These are my favorite cookies in the world. When I was a kid and I wanted a cookie, it meant chocolate chip, all those others where shameful impostors. I’ve been baking them for as long as I can remember. My aunt always talks about wretched excess in the best kind of way and this is it. I’ve been known to add more chocolate than I have listed below and more is more.
It really is a very classic recipe with some tweaks to method some flavor additions and the fact that these are more chocolate and nuts than dough that make these stand out. But the soul of the chocolate chip is still there. Any orange-like citrus is great here. During the holidays I often chop up candied orange zest and add it to the batter at the end. I prefer high quality chocolate like Callebaut or Valrhona in bar form. It makes for a more interesting texture they melt much nicer than chocolate chips. I love mixing different types of cocoa percentage chocolates together for these. A sprinkle of sea salt before baking makes them just perfect.
I've always chilled the dough in some way before baking but we learned some tips from our dessert idol David Lebovitz years ago to roll the dough into logs and chill overnight. Then just slice off rounds and pop them on a baking sheet. Keep the logs in your freezer and you'll have cookies in a snap. This recipe makes a giant amount of dough for exactly that reason.
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) Butter softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 room tempurature eggs
The zest of 2 oranges
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
24 oz of good quality semisweet or bittersweet Bar Chocolate such as Callebaut or Valrhona
2 cups Pecans
Fleur de sel for finishing
Makes approximately 6 dozen cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place nuts in oven while preheating and let them toast for 5-10 minutes turning once half way just until they begin to color and you can smell their fragrance making sure not to burn them. After they’ve cooled coarsely chop them and set aside.
Chop chocolate into roughly bite size pieces, uniformity in shape is not necessary, and set aside.
In a bowl combine flour, kosher salt, and baking soda and stir with a whisk or fork to thoroughly distribute.
In a stand mixer or hand mixer beat the butter for about a minute then add the sugars and cream on high speed for another 2-3 minutes until very light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, then vanilla and orange zest and continue to beat until completely incorporated, making sure to scrape down the bowl once or twice. another 1-2 min.
Slowly add the flour until just incorporated.
You may find it necessary/helpful to transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and incorporate by hand as you add the flour as the batter will become stiff.
Add the nuts and chocolate and mix until incorporated. (make sure not to overmix here as the chocolate may begin to melt into the batter)
(I like to put the dough in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes before doing the next step as the dough is quite soft and the chocolate will start to melt with the warmth of your hands.)
Roll the dough into logs about 2-3 inches in diameter as evenly as possible and tightly wrap in plastic wrap.
You can also put the dough in an air tight container and use a small ice cream scoop to portion cookies.
Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, though I find a 24 hour rest is even better. Any leftover dough can be kept sealed in the freezer up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to bake them off Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
If cutting the dough from logs, cut them into 1/2 inch sections and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and try to leave at least 1 inch of space between them to prevent them from spreading into each other as they bake.
If scooping you may want to leave a little more space as they will spread more.
Bake them for 10-14 minutes rotating the trays half way through baking. They should be golden brown and have a nice crackled surface.
Let them rest on their sheets for a minute or two before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
They can be stored in an airtight container for about a week.