The best chocolate chip pecan cookies ever – (recipe follows) – There is one thing that I think all… or at least most of us have in common and that is the love of chocolate chip cookies. Actually, for me, chocolate chip cookies happen to be extra special, near and dear to my heart because they are the first thing that I learned how to bake totally on my own without being a “helper”. Sorry, that sentence is confusing, I didn’t teach myself to make them, my Grandma taught me. What I was trying to say is that chocolate chip cookies are the first thing that I could bake on my own – after being taught. Yeah! Of course, like a lot of Grandmas, mine used the recipe on the back of the Nestle Toll House package. It’s not a bad recipe, and I’m definitely not knocking it in any way. It’s actually a great way to learn “The Cookie Method” and anytime I want to have “Grandma’s Chocolate Chip Cookies”, those are the ones that I make. Just as a little side note, do you all know the history behind that recipe? It’s kind of cool. I should say here first, that there are variations to this story, but this is what is most common – There was a woman named Ruth Wakefield. Her and her husband purchased an inn in Whitman, Massachusetts in 1930. They named it “The Toll House Inn” – bet you didn’t see that coming :). Ruth did a lot of baking for the guests and loved to improve on old colonial recipes. One day, she was making her butter drop dough cookies, and decided to add some chocolate to them. She chopped some small pieces off of a Nestle Chocolate Bar, and added them to the cookies. (Another version of the story is that she was making chocolate cookies, and ran out of bakers chocolate and decided to add the Nestle pieces expecting them to melt and mix in in the oven- hmmmm, I don’t know, if she baked, I would think she knew they wouldn’t “mix in” in the oven). Anyway, the cookies became super popular at the inn and eventually, her recipe was published in the Boston newspaper. Of course this made sales of the chocolate bar go up. There is also the story that the cookies were being sent over seas to the men who were from Massachusetts and fighting in the war and they were sharing them with others and then all the men were writing home asking for more cookies which made the recipe become even more popular. I think it was probably a combination of both. So, Ruth and Nestle got together and made an agreement for Nestle to be allowed to print her recipe on the back of their chocolate bar – a deal which included free chocolate for Ruth to make the cookies for the rest of her life. As the popularity of the cookies and sales of the bar grew, Nestle wanted to make it easier for everyone to use their chocolate for cookies. At first, they scored the chocolate and packed it with a special chopper to chop the chocolate small. And then, in 1939, The Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip was born. Oh, also, Ruth had a recipe book out, it was called “Toll House Tried and True Recipes” and it was published in 1936. The book has the original recipe for the chocolate chip cookies except they are called”Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies”. Awesome right? I think so too. So, now that you’ve had a quick history lesson on how chocolate chip cookies came into the world – thanks Ruth, lets make another version – after all, you’ve tried the Toll House Ones Right?
3 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 sticks butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
3/4 cup pecans (if you don’t like pecans, substitute something like walnuts, white chocolate chips, or more chocolate chips, just make sure to add something for the 3/4 cup)
1. Get your butter out and let it come up to room temperature.
2. In a small bowl, measure all of the dry ingredients, then stir them with a fork or a whisk to make sure they’re evenly combined.
3. Pre-heat your oven to 350°.
4. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula making sure to get the bottom and the sides, then mix for a few more seconds to get any chunks of butter that may have been hiding mixed in.
5. Add the eggs and mix to combine.
6. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Scrape the bowl with your rubber spatula again.
7. Add in the dry ingredients, 1/3 at a time mixing in between each addition. Scrape the bowl with your spatula, again, make sure to get the bottom and the sides. Mix just for a few more seconds to get any dry ingredients that you may have scraped from the bottom or sides.
9. Stir in your chocolate chips and your pecans – or whatever you choose to substitute for your pecans. I use my hand mixer to do this, but you can use a rubber spatula.
10. Place your cookies on a prepared sheet pan a scoop full at a time. I’m using a number 20 scoop which is equal to about 3 Tablespoons. To prepare your cookie sheet, you can use either cooking spray, or parchment (wax) paper. You can also use a silpat.
11. Bake your cookies at 350°F for about 14-16 minutes. I rotate my pan half way through the cooking time.
12. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to set on the cookie sheet for about one minute and then you can move them to cooling racks. Enjoy your delicious chocolate chip pecan cookies :)! Soooooo good!
Store them in an airtight container.
Here’s a great tip for storing your cookies – put a piece of bread in the container with them. It will keep them softer longer. I have even added a piece of bread to cookies that were getting a little hard and something magical happened – they got a tiny bit softer – Yay, cookie magic!
Please enjoy this “how-to” video!