Has anyone ever noticed that most recipes seem to grossly overestimate just how many cookies they actually make? Maybe it’s because I’m doing it wrong, but not once in my life have I ever made the reported amount. And, you know, I give credit to the fact that my adherence when spooning out the dough to the “heaping” aspect of the phrase “heaping tablespoonful” might contribute quite strongly; see, I realize that the more dough you use per cookie might impact how many you make overall. With that said, not once in my life have I ever heard anybody ever complain about a cookie being a little bit too big. I admit that this could also be because my ears would turn off immediately if someone ever dared to pout about such a thing.
Regardless, its most important that a cookie recipe at least deliver when it comes to flavor and texture. I generally go for higher quality ingredients to ensure they always meet my standards (which, let’s face it, are mostly gauged based on how many cookies I want to try fitting into my mouth at once).
This is my longwinded way of explaining how I: 1) ended up with a bag full of Scharffen Berger semisweet chocolate, and 2) decided to play with the chocolate chunk cookie recipe on the back of the bag. Normally, I am the kind of gal who would take a recipe from a high quality chocolatier and praise it, but I knew instantly upon perusing theirs that I needed to tweak a few things. See, my sweetheart and I definitely do not need the original recipe’s anticipated 5 dozen cookies (though this does depend on the kind of day I have had, the duration of my chocolate cravings, and the strength of my will at any given time). In addition to halving the recipe, I added too much vanilla extract. Wait, no. There is no such thing. Lastly, I replaced some of the granulated sugar with brown sugar; as someone who makes her own, I know the wonderfully chewy goodness that can result from its (over)use in cookie recipes.
Which brings us to this rendition of a traditional recipe. Friends, here is the way to make 12 perfect chocolate chunk cookies: tender and gooey in the middle with a firm crunch at the edges, almost caramel-like in flavor, with rich, dark slabs of semisweet chocolate and the salty crush of chopped nuts. I don’t know everything, but I know like I know like I know that these are awesome.
Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from Alice Medrich
Makes a dozen
1 cup plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
8 tbsp (one stick) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup Scharffen Berger 62% semisweet chocolate chunks
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
Thoroughly combine the flour and baking soda in a small bowl. In a large bowl, mix the melted butter with both sugars, vanilla, and salt. Mix in the eggs. Add the flour mixture and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. For extra good cookies, let the dough stand for 1 to 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Place heaping, rounded tablespoons of dough 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown at the edges and no longer look wet on top. Rotate pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time. Use a metal spatula to transfer cookies to cooling racks. Cool cookies completely before storing or stacking. Cookies keep in an airtight container for several days.