SMiLes by Meg

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

OK OK. I know that I’ve made a lot of chocolate chip cookies for this blog. And, like, how different can one chocolate chip cookie be from another? In my mom’s words, “is there anything about these cookies that is….special?”

But hear me out. This is my first recipe in my new kitchen. SMiLes by Meg has relocated to Washington, D.C. If you’re in the area and have a request/want to pick it up, I’m happy to oblige. And this week, I wanted a recipe of something that I could give out to the people that work in my building and have been putting up with all of my questions since I moved in.

Also, Laura sent me a new Ottolenghi cookbook as a housewarming (thanks, Laura!) which had me want to pull out Sweet again. I initially was going to make some rhubarb cookies, but it is most certainly not rhubarb season. Then, I saw these.

Ottolenghi describes this recipe as his “version of the classic American cookie.” I LOVE the idea of trying a recipe of an author not from America attempting to make a cookie that is really classically American. Plus, D.C., America… it all seemed to work.

One confession: Ottolenghi thinks you need to use chocolate chips for this recipe, and specifically says don’t chop chocolate. I think he’s wrong. Since learning how much better everything is when you buy good quality chocolate and chop it yourself, I’m anti-chocolate chip. Perhaps a controversial opinion to take in a blog post about chocolate chip cookies, but trust me.

Anyways, start by roasting some pecans. Spread them on a baking sheet and cook at 350°F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.

Then, get the dough going. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, light brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy – about 2 minutes.

Add the vanilla extract and beat to incorporate. My nice Madagascar vanilla extract was one of like 4 baking ingredients I thought essential to pack and bring with me from my Boston kitchen.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on low after each addition.

With the mixer running on low, slowly add the flour and salt, continuing to beat until fully incorporated.

My kitchen looked like it snowed lightly after this step – turns out self-rising flour is a bit more puffy than all purpose.

Chop up the roasted pecans and the chocolate and add to the bowl. Beat just long enough to incorporate. I used a mix of Guittard chocolate (the second of the 4 ingredients I deemed essential to travel with) and Ghiradelli chocolate.

Roll the dough into balls about the size of golf balls and put in a bowl. Refrigerate for about an hour.

I know what you’re thinking. “Meg, that’s way too many cookies for one batch during quarantine.” Good news – my new favorite trick is to freeze cookie dough, so that I can have a ready-to-go dessert at all times. I put about 2 dozen of these in bags and threw them in the freezer, and just baked up the rest. (You’re welcome, Erik – they’ll be waiting for you when you finally get here!)

Place the balls about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400°F for 12 minutes.

They came out a bit puffy, and have not settled down, so apparently Ottolenghi thinks the best chocolate chip cookie is the cakier variety.

Let them rest 10 minutes on the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

I will say, the addition of pecans is great. I think a good enough addition to warrant this additional chocolate chip cookie recipe on the blog.

Because I’m getting rid of these tomorrow, I did try one – can confirm, they’re delicious. We’ll see if I actually have any left in the freezer by the time Erik arrives in two weeks.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (120g) pecans
  • 1 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (200g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups (560g) self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 9 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Directions:

  1. Roast the pecans at 350°F for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  5. With the mixer running on low, beat in the flour and salt slowly until fully incorporated.
  6. Chop up the pecans. Add pecans and chocolate to dough and beat to incorporate.
  7. Roll dough into balls about the size of a golf ball. Refrigerate for an hour.
  8. Place dough about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400°F for 12 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes on pan before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

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