Saturday, January 8

Chocolate Chip Cookies at Altitude

Yesterday, Todd sent a great question about baking at altitude.

We all need a great chocolate chip recipe. The Nestlé Toll House recipe has never worked for me up here and it's a been a big disappointment. How could such an easy recipe yield less than desirable results?

As I've mentioned before, Pie in the Sky has been a game changer. Here's a great recipe from the book with a brief intro from the cookbook's author. If you don't like white chocolate, just replace white with more semi-sweet. I like Toll House morsels or Valrhona bittersweet chocolate. Valrhona's not a thrifty buy but it's a nice splurge.

Black-and-White Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe for 5,000-7,000 feet)
Makes 55 to 60 cookies (2-3 inch diameter)

White chocolate chips add extra sweetness to these classic cookies; to balance this, you can substitute chopped bittersweet chocolate for the semisweet chips if you wish, or as I have done, throw in a handful of dried cranberries. For best results, use a fine-quality white chocolate such as Lindt Swiss White confectionary bar or Guittard Vanilla Milk Chips or Ghirardelli Classic White Chips.

2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ pound unsalted butter at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate
1 cup white chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate
1 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)

  1. Preheat over to 375˚ with oven divided in thirds. Line cookie sheets with parchment or nonstick mats or lightly coat with butter or nonstick vegetable spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, using a sturdy spoon or the bowl of an electric mixer, preferably with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until soft and creamy, then beat in both sugars. Scrape down the bowl and beater, if using, and mix until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Stirring slowly, or with the mixer on the lowest speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture , then stir in the chips (or chopped chocolate) and nuts (if using).
  4. Drop the batter by the rounded teaspoon about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until golden brown. Don't overbake, or the cookies will be too dry and crisp when cooled; it is better to underbake them slightly so the centers will be a little bit chewy.
  5. Cool the cookies on a wire rack. If they were baked on parchment or nonstick mats, simply slide it off the cookie sheet onto the wire rack to cool. When they are completely cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container.


  1. YUM! were you missing all the baking that you had done at christmas?

  2. I'm not missing it a bit. I'm on the wagon for our trip to Cali during spring break!