Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter and shortening together until well-combined.
Add sugars and beat until well-combined.
Mix in eggs and vanilla. Scrape down bowl as needed.
Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
Stir in just until combined.
Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes.
Scoop dough by 1.5 tablespoon scoops.
Press pieces of caramel and pecans into the outside of the cookie dough.
Place cookie dough scoops 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 8-11 minutes. The edges should be set but the middles should look soft and slightly underdone.
Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes.
Transfer to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
Butter: I like to use salted butter, but you can use unsalted butter if you prefer. The butter should be at room temperature (72F). This means that the butter should be soft enough to dent when pressed but shouldn't lose shape when pressed. Overly warm butter can cause the cookies to bake out (spread too much).
Flour: It's important to properly measure the flour to avoid packing it in. To properly measure the flour, sift or stir the flour to break it up. Then lightly spoon into the measuring cup and level.
Cocoa powder: I use regular unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe.
Caramels: I use caramels in place of caramel bits. The caramels soften up nicely, and I've found that the caramel bits stay harder in the cookies. To cut the caramels, I either use kitchen scissors to cut them or spray a knife blade with nonstick cooking spray to chop them up.