I haven’t made cookies in a while since my daughter and her friends tend to take the lead in baking them these days. Great for me. But I needed to make a batch for an event and recalled having thought this recipe a contender for the best. It’s got great depth of flavor with toasted nuts, a bit of espresso and lots of chocolate. No way would my daughter accept nuts and espresso in her cookies so now was the time to proceed, sans objection.
I don’t think I’m alone in considering the batter the best part. Once cookies have been baked, cooled and stored, they just don’t hold the same addictive quality as the creamy batter/chunky chip stage or melty from the oven. So I’ve taken to making the dough balls and freezing them on a cookie sheet. A couple of hours later, they can go in a ziplock and be ready for freezer-to-oven preparation at a moments notice.
Todd English’s first restaurant, Olives, is in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston. His presence in the food world has expanded, and he’s now at the helm of Todd English Enterprises which includes restaurants, cookbooks, a housewares line and a PBS travel series. In my early 20’s, I did my best to avoid trying anything too unusual. The food at Olives might have caused the eye-opening realization that there was so much enjoyment beyond my somewhat unsophisticated diet. Hopefully he still inspires adventurous eating. My kids did love the cookies … nuts, espresso and all.
Todd English Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 13-15 mins | Yield: Approx. 48 cookies, depending on size
- 1 cup walnut or pecan pieces
- 20 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon water (or 1 teaspoon with 1 1/2 teaspoon water)
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup rolled oats, pulverized in food processor (measure 1 cup before pulverizing)
- 3 cups any combination of semi-sweet, bitter sweet, white or milk chocolate chunks
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Place nuts in a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, for 3-5 minutes or until they become aromatic and start to release their oil. Remove from skillet and allow to cool completely.
- Cream the butter and both sugars using an electric or stand mixer.
- Beat in the vanilla and dissolved espresso.
- Add the egg and egg yolk and beat just until eggs are until blended. Do not overbeat after adding the eggs.
- In a separate bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the batter and mix just until well-blended.
- Add the oats to the batter and stir just until blended.
- Stir in the cooled chopped nuts and chocolate.
- Chill the dough for about an hour if you have the time and would like slightly thicker cookies.
- Spoon large tablespoonfuls of dough 3 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake one sheet at a time for 13-15 minutes or until cookies are brown around edges but still soft in the middle.
- Allow them to sit on the cookie sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.
Adapted from The Figs Table