Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Best One-Bowl Chocolate Chunk Pecan Cookies

The Best One-Bowl Chocolate Chunk Pecan Cookies - made January 19, 2010 from Sticky, Messy, Chewy, Gooey

I'll have to rename this recipe because, once again, I went off the reservation with the add-ins - I used milk chocolate chips instead of semisweet and Heath Bar toffee bits instead of pecans. But everything else for the cookie dough I kept the same. This is just another variation on the standard chocolate chip cookie. The dough is nice to work with, not too sticky or soft although you do freeze the dough first before baking. But I do that anyway as standard procedure. The cookies did spread so they didn't stay thick but the taste was pretty good. Ten minutes out of the oven and the edges are crisp, the middle is chewy and the chocolate chips are melty. The toffee bits add a nice little crunch too. Even when these cookies are cool, the edges still retain some of the crispness.

2 cups pecan halves
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 ¼ cups bleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Place the pecans on a large baking sheet and toast in the oven until they are warm and fragrant, 6 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool completely.
2. Place the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl, and microwave uncovered on high for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir until completely melted. Using a large wooden spoon, stir both sugars into the melted butter. When combined, add the salt, vanilla and eggs. Stir until smooth. Stir the flour, baking soda and baking powder into the batter just until incorporated and a soft dough forms. Carefully fold in the chocolate chunks and cooled toasted pecans.
3. Use a 2-ounce self-releasing ice-cream scoop or a ¼ cup measuring cup to measure out the cookie dough. Place the cookie dough balls on a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, 45 to 60 minutes. Towards the end of the chilling time, return the oven to 350˚F.
4. Place the chilled dough balls on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. (I find 9 cookies per sheet to be about right to allow for a little spreading and for the cookies to bake evenly.)
5. Bake until the cookies are crisp and golden around the edges but still a little soft in the centers without being gooey, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool slightly. Using a large metal spatula, transfer the cookies from the baking sheets to the wire racks and let cool to room temperature.
6. Stored in self-sealing plastic bags, these cookies will keep for 2 days at room temperature. They can also be frozen for up to 2 weeks. You can prepare the cookie dough balls and, after they are chilled, store the unbaked cookies in the freezer for up to 1 month. The cookies can be baked straight from the freezer but will take a few minutes longer.

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