These cookies are almost perfection. I say almost because I am always looking to make things better. As in my other cookie recipe, following are some important tips for cookie baking:
- If the recipe doesn’t indicate specifically the type of flour, look for baking powder or baking soda. If the recipe lists that as an ingredient, use All Purpose Flour (AP) and if it doesn’t, look for another recipe because nothing good comes out of self-rising flour.
- When measuring your flour, never just “scoop” the flour directly into the measuring cup as this causes “packing” which can result in a tougher that necessary bread or cookie. You should use a spoon to put the proper amount into the measuring cup or stir the flour really well before you scoop it out with the measuring cup.
- If the recipe calls for “extra large” eggs, I always beat one extra egg and add half. If the recipe is a detailed to indicate the size eggs to use, don’t alter anything until you try it first, this is a seriously thought out process so don’t discount that value.
- You don’t ever need to add the eggs “one at a time”, just make sure you beat them really well. Generally you are adding the eggs to other wet ingredients so you can’t hurt the batter; if it tells you to add the eggs to dry ingredients for a cookie, move on and don’t make those bricks.
- Vanilla is a beautiful addition to any baked good, feel free to be liberal when adding this but never add less. Never.
- Baking power and baking soda are NOT the same thing. Please don’t ever make that mistake.
- Never use salted butter (in anything except that beautiful gold brick of goodness called Kerrygold to slather on toast). You want to control the amount of salt in all dishes.
- Take that round paper can of Morton Salt and use it to put out fires only, use the box of Morton Kosher Salt when including in recipes. Maldon Sea Salt Flakes are simply perfection when sprinkling on cookies or fudge (okay or anything really). Trust me…..
- It is almost always a good idea to chill dough before you bake cookies, peanut butter, sugar, and chocolate chip cookies benefit the most from this unless you are looking for a really flat crispy cookie (like this one). Do not let this one rest please.
- You cannot turn a simple sugar cookie recipe into a “cut out cookie” recipe, it will not hold up.
- You can add nuts, candies, toffee, oats, etc. to any cookie recipe, just don’t overdo it. Always remember to toast your nuts please, you will thank me later.
- Invest in either vanilla beans or Madagascar vanilla, it makes all of the difference. If you are going to use that “imitation vanilla extract” crap, just buy Chips Ahoy in the package. The beans aren’t necessary and maybe not worth the effort unless you are making ice cream so go with the Madagascar variety if you can, you can get a giant bottle at Costco. If you can’t find that type, get the real vanilla extract please.
- You can make the “balls” and freeze them then bake one (or 5) at a time. Just put them on a pan in the freezer so they don’t touch until they are frozen solid then move to a more space friendly container. Bake an additional 3-5 minutes depending on your oven. Just watch them for doneness and make note for future baking.
- When trying a new recipe, I always bake one cookie at the temp and time suggested; let it rest for 7 minutes then decide if I need to adjust. If you do it once, you can use that barometer for all future baking efforts.
Okay now, on to the cookies! What you will need:
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar (muscovado if you can find it)
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp whole milk
- 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract (I use 1 tbsp of vanilla and 1/2 of almond extract but you can use all vanilla)
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 blocks of chocolate (any variety you prefer as long as it isn’t milk chocolate)
Set the oven to 350, you will need it for the walnuts. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
Chop the walnuts finely, you want them to add texture but not jump out at you like “oh, there’s a chunk of walnut”. Put the walnuts on a sheet pan (or whatever kind) and put in the oven for maybe 7 minutes (you don’t want to over toast, just want to warm up the oils a bit). Remove them a let them cool. The oven doesn’t have to reach full temp for you to place the nuts in it, I do not toast them a lot so a lower temp will be fine. Let them cool before you put in the batter.
In a large bowl, mix together butter, sugars and corn syrup. Add eggs, milk and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Mix together the dry ingredients and add to the bowl, don’t mix yet.
Now you want to prep the chocolate. I “shave” the chocolate with a knife by slicing really thin along the short side of the block and it will just “splinter” off, you don’t want any large chunks; the goal is to have the chocolate melt into the cookie. After I finish “shaving” the block, I run the knife across the other way to cut any longer “strips” into smaller pieces. The smaller and thinner the pieces, the more chocolate through every bite.
Now you can place the cooled nuts and chocolate into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. You don’t want to mix too much and I recommend you mix this with a rubber spatula or spoon so as not to over mix (which is a disaster when talking about cookies). Use your best judgement but please stop mixing when you no longer see flour.
If you can, avoid using a dark pan as it could cause these cookies to burn on the bottom. I use a silver(ish) pan with Reynolds Non-Stick Aluminum Foil but parchment paper is good also. If it is a good non-stick pan, just put the cookies on the pan but please try the pre-bake first (outlined in the bullets above). You don’t want to ruin an entire batch.
I use a cookie scoop but you can use a regular spoon to scoop the dough, just make sure they are all about the same size for consistency in cooking. They should be about the size of a rounded tablespoon of dough, roll them a small amount in your hands to compact the dough; don’t press hard, just lightly to get the majorly jagged edges. Sprinkle each cookie with the sea salt and bake for about 12 minutes, I turn the cookie sheet halfway through for consistency but I am a freak so you don’t have to do that if you don’t think you need to.
The cookies will look a little underdone but that’s okay, they will firm up as expected. If you follow the bullet above about testing one cookie, you will just follow what you learned there.
As I mentioned in my other cookie recipe (and above), there are so many things you can add but please consider adding whatever you like, it is your food so make it your own!
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