It is that time of year, Cookie Season. I love cookies anytime of the year. The upside of the holiday season is that I have the excuse that it is the holidays, so I can make more than usual. Yes, I am sticking to that story… The chocolate does not melt as quickly during the late fall/winter, either.
When we first moved up here, I found this cookie recipe on the back of a bag of unbleached flour. I was so frustrated with trying to readjust my recipe I had finally got “just right” before we moved. Here, they went flattish. I thought, “what the heck…” and tried this recipe. It is yummy and makes a lot of cookies. Win-win.
I had been fussing with my old chocolate chip cookie recipe for years, adjusting each time we moved- down to the flatlands, above the 3000′ elevation, and in-between. This recipe turned out perfect. It is not too sweet like most recipes, yet it is packed with chocolate chips.
I weigh my chocolate chips. For real. Chocolate chips come in 11 oz bags now, so I buy 3 bags of my favorite ones- Ghiradelli chocolate chips. This time, two are dark chocolate and one is semi-sweet. I reverse that the next time I buy chocolate chips. The leftover amount gets sealed and put in the refrigerator until the next time I need chips. It evens out at some point or they are gobbled up as a snack. Yum!
Extraordinary Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
1-1/2 cups butter, softened* (yes, that is 3 sticks)
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4-1/2 cups flour
24 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips** (4 cups if you do not weigh your chips)
1 to 2 cups pecans or walnuts, finely chopped (I use pecans)
*If you prefer to use margarine or shortening, these will not taste right nor come out right. Period.
**I prefer 1/2 dark chocolate chips and 1/2 semi-sweet chips.
Heat oven to 350°F.
With a sturdy spoon*, mash-mix together the softened butter and the sugars. Add in the vanilla, and then add the eggs. Stir until just-blended. Add in the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the flour as best as possible, then finish by using your hands to mix-knead in the flour. I know this sounds weird, but it works beautifully. Then mash in the chocolate chips and nuts by hand. This will distribute the chips nicely. The dough is soft, yet stiff, it makes any sense.
*You can use a mixer. Be sure to mix just until blended. Do not over mix the dough. The mixer will not work once you add the flour. Trust me there.
On an ungreased cookie sheet, (you can use parchment paper, and I do), grab lumps of dough about the size of whole walnuts and place evenly on the cookie sheet. I get 16 per cookie sheet.
Bake for 13 minutes. You can go a couple of minutes longer if you like them brown and crispy. Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a sheet of parchment paper to cool completely. I tried cooling racks. Scrubbing chocolate out of the little squares sucks. The paper works fine. While the cookies are cooling, I shove the next loaded cookie sheet into the oven. Rinse and repeat, so to speak. This makes about 8 dozen cookies in the size shown, 2″ to 3″.
I put 3 dozen in a gallon freezer bag to freeze. 3 dozen in another bag, the remaining in a glass bowl with sealable lid, and sit them on the counter to taunt us each time we walk by. Putting part in the freezer keeps them fresh until we are done with the ones on the counter.