Oatmeal and Pecan Brittle Cookies

This year was a good year for baking books. I didn’t get to see them all, or bake from them, but one that I got a preview of before it was released was Dessert Person by Claire Saffitz. She may be familiar to you because of her tenure in the test kitchen at Bon Appétit and more recently, her very popular online videos, but reading through the book, I learned that she just happened to have gone to Harvard, was a graduate student in French food history in Montreal, studied pastry at Ecole Ferrandi in Paris, and worked at the now-closed Spring restaurant, which jolted me back that era in Paris when a younger generation of chefs was opening restaurants and changing the game in France (sometimes, controversially), focusing on fresh ingredients and putting their own mark on French cuisine.

That’s how I feel about her book. Claire pretty much changes the pastry game. Preserved lemons are added to a glorious-looking Lemon Meringue Cake, chocolate and hazelnuts enrich a Galette des Rois, and coffee finds its way into a Coffee-flavored Coffee Cake. (How come no one’s thought of that before?) But these Oatmeal and Pecan Praline Brittle Cookies sounded so good to me that I decided to start off with them.

I should also note that I was surprised to get a shout-out in her book. I never dreamed any of those whippersnappers with their newfangled video programs even paid any attention to me. But Claire kindly gave me props (and James Beard) for inspiring her Spiced Persimmon Cake. So don’t count me out yet!

Dessert Person contains mostly dessert recipes, of course, and like Claire, I am someone who is always up for dessert. I, too, am disheartened when people say “I can’t bake” because it’s really just measuring things out and following the recipe. One cup (100g) of oats is one cup (100g) of oats. To make things even easier, Claire talks you through all the recipes, giving lots of guidance and tips as you go, more than one might think is necessary. But when I made these cookies, I had some questions which…I found out, were answered in the very next sentence.

Not all the recipes in the book are easy, though. But she’s extremely diligent in letting you know both the active time and total time it’ll take you to put together each dessert. (I never know how people figure those out, but I’m glad someone else knows how to do it.) She also assigns a rating to each recipe, from 1-5, or Very Easy to Very Challenging. But flipping through the book, a majority of the recipes fall between “very easy” and “moderate.” Even better, while some may call for an ingredient, like preserved lemons or turmeric, most of the recipes include things either you likely already have on hand, as I did for this recipe, or things you can find in any well-stocked supermarket. Thank you Claire!

People ask me how I can tell if a cookbook is good even before I’ve made anything from it. From a baking standpoint, if an author is specific about certain details and tells you what to look out for, and sometimes what they’ve tried that didn’t work, you can be assured the recipe was well-tested. And not to sound like a broken record, but when I test recipes I try them with various amounts of flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs, butter, cream, etc., before I land on the one that I consider the best version. When others say to people who want less butter or whatever in a dessert with “Just eat less!” I agree that’s usually a better strategy than cutting back on things the recipe developer slaved over to reach their published conclusions, i.e.; the book.

(Sorry to take a moment here for just a little public service announcement: I made the pecan praline that you see above a few days in advance and it was impossible not to sneak a bit every now and then. Okay…it was more often than “now and then” so if you’re okay with a little math, you may want to make a little more. Just so you know, you’ll need about 2 cups/300g to make the recipe. You could probably sneak a few pieces for yourself which won’t affect the recipe, but I was dangerously close to going over that allotment.)

These cookies require a few steps but as the headnote says, “…the point of jumping through all these baking hoops is that you’ll be happy you put in the effort” when they’re done. I knew I was on the right path after I made the brittle, which was easy, but yes – it was a step. The brittle requires you to heat up sugar and butter – but no thermometer is needed – then add the nuts and spread it out until the mixture is cool. Half the brittle is ground up with oats and flour and the other half is added to the cookie dough so there are melting pockets of praline running through the cookies.

There’s also browning of butter and doing everyone’s least favorite kitchen project: hauling out the food processor. I don’t know why but I guess it’s because it’s something that’s not used very often for most of us, so we store it away until we need it. Then, when you do need it, it’s that big, bulky thing with the feed tube sticking out of the top and that overly long cord that seems to wrap its way around whatever is near it, that gets dragged out of the cabinet and you mentally calculate if the cord is long enough so you can safely haul out the food processor without yanking out the blender or sack of flour the cord is hooked around, or if you need to stop and free up the cord.

But yes, you’ll need a food processor to make these cookies.

When I was portioning the dough, I thought, “Wow, these cookies are huge!” Then I remembered, “…oh, those wacky Americans” and realized they were American-sized cookies. After I made them, I saw Claire posted a video of making these cookies and she goofed and made them the wrong size, and started cutting the portioned cookie balls into thirds, etc. to get them to the size indicated in the book. I tested them using half the amount of dough recommended per cookie, making notes on the various cooking times (a few photos above) as I went, and they came out just fine.

Like Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard who was told, “You used to be big” when they counted her out, and replied “I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.”

In my case, even though my cookies may have indeed gotten smaller than Claire’s, my conclusion is that both are wonderful. And I wouldn’t count either of them out.

Oatmeal and Pecan Brittle Cookies

Adapted from Dessert Person: Recipes and Guidance for Baking with Confidence by Claire Saffitz
This recipe requires a few more steps than other cookies, but the pecan brittle can be made in advance and stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to a week, or in the freezer for a few months. For making the dough, you'll brown butter and mix it up, then chill it before baking. So you'll want to read through the recipe first to check out the timeline.
In addition, Claire's original recipe requires a few pans, a stand mixer, and a food processor. If you don't have a stand mixer, the dough can easily be made by hand, in a large bowl with a spatula. I haven't tried it but you may be able to use a blender to pulverize the oats and praline; it might be necessary to stop the blender a few times and stir things up to make sure it all gets crushed properly. If it's not absolutely smooth, I wouldn't worry too much about it. But if you use a blender, let me know in the comments how it works out
I baked the cookies in the full size that Claire recommends, and also in a smaller size, using 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie, which I baked for about 10 minutes.
Lastly, note that the cookie dough rests for 12 hours before baking. The world will not come to an end if you bake them sooner, but chilling them for a least a few hours is recommended for chewier cookies.
Course Dessert
Servings 18 cookies

For the pecan brittle

  • 1 1/2 cups (140g) whole pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (55g) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or Diamond Crystal kosher salt

For the cookie dough

  • 8 ounces (230g) unsalted butter, divided (half should be cold) and cubed
  • 1 1/3 cups (175g) flour
  • 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt or Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups (200g) old-fashioned rolled oats, (not instant or quick-cooking)
  • 3/4 cup (150g) (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, (cold, not room temperature)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To make the pecan brittle

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper, a silicone baking mat, or lightly greased foil. Spread the pecans on another baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring midway during baking until they're light golden brown and smell toasty, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  • In a small or medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, 4 tablespoons of butter, and water. Have the 1/2 teaspoon (each) of baking soda and salt measured out and close by. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a heatproof spatula, until the sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook, without stirring, but swirling the pan to keep the mixture cooking evenly until it turns a deep amber color, similar in color to a cup of coffee with a touch of milk added, which will take 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and immediately stir in the pecan pieces until well coated, then quickly stir in the baking soda and salt. Still working quickly, scrape the mixture on the prepared baking sheet and spread it as evenly as possible. Set aside to cool completely. Once cool, chop the brittle into pieces the size of large peas with a chef's knife. (If you plan to finish making the cookie dough later, store the brittle bits in an airtight container, preferably somewhere where you won't be tempted to snitch them!) You want to use all the brittle, including all the little tiny bits left on the cutting board too.

To make the cookie dough

  • Place half (4 ounces/115g) of the (cold) cubed butter in a bowl of a stand mixer and put the other half in a medium skillet or saucepan. Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan frequently with a heatproof spatula. The butter will start to sputter and foam, and then begin to brown. Keep cooking the butter just until you see browned bits floating it in. Remove from the heat and pour it over the cubed butter in the mixing bowl, scraping any and all brown bits in the pan into the butter. Let cool for about 30 minutes, until the two butters start to become solid again.
  • While the butter is cooling, put the flour, salt, and baking soda in a food processor. Pulse it once or twice then add 1 cup (100g) of the oats and half (~1 cup/150g) of the chopped pecan brittle. Pulse until the ingredients are finely ground together.
  • Attached the paddle to the stand mixer and add the brown and granulated sugar to the bowl and mix for two minutes at medium speed but don't overwhip the mixture (which can cause the cookies to spread too much) until thoroughly combined and smooth.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula then add the eggs and vanilla and mix 1 minute more, then stir in the flour/oat/brittle mixture and continue to mix until there are no dry spots. You may want to stop the mixer and do this final step by hand so the ingredients get combined properly. Add the remaining pecan brittle bits and oats and stir until they are well-combined with the dough.
  • Scoop the dough into 1/4 cup (2oz) rounds on a parchment covered small baking sheet. (You can also make them half that size. See headnote.) Cover the dough tightly and refrigerate for 12 hours, or up to 4 or 5 days.
  • To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Place the oven racks on the bottom and top third of the oven and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 6 rounds of dough evenly spaced apart (by at least 3-inches/7cm) on the baking sheets and bake the cookies, rotating the baking sheets midway during baking, turning them from front to back, and switching the baking sheets from the top to bottom racks in the oven, until they are light golden brown across the top and deep golden brown around the edges, about 16 minutes. (In Claire's book, she says 16 to 20 minutes, so best to judge them by their color rather than rely on precise minutes.)
  • Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire cooling rack. Bake the rest of the cookies on the baking sheet, and it's okay if it's still slightly warm. Just be aware the cookies baked on a warm-ish baking sheet may take a little less time to bake.

Oatmeal and Pecan Brittle Cookies

111 comments

  • Sharon Wichmann
    February 16, 2021 12:56pm

    This sounds wonderful and if you will make them for me, I will definitely eat them. But, boy, that is a daunting recipe! Reply

  • Deloris
    February 16, 2021 1:55pm

    I loved your description of why one might not want to use the processor. All of it is so true. Your emails give me morning laughter. Thank you Reply

    • February 16, 2021 2:29pm
      David Lebovitz

      I used to say, “If you leave your food processor on the counter, you’ll use it more often.” But space is always an issue and in reality, I don’t think people use them as much as, say, the coffee machine : ) so now I tuck mine away and get a little anxious when I have to take it out (!) Reply

      • Laura
        February 27, 2021 12:43am

        It never occurred to me not to keep my food processor out, but I have little counter space and I might stash it now! I only use it maybe once a month… Now I, too, can curse getting it out.
        The cookies were so good!!!! Not difficult…just more steps. Best-smelling batter ever, too. Reply

  • February 16, 2021 1:55pm

    could I substitute the butter for applesauce. I usually do for other recipes Reply

    • February 16, 2021 2:25pm
      David Lebovitz

      I don’t know but if you give it a try, let us know how they turn out! Reply

    • Janice Moio
      February 16, 2021 10:32pm

      Coming from a Baker’s daughter … Applesauce is a good substitute in cakes .. I would not change the recipe as baking is a science… cookies have a different structure than cakes.
      Butter is actually good for you in moderation rather than margarine or other substituted synthetic.☕ Reply

  • Susan
    February 16, 2021 1:56pm

    I’ve had great success making nut brittles with King Arthur’s microwave recipe. Is there any reason why I can’t use a different brittle in this recipe than making it again? Reply

    • February 16, 2021 2:28pm
      David Lebovitz

      I’ve read that microwave-made caramel doesn’t taste the same as regular caramel. But I’ve only done it once and not sure how that applies to brittle. The pecan brittle in the recipe is very (very) good so if you’re going to go through the trouble of making the recipe, I’d stick to it. The brittle is very easy and only requires a saucepan. Reply

      • Adriana Gutierrez
        February 16, 2021 3:20pm

        I made microwave toffee for the first time this week amd it was awesome. Reply

  • Sandra
    February 16, 2021 2:59pm

    Looks great; I think I want the pecan brittle more than I want the whole cookie, so I’m going to follow the instruction to make more of that… Reply

    • valerie
      February 16, 2021 10:53pm

      Yes! I think the pecan brittle sounds amazing! Reply

    • huv123
      February 22, 2021 11:37am

      I ate the brittle and now I have to do another batch so I can make the cookies. It only started with a taste and BOOM. Reply

  • Adriana Gutierrez
    February 16, 2021 3:19pm

    OMG these look deadly! Reply

  • CHN
    February 16, 2021 3:21pm

    “… and coffee finds its way into a Coffee-flavored Coffee Cake. (How come no one’s thought of that before?)”

    I would like to point you (and your readers) to one of the greatest cake recipes ever: Coffee Coffee Cake with Espresso Glaze, from “Great Home Desserts” by Richard Sax. It’s a true standout in a book of mostly standout recipes.

    Stuff has always “been done before.” The fascination is in watching things evolve. Like the cookies above, which do indeed look wonderful. Thank you. Reply

    • February 16, 2021 5:01pm
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, that is a great book. Richard included a few of my recipes in there if I recall. It’s a classic. Reply

  • Cathy
    February 16, 2021 4:00pm

    I’m loving “Dessert Person” but haven’t tried this cookie recipe yet. I had borrowed it from the library (I read e-book cookbooks when I’m missing dining out) and it was so good I ended up buying it. I highly recommend her Blood Orange and Olive Oil Upside-down Cake too. It’s as pretty as the picture on the cover, and a cake that gets better as it sits on the counter for a few days is ideal for a two-person household. Reply

  • Iris
    February 16, 2021 4:18pm

    David, what you say about the food processor is what I say about the stand mixer. I’ve had an 11 cup Cuisinart food processor for years; it stays at the corner of my L-shaped counter. I use it almost daily. The stand mixer, on the other hand, is far too big for me to put anywhere OR store. My question is this: When a recipe calls for using “a stand mixer with the paddle attachment” is it appropriate to assume I can use my electric hand mixer, which fits nicely in a drawer? Reply

    • Lee
      February 16, 2021 4:28pm

      Thanks for posting that question. Storage space is a real issue for many of us – even those of us with a pretty good “batterie de cuisine”. Whenever I see “in the bowl of a stand mixer” my heart sinks. Dorie Greenspan recipes often say “or with a hand mixer.” BTW. We love you David! Your blog has made the pandemic bearable. Reply

    • February 16, 2021 5:00pm
      David Lebovitz

      Usually a hand mixer is fine although some heavy-duty batters and recipes (like marshmallows) require a mixer with a strong motor. For this recipe, you can use a hand mixer or even mix it by hand. Reply

  • Kimberly Golden
    February 16, 2021 4:33pm

    You’re not out of the game, you are invaluable! Thank you! Reply

    • soozzie
      February 16, 2021 10:24pm

      David’s not only not out of the game, he’s the standard by which the game is played.

      mic drop Reply

  • February 16, 2021 4:41pm

    Even during Covid, I am part of a cookie exchange. This Christmas, I made these cookies, and while very laborious, they are wonderful. Won’t make them often, but will keep them for special occasions. I am one of the few people not enamored with chocolate, so these are perfect for me. Reply

  • Cori Roth
    February 16, 2021 5:16pm

    My food processor is always out on the counter even with a not so big kitchen. These cookies sound marvelous so I will give them a try. For me a meal is never complete without dessert! Your blog is always so enjoyable David, thank you. Reply

  • Catherine
    February 16, 2021 5:55pm

    Love the way your descriptions are very informative yet light and sometimes very funny.
    You are a dear. Reply

  • Amanda
    February 16, 2021 6:23pm

    Do you think these would work with cup 4 cup gluten free flour? Reply

    • February 17, 2021 4:46pm

      That’s what I’m going to use (hubby has celiac disease so that all I bake with)! Reply

    • Catherine McK
      February 17, 2021 6:01pm

      My aunt who does a lot of gf baking made them and said she thought they would work with gf flour. Let us know if you try and I’ll do the same? (I recipe tested for this cookbook pre-celiac diagnosis and it has been a major source of sad that I can’t fully appreciate it now!) Reply

  • Susan
    February 16, 2021 6:44pm

    My daughter gave me this cookbook for Christmas. I’ve been reading through it and trying to decide what to make first. I’m leaning towards this now. The malted brownies are another one I was considering as a start. I’ll make sure I have ingredients for both and see what I’m in the mood for the next time I bake! Reply

  • Linda
    February 16, 2021 7:54pm

    David, your recipes are always worth lugging out the food processor. Reply

  • Elizabeth
    February 16, 2021 8:32pm

    I made these based off of her video on YouTube. I cannot begin to tell you how unbelievably beyond delicious these are. Outrageously delicious!!! I have never tasted a cookie like this before. Ever!!! And I eat a lot of cookies!!! I, like David, could not stop eating the praline. It melts in your mouth with a crunch. Imagine that in a cookie?!!!! It takes a little more time, but so very worth it!!! We have some still in balls in the freezer, and after baking them, they still are the best things I have eaten!! David, you chose the best cookie to share!!! xo Reply

    • valerie
      February 16, 2021 10:56pm

      Ok I was already planning to make these based on David’s commentary, but you just totally convinced me! Now my mouth is watering just thinking about that praline!!! Reply

  • Chaya
    February 16, 2021 8:35pm

    I was GIDDY when I saw your quote on her inside cover and those cookies were my first bake! Can you do a collab and invite us all?? Reply

  • Lyn
    February 16, 2021 8:40pm

    Can I leave out the baking soda? I don’t care for the texture it gives to the caramel. Reply

    • February 17, 2021 4:19am

      It’s not a brittle without the use of baking soda. Makes it porous, and hence easier to grind. I wouldn’t do it the first time were I you. Reply

    • Samuel Collins
      March 3, 2021 9:39pm

      Brittle texture is… brittle texture. ‘Nuff said… Reply

  • granjan
    February 16, 2021 9:35pm

    When I had to downsize to a condo and lost my dream(large kitchen) I included a 3 story appliance garage for my processor, toaster oven, microwave, blender and stick blender, and a pop-up toaster. (Toaster ovens do not make good toast.) And underneath that counter is my large, 7 qt. Kenwood mixer on a spring loaded pull up shelf. And very large bowls are nested underneath. I takes a little rearranging to get to some of these appliances but not any heavy lifting. And 2 very large drawers next to all this have all the baking ingredients. Almost don’t miss my large kitchen. Reply

  • Ann
    February 16, 2021 9:53pm

    I don’t mind hauling out the food processor. It’s the cleaning of the different parts, with all their nooks and crannies, that deter me. Reply

  • Helen
    February 16, 2021 10:01pm

    I love Dessert Person! I’ve made four of the recipes, which is something of a record for me. The focaccia, maple walnut buns, chocolate wave cake and forever brownies have all met with rave reviews and requests for more. Reply

  • Hope Anderson
    February 16, 2021 10:30pm

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! As for food processors, I’ve always had one on the counter and use it for all my baking. Because the food processor does everything beautifully–except for beating egg whites, for which I use a hand held mixer–I prefer it to a stand mixer. Reply

  • lynn
    February 16, 2021 10:41pm

    As an “old” millenial who has been cooking and baking for years, I’ve found many BA recipes (and other content), regardless of author, to be more style than substance. Glad to see that Claire’s desserts are legit because I love a good oatmeal cookie recipe. Reply

    • February 17, 2021 8:46am
      David Lebovitz

      I can’t comment on the magazine or website recipes but the recipes in her book are extremely well-explained, and she tells you what to look out for, which always leads me to believe the author really tested the recipes. This was the only recipe I tried but it came out very well. Reply

  • Roy
    February 17, 2021 12:57am

    I’d like to give these a go as they look wonderful and sound delicious.

    I do have a question about the measurement of the nuts.

    “1 1/2 cups (140g) whole pecans, coarsely chopped”

    Is that 1 1/2 cups of whole pecans that are then chopped OR is it 1 1/2 cups of chopped whole pecans?

    Thanks in advance for any help. Reply

    • February 17, 2021 8:45am
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, it’s “1 1/2 cups of whole pecans” then “chopped.” When a recipe is written like that with a comma, such as “1 cup of flour, sifted” you measure the flour then sift it, as opposed to “1 cup sifted flour.” Reply

      • Nancy Schemanski
        February 17, 2021 8:32pm

        Thanks for that clarification! I have always wondered–and, I should know better if I would look at that little comma. Reply

    • Colleen
      February 19, 2021 11:49pm

      Roy, you should buy yourself a scale because you will do fewer dishes. That was enough reason for me long ago. It will also make your cooking more consistent, and what the recipe writer wanted it to be. Two sites that I go to for baking recipes have differences in opinion regarding how much 1 c of flour is. One says that it is 4.5 oz, and the other says that it is 5oz. If I baked with measuring cups rather than a scale, I might be incorrect for both of them. Reply

  • irene
    February 17, 2021 1:21am

    Just baked these delicious cookies today. Made both the small and large ones and followed the baking times as per David’s recommendations and the texture was wonderful. They are well worth the extra little effort. Ordered Claire’s cookbook too. Thank you David for all your diligent and hard work delivering consistently superb recipes. Reply

  • Dale
    February 17, 2021 1:39am

    I haven’t even read the recipe yet but I love your writing so much. Thank you for so much levity… literally and I guess bakingly Reply

  • Marlene A. Newman
    February 17, 2021 5:28am

    David, are you kidding me???!!!
    My cookie dough is now in the refrigerator for the required 12 hours, but this recipe is insane. I’ll let you know if it was worth it after I bake and eat some. If they’re not over the top fabulous I’m going back to Jacques Pepin’s Quick & Simple cookbook. Reply

    • February 17, 2021 9:55am
      David Lebovitz

      I was a little daunted by the recipe (which Claire does make clear in her headnote that it’s a challenge) but there are no difficult techniques and it’s really just three components: Make the brittle and chop it, brown the butter and grind oats and praline to make the dough, the portion the dough to bake later. Reply

      • Marlene Newman
        February 17, 2021 3:41pm

        I was teasing just a little, but the pandemic is a primary reason why I would spend this much time on a recipe. Actually, my neighbor, Bruce, and I take turns sharing the results of recipes from YOUR cookbooks. We’re both fans. Reply

        • February 17, 2021 3:44pm
          David Lebovitz

          It’s ok. I knew you were likely being a little tongue-in-cheek — I wouldn’t have shared the recipe if I didn’t think it was worth trying, but honestly, if you just made the pecan brittle, you’d be super happy – and you could share that with your neighbor…! ; ) Reply

          • Marlene
            February 18, 2021 7:12pm

            Oh, David. The cookies are out of the oven and I did everything possible wrong: I couldn’t get my food processor to work(operator error) so I didn’t do that step; I over baked the first batch and they’re crusty on the bottom (burned?). BUT I have now decided that I have just made a tasty granola! (I’m going back to your no-fail ,for me, cookbooks.) AND I’m NOT gifting any of these to Bruce and Steve. I like them too much.

  • angelina
    February 17, 2021 5:00pm

    I had some store-bought pecan caramel cookies I enjoyed so much that I wanted to make cookies with that flavours for over a week now, you must be a witch to share this recipe now! Definitely will try! Reply

    • vasantha
      February 17, 2021 6:37pm

      I was thinking on similar lines… like using Trader Joe’s pecan pralines. Reply

  • Roy
    February 17, 2021 6:30pm

    Thank you for the clarification on the measurement Reply

  • Kendall
    February 17, 2021 6:57pm

    Hi David…..These cookies are chewy, crunchy and delicious! My only negative is that mine came out way too salty….I used 2 tsp of flaky salt per the directions…..could I cut that back by 1/2 and not impact the overall texture and structure of the cookies? Reply

    • February 17, 2021 7:26pm
      David Lebovitz

      There is more salt in these than many cookies so it’s important to use a flaky sea salt or Diamond Crystal kosher salt (Morton is almost twice as salty which is why I mentioned the brand). I didn’t find them overly salty at all but you can definitely cut back on the salt next time. Reply

  • JM
    February 17, 2021 9:11pm

    Great but cup measurements please please move on from these. If I could change one thing in American recipes it would be this – if you must use it and yes I judge everyone who does then at least put it in brackets. Its been covered elsewhere but it is so open to error in baking that it really does have no place Reply

    • February 18, 2021 8:53am
      David Lebovitz

      I was one of the first to write in both systems of measurement and it takes me a while to do and write all the conversions. So would be more than happy if everyone could settle on one. With 350 million people in the U.S., it’s hard for recipe writers to bail on those who are using cups and tablespoons. There was a movement to go metric in America, which I wrote about in one of my books (and why it didn’t), and there was a whole book written about why America didn’t go metric as well. Reply

    • jane
      February 19, 2021 10:23pm

      I use a lot of metric recipes for whatever reason and it’s a pain but I always have to convert metric recipes to cups so I can measure correctly. It is ok to request conversions in an abstract way but to whine about it. . . this demand everyone has about measurements just drives me nuts. Weigh it out on your scale or look up conversions as I do. Reply

  • Deborah Wadsworth
    February 17, 2021 10:33pm

    Just saw your hot chocolate recipe in a recent WallStreet Journal article. And a flattering mention of your recent book. Hey – doesn’t get any more famous than that! Reply

    • February 18, 2021 8:50am
      David Lebovitz

      Well…in that article, the my hot chocolate recipe was the star. But I’m happy to take second-billing! ;) Reply

  • Jennifer
    February 18, 2021 4:10am

    I made these today, but I used hazelnuts because I had no pecans. The cookies are good, but I suspect they would be better with pecans because of the pecan’s more buttery nature. I made 12 small ones after resting the dough for 4 hours. I’m going to rest the remainder of the dough per the instructions to see if it improves their flavor. Finally, I did use my heavy duty Breville blender, and it worked perfectly. I don’t own a food processor for all of your reasons plus they look like a beast to clean. Reply

    • February 18, 2021 8:50am
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks for letting us know the blender works! And yes on pecans. Their flavor is very special and really shines in these cookies. Reply

  • Steven Pendleton
    February 18, 2021 9:01am

    Hi David, and greetings from the land DownUnder.
    Can we substitute another type of Nut here say Almonds in place of Pecans? For some reason Pecans aren’t a popular product here in Australia and finding them can be difficult, thanks in advance Aussie Cookie Lover Reply

    • February 18, 2021 9:15am
      David Lebovitz

      A few other people commented on/questioned that. Jennifer mentioned she used hazelnuts which were fine but she agreed pecans had the right “buttery” taste for the cookies. They are worth hunting down if you can as they really shine here but walnuts would probably be the best swap-out. (A few people mentioned macadamia nuts but someone noted they exude a lot of oil when cooked so they may not be the best bet.) Reply

      • Alene
        March 7, 2021 2:15am

        I read through most of the comments but didn’t see anyone mention gluten free. I wonder if anyone tried it gf. I’d hate to be the first and then find out it didn’t work. I hate to be the guinea pig! Lol! Reply

    • huv123
      February 22, 2021 11:38am

      I found them in Coles and Woolies in the baking ingredients aisle. Reply

  • Auntiemjo
    February 18, 2021 3:58pm

    Just wondering why only 1/2 the butter is browned? Is there such a thing as too much browned butter?? I think not. Reply

    • February 18, 2021 6:35pm
      David Lebovitz

      If you want to give it a try with all browned butter, you could. However when you brown butter some of the moisture is cooked off so it may throw off the recipe. But if you try it, let us know how it turns out! Reply

  • koala
    February 18, 2021 4:18pm

    Hi, is it possible to use a cup blender instead of food processor? Will it be good enough to crash the brittle? Reply

    • February 18, 2021 6:36pm
      David Lebovitz

      You could do it in batches in a smaller food processor, if that’s what you mean by a “cup blender”. The brittle isn’t that hard and crumbles relatively easy so depending on the power of it, it’d likely work. Reply

    • Jim
      February 24, 2021 3:24pm

      I used a Black and Decker mini food processor (2 cup capacity) and did two batches for the brittle and oats (half of the brittle for this step and 1/2 c. oats in each). I didn’t see any real need to food process the flour/salt/baking soda, as long as I didn’t need the flour to make things run smoothly. It seems to have been a good solution. (I don’t have a big food processor, and my Black and Decker, more than 20 years old, is no longer made. So at some point in the future I may need a different solution.) Reply

  • lillibet
    February 19, 2021 4:18pm

    I thought I had read the recipe thoroughly, but I mistakenly added ALL the dry ingredients – sugars, all the oatmeal, everything except the second half of the brittle – to the mini processor (in batches) and proceeded to grind them all together. Oops! What to do? I went ahead and creamed the butter, added the eggs and vanilla, and then the ground dry mixture. When baked, they spread a bit more than they would have otherwise, and the texture is more uniform without the whole flakes of oats, but they taste wonderful. I will try them again as written! Reply

  • Marianne
    February 19, 2021 9:15pm

    I regularly make pistachio brittle and would like to use it in this recipe. By weight, how much should I add to the mixture to make the 18 cookies? Reply

  • Colleen
    February 20, 2021 12:02am

    FWIW – if you find the whole recipe to be too daunting, just make the brittle. It is to die for.
    I found the cookies a bit salty, even with diamond kosher salt. I would go with half next time and I tend to be a salt person.
    My cookies came out thinner than shown and I do not know why. They are delicious and crispy, not a complaint, but an observation. My generous cookie scoop, just shy of 1/4, and about 45 g, made 4” cookies. I split it in half, and it made about 3” cookies.
    If my cookies had come out thicker as shown in the photos, it might not have been a problem, but I would chop the brittle a bit more finely next time. I am fine with having the occasional big chunk of brittle sticking out of a cookie, but they would be prettier if I had chopped the brittle smaller. Reply

  • February 20, 2021 11:31am

    I agree with what you said about a recipe showing it’s been tested well before being printed. It’s what separates a quality recipe from one that is only an opinion. Reply

  • Tim
    February 20, 2021 6:31pm

    Okay, maybe I’m missing something here or possibly it’s already been addressed in comments and I didn’t see it. If so, I apologize in advance. The recipe calls for two cups of rolled oats and only addresses adding one cup to the food processor. When is the second cup added! Thanks! Reply

    • Tim
      February 20, 2021 6:39pm

      Ha! Nevermind…. would help If I read more carefully. I see it now! Reply

  • Debbie
    February 21, 2021 2:44am

    I hesitated when I realized I needed my mixer AND my food processor. But thankfully I carried on. The brittle was OK, but the dough with the brittle is over the top fantastic. My dough balls are in their 12 hour time out. Hopefully some will make it to the oven! Reply

    • Debbie
      March 3, 2021 1:20am

      Made 1 oz cookies. I baked 8 each night for 10 minutes. The rest hung out in my cold garage waiting their turn. Shared with real friends only. Everyone loved them. Reply

  • Melissa
    February 21, 2021 4:32am

    I made these for Christmas, and they were a fabulous! My husband’s coworker even announced that was a cookie he would PAY for. It was time-consuming, but s worth it. You’ve just about convinced me to make them again. Reply

    • February 21, 2021 8:17pm
      David Lebovitz

      They are a bit of a project but there is a nice payoff! Reply

  • Deb
    February 21, 2021 12:46pm

    I wanted to like these. As a fellow Ferrandi graduate, and as a big fan of the mesquite choc chip cookies, I had high expectations, but neither my husband nor I could swallow a single mouthful. Just far, far too teeth clenchingly sweet for us. Half a kilo of sugar in just 18 cookies? They’re too salty and too sweet. This isn’t a health moan, it’s a flavour one. Heidi Swanson’s mesquite recipe makes far more cookies, and has a lot less sugar. I guess, in general, that European taste buds are a bit different, as I’ve encountered this before when using some American baking books. Though, David, I have a number of your books and use them regularly, especially the absolutely brilliant Perfect Scoop.
    On the tech side, 2 cups of oats in this recipe are equated to 200g, and in the mesquite recipe on this site it’s 160g, which is quite a big difference. I always measure by weight. Reply

    • February 21, 2021 7:25pm
      David Lebovitz

      I used Claire’s weight measurement for oats here which is different than mine. At some point, things would be a lot easier for us recipe writers if everyone decided on one system of measurements and these questions wouldn’t keep coming up in the differences. Ben Mims wrote an article recently in the LA Times about the weight of a cup of flour which was great. I’ve been considering only doing one system since it’s so much easier than to do and test all the conversions.

      I’ve also had Americans tell me they’ve found macarons too sweet as well as Kouign aman (and to me, those sugary escargot morning pastries are too sweet for me), so guess it’s just a difference in taste for certain pastries. Reply

      • Deb
        February 21, 2021 9:28pm

        Hi David, Thank you for the reply. I absolutely agree that tastes vary – some macarons are def. too sweet for me too. I just weighed the oats, and your conversion is a lot closer to the result I got (83g). Maybe the lesson for me in this is to use cups in recipes that are likely to have been written in cups and ignore the conversions, as these may not have been as rigorously tested? Though, just to be clear, your own conversions work every time for me. But then again, I know that you test all your recipes very thoroughly. Best wishes. D Reply

  • February 24, 2021 6:20pm

    I’m feeling like I definitely NEED to make these…and because I really love any sort of chocolate chip oatmeal cookie, I’m wondering if adding dark chips or chopped dark chocolate would simply be too over-the-top evil… Reply

  • Denise Misiph
    February 25, 2021 12:34am

    My very first ever comment on your site. So ya know, I check here regularly and use this page occasionally as a dessert divination site..that is, I say to myself…”well, I have these lemons so what new thing will I make with them?”checking with DL…and then you have just posted a perfect lemon almond snack cake, which gets so much better with age. Seriously!! Thank you for all of your recipes I have used with full confidence for several years!! But these cookies, which I made for my birthday the other day, were well worth all of the steps and appliances required. The brittle is fantastic btw. I baked off a dozen small scooped cookies after 2 hours chilling and then the rest of the 1 1/2 X recipe dough the next day. The next day texture was more chewy with better melded flavor!! Also, I added a bag of chocolate chips and chocolate chunks…it was my birthday after all! That chocolate addition really exalts this recipe for me. Wow, the comment right before mine asked about chocolate ….yes…absolutely. I think they’re necessary and nothing evil about it..lol!! Heavenly cookies…thank you again!! Reply

    • Julie Conason
      February 27, 2021 9:13pm

      Whoo-hoo! Thanks for sharing about the addition of chocolate. I’m excited about making these. Reply

  • Ellen N.
    March 1, 2021 7:54am

    Hi David,

    Wow, these cookies are fantastic! I like to say that in our household we are fans of the Millard reaction. If that describes you, you should make these cookies. Between the toasted pecans, caramel and brown butter they are off the charts toasty.

    Being an American. I made the cookies full size. Yes, they are huge. I got 22 two ounce cookies.

    I baked them for eighteen minutes. I tend to bake cookies until they are quite brown as I prefer crunchy cookies. These aren’t super crunchy like Tate’s Bake Shop Chocolate Cookies (which are the perfect texture for me), but they have plenty of crunch due to the brittle.

    My husband who doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth can’t stop eating them. A neighbor declared them “perfect”.

    Thank you very much for posting this recipe.

    Yours,

    Ellen Reply

  • Alison Kaar
    March 1, 2021 6:28pm

    Just a fan letter. I’ve followed your blog and newsletter since 2015 when we lived in Paris… you had an entry on navigating the medical system (which I needed in a hurry). That led me to your food writing. I’ll never forget marching up and down rue Vivienne looking for La Bourse et L Vie (finally found it when they put a sign in the window). Since then, I’ve bought several books, downloaded several recipes, and had many many great meals. Thank you! You’ve made my life (and that of my family) a better place. Enjoy your trip to the U.S., and I hope your apartment is in one piece upon your return. Reply

  • Pat
    March 1, 2021 7:51pm

    I have a 7-cup KitchenAid food processor that I bought from QVC (there is a 9-cup version also) and the cord wraps around three prongs under the base. Didn’t realize how handy that was until I put it away and took it back out a few times! Not sure why so many complain about cleaning it – except for the cutting blade, everything else is top rack dishwasher safe and base just needs wiped down.
    I will definitely try this recipe as I have pecans in my freezer and like the idea of a different take on a classic like oatmeal cookies. An empty-nester, working from home for the last year, I have the time to invest! Reply

  • Sam
    March 3, 2021 9:45pm

    Wish the parts about let butter cool would be explained a little more. When I added browned to cold, I stirred everything so it was very homogenous when cooled; not sure how far you go with liquid butter before adding sugar and mixing…
    Also, mention was made about not over-mixing as it might cause cookies to spread too much… Well, mine spread a lot. I dont think I over mixed; followed the medium speed info, etc. Wondering how to control that better and maybe it was because I stirred the butter together or didnt wait and cool it enough?
    So many variables. Any input? Reply

    • March 4, 2021 1:30am
      David Lebovitz

      I thought this was adequate to describe the butter in terms of time and texture: “Let cool for about 30 minutes, until the two butters start to become solid again.” So the butter is not liquid when you add it but when it’s at the point of becoming solid. For more visuals, you might want to watch Claire’s video of making the cookies (or compare it to the recipe in her book) – the video is here. Reply

  • Colleen
    March 4, 2021 2:13am

    Great recipe. Haven’t made oatmeal cookies for 20 years but this recipe made me want to again. Pecans are very expensive in Australia, but almonds and cashews are not, so I went with the latter. Very yum. Reply

  • Colleen
    March 4, 2021 2:18am

    PS. Your caramel making instructions made this recipe stress-free. What? Not even a candy making thermometer? Easy peasy! Reply

  • Lisa
    March 5, 2021 1:33am

    I made these cookies two days ago and baked two yesterday. They’re delicious! I froze the remaining pre-shaped cookie balls and baked two more this evening straight from the freezer. They came out perfectly delicious again. It’s nice to have fresh-baked cookies whenever I want them rather than be tempted by a whole batch of cookies on a plate! Reply

  • Janet C
    March 5, 2021 9:50pm

    I guess I snitched more brittle than I thought as I had hardly any uncrushed to put in the cookies. They spread a lot too, but nonetheless tasty! Reply

  • Conchita
    March 7, 2021 4:03pm

    Hi David, I made the cookies but when I cooked them, after 24 hrs in the refrigerator, they were good but didn’t get a nice shape like yours, you know, they were more like Munch scream :-( Do you have any idea why? Reply

    • March 7, 2021 8:29pm
      David Lebovitz

      I can’t say but you can watch Claire’s video, linked in the post, and watch her make them and see how it compares to what you did. Cookie spreading can be caused by using wax paper or butter on baking sheets, rather than parchment, so that may be an issue. Reply

  • March 7, 2021 6:59pm

    Well, I did SO many things wrong in making this recipe and these cookies were STILL utterly phenomenal.

    I didn’t cook the caramel for the brittle for long enough before adding the pecans, and it crystallized slightly while spreading on the baking sheet. Still addictively delicious, btw.

    I used a gluten-free flour mix (my own — cassava flour, cornstarch and almond flour, which works amazingly well in a lot of baking applications) even though I try not to do that the first time I bake a recipe, because I like to see how it behaves with AP flour, which helps me figure out ratios. But I desperately wanted to share these with a gluten-free friend, so I gave it a go.

    I went ahead and added a mix of dark chocolate chips and wafers.

    I didn’t chill the dough for more than an hour (because I forgot about the overnight chilling component and I was making them mostly for my *Abolition Kitchen* project where we make meals for super-busy BLM activists & their families on Fridays, so they had to be ready by our delivery time).

    They were insanely delicious. I’m looking forward to making them with a properly cooked brittle. I’m also thinking to either leave the pecans whole to begin with, since they get even more chopped up when chopping the brittle, and/or add some more toasted chopped pecans to the batter. But I have a feeling that this recipe is a winner, whatever variations one may choose to spin. Reply

    • Alene
      March 7, 2021 8:06pm

      What are your measurements for cassava flour, almond flour and cornstarch? Reply

      • March 7, 2021 10:03pm

        Alene — I used 2/3 cup cassava, 1/2 cup almond flour and 1/3 cup cornstarch. I know that by volume that’s more than the 1 1/3 cups of AP flour, but I do it a lot “by feel,” knowing that cassava sometimes acts drier that AP (i.e. absorbs more moisture, depending on the recipe), almond sometimes acts “wetter,” (doesn’t absorb as much moisture as AP and contains more fat) etc. The first batch, which only got an hour’s chilling, spread a bit but were crisp and delicious. The second batch, which chilled for a couple of hours, were cookie perfection (much like David’s picture). I have more dough in the fridge that’s been chilling for a couple of days now, so I’ll see how that bakes up too.

        Hope this is helpful to you. Reply

  • Robin
    March 11, 2021 5:21pm

    Help! So first time I made these cookies they were perfect and brilliant.
    Last night my brittle looked perfect but tasted burnt. Remade it today and it crystallized worse than I’ve ever seen!
    Any suggestions friends? Reply

    • March 11, 2021 8:41pm
      David Lebovitz

      Perhaps watch the video of Claire making the cookies and the brittle that I linked to in the post and you can see how she made it. Mine came out like you see in the post but that might help! Reply

  • Marlene
    March 11, 2021 6:43pm

    Well, I won’t be a lot of help, but I must confess that I burned my first batch of cookies. I did not throw them out because I thought I could use them for granola. I must confess that it appears that I’m going to eat every one of them. They are good even when burned. As for “technical “ advice, I will leave that to a better pastry cook than I am. Reply

  • Michele
    April 9, 2021 3:47am

    David, these are incredibly delicious! They make a great addition to a bowl of salted caramel ice cream, or even an ice cream sandwich.
    One question though, what would the weight or volume measurement be for the eggs? It would really help me.
    I couldn’t wait to try them but I only had jumbo eggs so you know what happened. . . They were still yummy.
    Ok, second question, would 1 jumbo egg work? Reply

  • Susan
    April 9, 2021 5:36am

    I’m linking a page from the egg board that shows how many of different egg sizes to sub for certain large egg numbers. Hopefully this helps.
    https://www.incredibleegg.org/recipes/egg-tips-tricks/egg-sizes-equivalents-and-substitutions/

    I find this helpful too in terms of the volume.weight of the eggs by size.
    https://www.thekitchn.com/medium-large-jumbo-how-egg-sizes-actually-measure-up-ingredient-intelligence-200891 Reply

  • Michele
    April 10, 2021 1:10am

    Susan,
    Thank you so much for the two links. I now have a much better idea of how to proceed with my 2nd attempt.
    My jumbo eggs ranged in weight from 2.3 to 2.7 oz. Now I will know how much to remove. Reply

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