Hey, we’ve all been there: When you decide to bake some chocolate chip cookies to satisfy that sweet tooth, only to find that high altitude decides to turn your foolproof recipe into molten chocolate goo. Trust me, it’s happened to me more times than I care to mention, but with this recipe, you’ll no longer curse the day Colorado decided to ruin your confectionaries.
This recipe originates from Joanna Gaines’ “Silo Cookies.” However, I have heavily modified the flour, sugar, liquid and leavening quantities in order to avoid that high altitude evil. With this recipe, if you follow it down to the number, you’ll have cookies that can stand up against any lack of oxygen … I guarantee it!
1 cup (AKA two sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup of lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp (teaspoons) vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp small grain salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup oats (optional)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
- Preheat to 365 F for a fan assisted or convection oven, or 360 F for a standard oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a standing mixer, hand mixer or by hand (if you’re strong/brave enough), cream softened butter, brown sugar and conventional sugar on medium-high speed for eight minutes. (Time it, seriously.) Make sure to scrape any of the remnants on the side of the bowl halfway. Once the butter and sugar mixture is incredibly fluffy and pale, lower the speed to medium-low and add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition. When all the eggs are added, turn the mixer up to medium speed and fluff mixture for five additional minutes. (Again, time it.)
- Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl: flour, salt and baking soda.
- Once you have completed both mixing cycles, turn the machine off and add all of the flour, salt and baking soda mixture to the butter, sugar and egg mixture. Turn the machine on low until the flour is just barely mixed. Warning: Do not overmix!
- When the flour is barely mixed in, turn the machine off and fold the any remaining flour in by hand.
- Once the base mixture comes together, add in the fixings and fold in by hand: oats (optional), chocolate and peanut butter chips and nuts (optional).
- Using the prepared baking sheets from earlier, scoop a small amount of the cookie dough with a cookie scoop/small ice cream scoop/large spoon onto the parchment paper. Make sure to create at least a one-half inch space between each dollop of cookie dough.
- Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven. The cookies should be a light brown color. When cookies are done baking, let cool and serve!
- When I say softened butter, or any other recipe you read, do not attempt to shortcut the process. There is almost no method (microwaving intermittently, “steaming”, slicing or shredding, etc.) for getting your butter to room temp. Simply lay the butter out for at least 3-4 hours.
- You might have heard or seen brands that advertise unbleached all-purpose flour, and this simply means that the American process of bleaching the ground wheat has not been used in making the flour. Unbleached flour helps in making sure that you don’t have any chemical components interfering with the baking process.
- Leavening measurements (especially the baking soda) could be one of the most important parts in high altitude baking. Make sure you are not over-measuring your leavening ingredients because it will dramatically reduce the success of the baking reaction.
- When I say “cup,” that is a relative term to a lot of first-time bakers, but always use traditional measuring cups for dry ingredients and liquid measuring cups for liquid ingredients. If you use one or the other in measuring ingredients, this will drastically change the recipe, which could lead to that goo we mentioned before.
- The messages concerning timing the “creaming” of the butter and sugar is VITAL! When you time the mixing process you will yield incredibly, and I mean INCREDIBLY soft and fluffy cookies.
- The “DO NOT OVERMIX!” message is not to be taken lightly. When you add the flour make sure to follow this step. If you decide to use the mixer to incorporate all the flour, the machine will create gluten strands, leading to a tough and hard cookie. If you mix the remaining flour by hand, there is less chance of gluten strands forming.
I hope this recipe finds y’all well! Happy baking/cooking!