CHOCOLATE CHIP PECAN COOKIES

I didn’t set out to find a fantastic chocolate chip cookie recipe when I decided to organize my cooking magazines a few days ago; I set out to group Bon Appetits with Bon AppetitsFood and Wines with Food and Wines, and Cooks Illustrateds with Cooks Illustrateds.  In the mess of magazines, I found one lonely copy of Midwest Living, and a single copy of a magazine not entirely devoted to cooking has no place in my cooking magazine collection.  Before adding it to the recycle pile, though, I flipped through the pages to make sure that there was nothing contained within that I couldn’t live without.  As it turns out, I can’t live without an article on the Midwest’s best cookies.

Did I mention that the article contained six recipes for chocolate chip cookies?  Because it did, and I felt that it was my obligation as a food blogger to try one of those recipes to share with you.  I opted for the Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies from a bakery in Wisconsin, and judging by the results, I find it hard to believe that any of the other five are better than this one.  However, in the interest of fairness, I should probably do further research.  In the meantime, you should make these cookies.

Krista’s Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

from Midwest Living, April 2010

(Amounts listed below are for 1/2 of the original recipe.  The halved recipe yielded about 20 3-inch cookies.)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cake flour*
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla
  • 12 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan pieces

*Cake flour substitute: 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch + enough all-purpose flour to reach 3/4 cup

Note: My two favorite things about these cookies were the large pieces of pecans and the high ratio of chocolate to cookie.  I’d recommend not chopping the pecans much (or just using a bag of pecan pieces and not chopping at all) and using Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips because the disc shape pretty much ensures a mouthful of chocolate in each bite.

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, and baking soda.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter for 30 seconds.  Add the sugars, and beat until combined.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.  Add the vanilla, and mix to combine.  Add the flour mixture, and beat on low until combined (you might need to stir in the last bit by hand). Add the chocolate chips and nuts, and stir by hand until they’re evenly distributed.
  3. Using a cookie or ice cream scoop, drop balls of dough onto ungreased or parchment-lined cookie sheets.  (I wanted larger cookies, so I used an ice cream scoop to form mounds slightly larger than golf balls.)  Bake for 11-14 minutes, or less for smaller cookies. The cookies are done when they’re slightly browned around the edges and the centers are set but still appear slightly under-baked. Cool on the cookie sheets for one minute before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

Best served with a cold glass of milk.