Chocolate Chip Cookie Fix
Lately, I’ve been missing being able to pop up whenever I wanted between meetings or chores and grab a coffee and a pastry or baked item. I love my sweets and afternoon coffees, and though my wallet and waistline have been appreciative of the break from my sometimes twice daily coffee-and-baked-goods-run, the darker days of late fall have been starting to get to me. One treat that has been particularly challenging to get during the pandemic has been a chocolate chip walnut cookie. Aaryn and I used to walk the dogs down to the Delridge location of Fresh Flours on the weekends for a coffee and a cookie…or a ham and cheese croissant…or sometimes both. I always made sure to buy one of their chocolate chip walnut cookies when they had them because their crunchy and chewy texture was absolutely perfect to me and they were loaded with walnut chunks and giant pieces of chocolate (they must be using jumbo chips because these are huge pieces of chocolate!). Munching on one of these in between sips of hot latte on the walk home were one of the experiences I savored about living in my neighborhood.
Then of course the pandemic happened and getting these cookies has been a lot more of a challenge. Not only am I trying to navigate the increased traffic in my neighborhood since the West Seattle bridge has been closed, but the process of getting coffee and cookies has now become longer and more elaborate with COVID precautions. This little place was hopping before, but even with the pandemic, there are still just as many people trying to get their coffee which makes a high risk person like me a little nervous considering their tiny shop and the people who sometimes just won’t follow guidelines considering the implications to public safety. But I digress and will not go on a rant about that right now. Anyways, returning to the beloved Fresh Flours coffee-cookie-runs…ahem. Though we are still supporting the cafe as much as we can, sometimes going just for a cookie fix is not the right thing to do for someone in my situation. It was time to bake some of these lovely cookies myself.
If you like your cookies on the chewier side, I recommend pulling them from the oven just after the edges have browned but the middle is still lighter in color. At this point, they are more likely to stick to the pan when you only bake them to this level, so make sure to use parchment paper if you are baking for this texture. If you like crispier cookies, look for them to be more evenly browned before your pull them from the oven and you will have a lovely crunchy cookie with a bit of a chewier texture in the middle (but not much). The additional little bit of time in the oven allows the bottom of the cookie to crisp up better and usually they pop off the cookie sheet easily after cooling for a couple minutes out of the oven. That said, if you would rather save yourself from any risk scrubbing, bake your cookies on cookie sheets lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
Chocolate Chunk Walnut Cookies
Recipe originally based on Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- A dash or two of salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 8 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In another bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Then add the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well in between each egg is added.
- Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until completely combined.
- Continuing by hand if using a mixer, fold the walnuts and chopped chocolate into the cookie dough until just combined.
- Place roughly shaped balls of dough, approximately the size of a ping pong ball, onto the ungreased or parchment lined cookie sheets, approximately 2-3 inches apart.
- Bake for about 12 minutes, or until desired level of doneness is reached – browned on the edges for a chewier cookie and more evenly browned for a crunchier cookie.
- Remove cookie sheets from oven let cool for 2-3 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to completely cool.
Makes about 30 cookies.