe with few ingredients, this recipe will be the perfect dessert for a special occasion. This is a great recipe in bar form that will give you rave reviews! Create them for a bake sale or for family gatherings, they will quickly become your favorite cookie recipe and are the perfect quick dessert.
Lastly, if you make these Easy Chocolate Chunk Pecan Cookie Brownie Bar be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you have made is my favorite!
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Easy Chocolate Chunk Pecan Cookie Brownie Bar Recipe
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup pecans chopped and toasted
- 6 oz semi sweet chocolate bar chopped
- coarse sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
- Prepare a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a saucepan, brown the butter by melting it on medium heat. Stir every couple of minutes until the melted butter begins to create brown bits at the bottom of the pan and gives off a nutty scent.
- Pour into a large mixing bowl and let cool for a couple of minutes.
- Add the brown sugar and whisk together.
- Add the vanilla and the eggs. Whisk again.
- Add the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Use a spoon or rubber spatula to fold in the dry ingredients creating a thick cookie batter similar to a brownie batter.
- Use a spoon or rubber spatula to fold in the dry ingredients creating a thick cookie batter similar to a brownie batter.
- Set aside a few tablespoons of the chopped pecans and chocolate for the topping.
- Add the remaining chocolate and pecans to the batter and fold until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
- Sprinkle with the extra pecans and chocolate.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Sprinkle the coarse sea salt on the top when you take the bars out of the oven.
- Let cool for about 30 minutes before cutting.