Ever since college – I have enjoyed baking chocolate chunk cookies.
I do not have the patience to bake beautiful delicate cookies. In fact, like my pathetic attempts at yoga, I am terrible. I get bored, irritated at myself, and want to quit before “namaste.” I tried to make raspberry linzer cookies one Christmas and it was a disaster. After spending hours in the kitchen – I stood covered in jam and flour with only three decent linzer tarts to show for my efforts. Pathetic. Jeff wisely steered clear of the kitchen.
I identify with chocolate chip cookies. They are easy to make – you can’t really mess them up – and even if you do – 9 times out of 10 – the messed up cookies can be scraped off the pan and made into an impromptu vanilla ice cream cookie crumble.
The recipe has evolved over the years and is now quite sophisticated: I include seasonal colored M&M’s with the chocolate chunks. But in all sincerity, I have been making this recipe for so long that the cookies are always big, slightly chewy in the center, and never last longer than a few days.
Cookies are great giveaway items for the Christmas season. A lot of people don’t have the time to bake homemade cookies. Dropping off a nicely wrapped package of freshly baked cookies to a neighbor, friend, childcare provider or work colleague is truly a gift from the heart that will bring a smile to the face of the recipient.
- 1 1/2 Cup Organic Cane Sugar
- 1 1/2 Cup Organic Light Brown Sugar
- 2 Extra Large Free Range/Sustainable Eggs
- 2 Sticks of Organic Salted Butter
- 1 Dash of Vanilla Extract
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 5 Cups Flour (plus more or less as needed)
- 1 Cup Crushed Pecans
- 1 Cup of Raisins
- 1 12 oz Bag of Chocolate Chunks (I prefer Chunks – but chips work great too)
- 1 1/2 Cup of Seasonal M&M’s (Red & Green for this Recipe)
- Large Bowl
- Sturdy Wooden Spoon
- Cookie Baking Tray
- Parchment Paper
- Freezer Bags
- Fresh Sprigs of Rosemary
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Gather the ingredients. Take the butter and eggs out until they are room temperature. The butter should be soft and squishy in its wrapper. Put butter and eggs into bowl. Use spoon to mix until ingredients are combined.
Add sugars, salt and baking powder. Use spoon and mix until ingredients are combined. Add pecans, raisins, chocolate chunks, and seasonal M&M’s. Mix together in bowl with wooden spoon. Add dash of vanilla extract. Take a sniff.
Gradually mix in flour. Your arms should be getting a workout. The more flour you add, the tougher it will be to stir the dough. I say, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. If it becomes too hard to knead the dough with the spoon – get your hands in there and mix those ingredients. Cookie dough under the finger nails never killed anyone.
Once the dough is nice and sturdy – bake a “test” cookie. Have you ever made a batch of cookies and they just melted and fell apart on you in the oven? Disaster! Reach into the bowl and pull out a nice meatball sized handful of cookie dough. Flatten it with your palms into a hamburger patty shape. Put it on a piece of aluminum foil and place it in the oven to bake. If the flour consistency is good – the cookie will keep its shape. If you are weak on flour – it will start looking more akin to a pancake than a cookie. This is your clue to knead more flour into the dough.
Eat the test cookie.
Once the dough is complete, follow the “test cookie” method (meatball – hamburger patty). Place completed patties on the cookie tray. Make sure to line the cookie tray with parchment paper! Pam and other cooking sprays leave an aftertaste. Using parchment paper keeps pans nice and clean looking for years. Jeff always says, “If you invest in good cookware – you should take care of it.”
Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes. They will be golden brown on top (beware dark edges – this is a warning sign that your cookie bottoms are getting black). Pull the cookies when done and let cool. Eat another cookie.
Packaging for Christmas Delivery
Once the cookies are cool (not warm – cool) – they can be packaged up for delivery to loved ones.
Step One: Take four cookies and place them in a freezer bag. Roll the bag until all of the air is out. Seal.
Step Two: Take a piece of parchment paper. Place the freezer bag of cookies on top. Wrap the cookies in the parchment paper like a Christmas present.
Step Three: Wrap the package with twine and tie a bow. I like to add a bit of decorative straw. To make the package look super festive and seasonal, take a sprig of fresh rosemary and tuck it under the twine/straw bow.
Step Four: I like to insert an invitation to our church’s Christmas celebration (maybe the recipient does not have a church home and would enjoy celebrating the season with you at your place of worship). You can also include your family’s holiday greeting card as an alternative.
Step Five: Deliver!
Got Questions or Comments about this Recipe?