TCP Cooks: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Read it & weep, ladies. My man bakes chocolate chip cookies.

That’s right, ladies. The Complete Package bakes cookies.
Homemade chocolate chip cookies with pecans.
They’re big, they’re warm and they’re wonderful.
(That’s what she said!) Here’s how he does it.

The players, although some of those chocolate chips didn't make it

Complete Package Chocolate Chip Cookies:
2 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
3/4 cup of brown sugar
2 sticks of unsalted butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 bag (12 ounces) Guittard Extra Dark chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

This makes me question why I separate things into cute little bowls.

To begin, set your butter out on the counter to soften. Once you can squeeze it and it gives a little, it’s ready to go. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and sugars. Whisk to combine. Add the softened butter, eggs and vanilla and mix just until combined. (Note: TCP likes to mix the cookie dough with his hands so that he doesn’t over mix the cookie batter.) Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans just until they are evenly distributed.

Do what you want, but I'm not giving up my KitchenAid.

Using an ice cream scoop, TCP creates large balls of cookie dough that are slightly smaller than a baseball. He puts the dough balls into a mixing bowl and places the bowl in the freezer for 20 minutes. Depending on how warm your kitchen is, it may take a little longer for your cookie dough to firm up.

While the dough is chilling, pre-heat your oven to 375F. Once the dough balls feel firm to the touch but not frozen solid, they’re ready. For baking, The Complete Package insists that a thick heavy-duty baking sheet is the key to great cookies. It prevents the cookies from burning on the bottom.

One they’re ready to bake, TCP takes the dough balls out of the freezer one at a time, twists them in half, and places the “torn” side up in order to get better lift.

Grab one big dough ball at a time & twist it in half.

Place them torn side up for better lift while baking.

He bakes them six cookies at a time to give them some room to spread out. You’ll want to keep the dough balls in the refrigerator while each pan is baking so they don’t get soft. Here is TCP’s theory – soft cookie dough spreads out when baked and makes for thin cookies. Cold cookie dough that’s piled high will form taller, fluffier cookies. He must know what he’s talking about, because his cookies turn out consistently fabulous every single time.

Bake each tray for 15 minutes on the middle rack of your oven until they start to turn a light golden brown around the edges. Keep in mind that everyone’s oven is different. You may want to start watching yours at 12 minutes in case your oven runs hotter, or bake them longer if you have the opposite problem. Once they’re done, remove them from the oven, allow them to cool for a few minutes on the pan, then move them to cooling racks.

Your house is going to smell SO good when these are baking!

Once they’re cooled, grab a gallon of cold milk and get ready for a stampede. This recipe makes approximately 2 dozen cookies, and they won’t last long.

One last tip: if you can find them, try the Guittard Extra-Dark chocolate chips. They are our favorites, and they are worth seeking out. They will rock your world. Guaranteed. Or my name isn’t NanaBread. Well, actually my name is Jeanne, but let’s not get tangled up in technicalities here. Just try them!

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12 Comments

Filed under Food & Recipes

12 responses to “TCP Cooks: Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. This was quite possibly the most unique cookie-making tutorial I have ever read.
    hahaha TCP cracks me up, but I see the method to his madness.

    • Thanks for the comment love, Mads.
      I know TCP will appreciate it. His method may be unconventional (the idea of mashing the dough by hand makes this compulsive hand washer shiver), but it works every single time. His chocolate chip cookies are amazing. My Baby is determined to go to TCP’s “cookie college” until she masters this technique. If you try it, be sure to take photos of you or Jonathan wrist deep in cookie dough!

  2. Pat Counts

    I am forwarding this to my complete package ( maybe incomplete). He loves, loves cookies and does cook them sometimes when I refuse. A night without cookies is incomplete. Pat

    • Carl is a sweet guy. I had no idea he baked cookies! I agree – milk & cookies (or hot cocoa & cookies depending on the temps outside) are one of my favorite sweet treats. So… what kind of cookies does Carl make? Any favorites?

  3. Kat

    TCP has more baking abilities in his little finger than I do in my entire body. Ironically, it was the bowl of perfectly scooped dough waiting to go into the fridge that confirmed my beliefs on this.

  4. Great technique in portioning and placing the dough torn side up for better lift during baking. Bravo TCP!

  5. I have to say that I approve of TCP’s method–not that he needed my approval. I learned to make chocolate chip cookies as a kid, and I always mixed the dough with my hand. Partly because I wasn’t yet allowed to use the oven without supervision, so using the mixer would have ratted me out, and partly because the Children’s Librarian at our local library said that she preferred to mix cookie dough with her hands. I would have tried anything that Children’s Librarian suggested.

    I also freeze or chill any butter based cookie dough to limit the “spread” of the cookies in the oven. My Food-Dork explanation is that butter has a high water content, which affects the lift of the cookie. As the butter is heated and begins to melt, the water evaporates, and creates air pocket, allowing the butter to “spread” the dough thinner before the binders (eggs) have a chance to bind the dough together to retain shape. This also affects the baked good’s ability to rise or lift (along with the leavening). Softened butter releases it’s water more quickly during the baking process than chilled butter. Chilled butter melts more slowly, consequently the water evaporates slower, which in turn allows the eggs to bind the dough together and achieve greater lift while maintaining form.

    OK, that was probably way more info than was necessary. TMI + 10. ;)

    • No, it’s not too much. I’m sure there are people who read this and thought “why does he mix it with his hands?” Your explanation helps prove his theory. Thanks for the back-up. I also loved going to the library as a child, especially during their summer reading programs. I used to worship those ladies like they were the keepers of all knowledge. And I grew up with a mother that was very hands-on in the kitchen, so we tried everything by hand – making butter in a jar, ice cream in an old-fashioned hand crank tub, kneading bread, making jams & jellies, canning fruits & vegetables, etc. Our age of convenience foods sometimes depresses me. Digging in, doing it yourself, and getting a little dirty happens to be a lot of fun!

  6. Julie Guillemette

    I bake smaller cookies, but they’re really good, very chocolatey! :)

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