One would think that it’d be relatively easy to bake America’s favorite cookie at high altitude.
Cookies are one baked good that continuously challenge me up here. They are so darn finicky. My typical cookie outcome results in really flat, crunchy cookies. Great if you like that style, but…not cool when you’re craving a chewy, thick chocolate chip cookie. Or when you have a client who wants them for her upcoming wedding.
So I hunkered down in the kitchen for a few days. I suppose that is why I am in this profession. I possess an abnormal amount of patience and a good deal of stubbornness. I mean, come on, I am a chef. It’s my job to be able to master this (that’s what I tell myself for pep talk).
And here we have it: thick, chewy chocolate chip cookies.
My advice for keeping these guys soft and chewy is to slightly underbake them and to store them immediately in an airtight container. You want the bottom of the cookies to be a very light golden brown. If you leave them out for a few hours they will get crunchy. That’s just the nature of our thinner, drier air. But you probably knew that already.
I’d also like to share that I cannot believe next week is Thanksgiving. I have no idea where November went. Maybe I lost track of time when I was gone last week for my brother’s wedding in North Carolina. He and his wife had a beach-themed wedding so I made them a very ‘beachy’ cake. It was a yellow butter cake filled with chocolate truffle filling and covered in caramel buttercream. The sand dollars were hand-shaped and completely edible.
The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy spared them on their special day and it was a beautiful ceremony. But now it’s back to reality in the mountains and I am getting ready for Thanksgiving orders. What will you be dining on?
How to bake this high altitude adjusted recipe:
Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Sunset Magazine
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- Scant 1½ cups packed dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups chocolate chips
- Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the vanilla extract.
- Add the flour, baking soda, and salt all at once and beat until it the dough just comes together.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Chill the dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator or for 10-15 minutes in the freezer.
- Once firm enough to easily handle, shape the dough into a log and cut off ¼” to ½” slices, depending on how thick you like your cookies. They will spread a little bit.
- Lay the slices 2″ apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, depending on their size, or until they are lightly golden along the edges but still pale in the center.
- Cool on wire racks and store in an airtight container.
- Makes about 3 dozen medium-sized cookies.
Note: This recipe was adjusted for high altitude baking. To make at sea level, I suggest increasing the brown sugar to a full 1 1/2 packed cups, increasing the baking soda to 1 teaspoon, and possibly omitting the 1 egg yolk.