36-Hour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Stef, a good friend of mine, really brought me back to chocolate chip cookies this past summer.

The big deal about chocolate chip cookies is generally over my head. I don’t get cravings for gooey chocolate or bitterness — I tend to gravitate towards nutty or spicy cookies.

But last summer, when I was trying to impress a man who loves chocolate cookies, I begged Stef for her chocolate chip cookie recipe. Hers are buttery, not too sweet, soft on the inside and browned on the outside — just perfect.

The photos aren’t of cookies made with Stef’s recipe (that’s a secret and I ain’t talking). They’re of cookies made with a recipe that I started making to compare against Stef’s.

Like Stef’s, these cookies aren’t too sweet. They also have nuts, which is a huge plus in my opinion.

What’s unusual about these cookies is that they’re a 36-hour dough.

ACTUALLY, I’ve had the best results refrigerating this dough for only 24 hours.

The resting period allows the flavours to permeate the entire cookie and make friends with one another. For instance, the vanilla flavour comes through much more strongly and has a positive influence on the flavour profile of the chocolate.

The chocolate flavour is augmented. I find that aging the dough allows me to get away with using cheaper chocolate.

The flavour of the pecans is also augmented by a long time spent with vanilla and chocolate. Their richness is accented by an enhanced natural sweetness.

The long chilling time also affects the baking and texture of the cookie.

The cookie holds its shape remarkably well, with very little spread and only minimal puff.

The cookie has good crunch from the pecans but also an almost biscuit-like texture.

Unfortunately, my photos don’t show the pecans. I was too broke to buy them.

To work around the lack of nuts, I reduced the amount of flour and upped the amount of butter to compensate for the oiliness of the nuts.

All of that being said, I’ve had the best results refrigerating this dough for only 24 hours.

Roasted Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

*From Shirley O. Corriher’s BakeWise

3 cups (297g) pecans

1 cup plus 2 tbsps (255g) unsalted butter, divided

1 tsp (6g) salt, divided

2 1/4 cups (287g) spooned and levelled all-purpose flour

1 tsp (5g) baking soda

1 1/2 cups (298g) sugar

1 tsp (5ml) unsulfured molasses

1 tbsp (15 ml) pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups (340g) semisweet chocolate chunks

Arrange a shelf in the centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F (177C).

Spread out the pecans on a baking sheet and roast until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. While they are hot, toss the nuts with 2 tbsp (28g) of the butter and 1/4 tsp (1.5g) salt.

When the nuts have cooled, place 1 1/2 cups (149g) of the pecans in a food processor with the steel blade and process with quick on/offs until finely chopped to a coarse meal. The nuts will chop unevenly, so don’t try to get every nut finely chopped, but watch the overall batch carefully — do not go to pecan butter.

In a bowl, beat together the pecan meal, flour, baking soda, and the remaining 3/4 tsp (4.5g) salt. Set aside.

In a mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the remaining 1 cup of butter (226g) with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses and vanilla. On the lowest speed, beat in the eggs. Best in the flour-pecan meal mixture in several batches.

Coarsely chop the remaining 1 1/2 cups (149g) pecans. Stir the pecans and chocolate chips into the dough. Work in with your hands, if necessary. Shape into several logs about 1 1/2 inches (4cm) in diameter, wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 36 hours if desired.

Turn up the oven to 375F (191C). Line a baking sheet with parchment lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Slice the dough into 1/2-inch (1.3cm) slices. Keep unbaked dough refrigerated. Place on the baking sheet about 1 inch (2.5cm) apart. Bake until the edges just begin to colour — 9 to 10 minutes.

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