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The Duckling’s Chocolate Chip Cookies with Toasted Nuts

The first installment of a new series where I’ll be creating recipes with my son based on books that we read together. This one was inspired by The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems.

Peanut butter, toasted pecans and 2 types of chocolate chips amp up the flavor in these chewy cookies.

My 4-year-old loves books, and he loves cooking with me. So when we were reading the newest (to us) Mo Willems book and he asked me what those squiggly shapes were in the cookies, it dawned on me that we should make food inspired by the books that we read together!

The Duckling's Chocolate Chip Cookies with Toasted Nuts

If you aren’t familiar with Mo Willems, you should definitely check him out, especially if you have a preschooler at home. He has loads of adorable stories and several recurring characters that we just love.

The stories are usually silly with a twist that helps the main character learn how to be a better friend.

When I told my kiddo that we were gonna bake the duckling’s cookies, he grabbed his iPod so he could “write up the recipe” as we measured everything out.

The Duckling's Chocolate Chip Cookies with Toasted Nuts

My mini food writer in the making!

In the story, the cookies have chocolate chips and nuts in them. There’s a big deal made about the nuts, so I thought it’d be fun to make them extra nutty by toasting them before adding them to the cookie dough.

And while we were at it, I figured we should amp up that nutty flavor with some peanut butter, too.

He was totally on board with that decision.

The Duckling's Chocolate Chip Cookies with Toasted Nuts

I love that my son is so into helping me out in the kitchen. He used to be a bit afraid of the stand mixer (mostly because it’s a little loud), but now he can do almost all of the steps by himself.

And licking the bowl and every.single.thing we use while making anything in the kitchen is always his favorite part.

Taste as you go, right?

The Duckling's Chocolate Chip Cookies with Toasted Nuts

These cookies turned out nice and chewy and totally delicious. The toasted flavor of the pecans was a really nice addition!

We saved a few for ourselves and sent the rest off to work with my husband, where they disappeared in no time!

The Duckling's Chocolate Chip Cookies with Toasted Nuts

Feel free to use whatever nuts or chocolate chips you have at home in this recipe. I think it’d be great with walnuts, which was my original plan, but I had lots of pecans in the freezer so we went that route instead.

I used a mix of chocolate chips because I had a few partial bags hanging out in the pantry, but again, use your favorite! I kind of liked that we had some regular sized ones and some mini ones in there – it kept things interesting!

The Duckling's Chocolate Chip Cookies with Toasted Nuts

This made 3 dozen + 3 cookies for us using a #50 scoop. Definitely enough to share with any pigeons or ducklings that come our way 😉

I already have some other books in mind for this series, but if you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below!

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Milk and cookies next to a children's story book about cookies.

The Duckling’s Chocolate Chip Cookies with Toasted Nuts

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: About 3 dozen cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


Peanut butter, toasted pecans and 2 types of chocolate chips amp up the flavor in these chewy cookies, inspired by The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems.


  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 stick butter, at room temp
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cups chocolate chips (I used a mix of 1/2 cup milk chocolate and 1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chips)


  1. Place the chopped pecans in a skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring or shaking the pan occasionally, until browned and fragrant, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and peanut butter on medium high for 1 minute (or use a large bowl and hand mixer).
  3. Add sugars and beat at medium high for another minute. Add egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
  4. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in chocolate chips and toasted pecans (the dough will be quite soft).
  5. Chill dough for 20 minutes. While the dough is chilling, preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  6. Drop the dough by small scoopfuls (I used a #50 scoop) onto the lined baking sheet. Return remaining dough to the refrigerator while each batch bakes.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are golden brown. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 126
  • Sugar: 9.5 g
  • Sodium: 67.5 mg
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.2 g
  • Fiber: 0.9 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 11.9 mg

Keywords: chocolate chip cookies, best cookies, toasted nuts

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Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.


  • Michelle Nahom

    What a fun idea to try making recipes inspired by our books! Love it! They look delicious too…pecans in cookies are so good!

  • Lori H

    Clever idea! It looks like he had a great time with the whole process. Let him know that Grandma caught him checking himself out in the reflection on the mixing bowl. LOL

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