You know how you make cookies some days because you have to and some days you make cookies because you want to? On this particular day, I was in the middle. We were out of cookies, we needed cookies—but I wasn’t feeling like making the same thing. That’s when I poked through cookbooks.
I dug out Great Cookies: Secrets to Sensational Sweets by Carole Walter. I’ve flipped through it plenty of times. I always find something appealing. Why hadn’t I baked anything from the cookie cookbook yet? Well, I decided TODAY was the day. Am I glad I did.
Skip down to the Really Great Chocolate Chip Cookies by Carole Walter using the Table of Contents below or hang around for some cookbook chatter.
Meet “Great Cookies” by Carole Walter
I love the potential of a new cookbook (or new-to-me cookbook). When you crack open the spine, and take in the first couple of pages, you don’t know what you will find. If it’s a used cookbook, I hope to find recipes snipped out from newspapers and magazines tucked into the pages, with handwritten notes scratched above recipes, with phrases like “A favorite!” or “Excellent for guests.”
Yes, I especially hope to discover a captivating cookbook, with lengthy intros that give me a sense of who the author is and why I should care. I love reading about the story behind a recipe or why you want to follow a particular method. I don’t require all those things to be present in every book for it to be enjoyable, but it’s nice to find some of those things.
“Great Cookies” by Carole Walter is a 7.75 x 1.15 x 10.35-inch book with many of those things—like more than 200 cookie recipes and over 150 images.
Inside “Great Cookies” the Book
The exterior of “Great Cookies” doesn’t look like it’s going to blow your mind. Not at all. It features a stack of scalloped-edged cookies on the front. That’s…about it. Nothing flashy. Nothing fancy.
But when you open this book, now that’s a different story altogether.
Inside, you’ll view a recipe layout so wonderful, it will leave every home baker swooning. Each page begins with a lengthy (and excellent) intro. The paragraph may include a personal story or baking tip or something else. Whatever “it” is, it’s always an enjoyable read. Then, the page is divided into two columns.
You’ll start at the left side with the “At a Glance” heading. Carole tells you the pan needed, the pan prep, oven temperature, baking time, and the difficulty (from 1-3, but with the number of circles). Next, there’s the list of ingredients, and then the numbered recipe steps, and storage information like how to store the cookie and how long they will “keep.” Each recipe also includes three cookie characteristics. These helpful tidbits let you know if a cookie is temperature sensitive, travels well, or has a good shelf life. Many recipes do have images, but not every cookie.
Baking Really Great Chocolate Chip Cookies
Thanks to Carole’s easy-to-read instructions, the most novice of cookie bakers can handle this recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Yes, it does require a food processor to finely ground the oats, but there’s nothing here you can’t manage.
Jeez, you lost me for a minute. One second I was looking back over the recipe, and the next I realized I was reading OTHER recipes, and setting out butter to soften. This is that kind of a cookie cookbook. The kind you can’t help but use and love. Often. Frequently.
So, back to those oats. They are getting finely ground because YOU WON’T TASTE THEM. You won’t bite into these cookies and think “Oatmeal Chocolate Chip.” At all. Not even a little! They just taste…good. The ground oats serve as a binder to keep the cookie from spreading, so you get a nice shape and fab flavor.
Carol’s Really Great Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
Carole Walter’s Really Great Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 Food Processor to finely grind the oats
- 3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar Packed
- 1/2 Cup Quick Cooking Oats NOT Old-Fashioned Oats
- 1/3 Cup Sugar
- 1 3/4 Cups Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Butter Slightly Firm (though mine was softened as usual and they were great)
- 2 Tablespoons Corn Syrup
- 1 Large Egg
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 8 Ounces Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate, Chopped or 1/12 Cups Chocolate Chips I used Milk Chocolate Chips
- 1 1/2 Cups Walnuts, Coarsely Chopped Optional (I did not use walnuts)
- 375* oven.
- Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper or your reusable baking mat. Set aside.
- In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the brown sugar, oatmeal, and the regular sugar. Process 2/12 to 3 minutes, stop often to pulse, but grind until the oats are VERY finely ground.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, and the salt in a medium bowl. Use a whisk if your flour is lumpy. Set aside.
- In your stand mixer, combine your butter and the corn syrup on medium-low until the mixture is smooth, creamy, and combined (about a minute total).
- Scrape the sides.
- Add the oatmeal and sugar mixture in three additions and mix for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides on occasion.
- Add in the eggs and the vanilla extract and combine for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl as necessary.
- Set the mixer speed to low and add in the dry ingredients one-half at a time. Mix ONLY until blended. Resist the urge to mix it to death!
- Fold in the chocolate chips and the walnuts (if using) with a rubber spatula to avoid overmixing the dough.
- Using a 1 1/2 Tablespoon cookie dough scoop like I did and you will have larger, though fewer cookies, than if you use a smaller 2 teaspoon-sized scoop. Drop the dough onto the sheets about 3" apart.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl so you better combine the chocolate chips and the nuts (if using).
- Bake for 10-12 minutes (my oven took 11 minutes using a 1 1/2 Tablespoon scoop). Remove from the oven when the cookies look a light golden brown and like something you want to eat. Do not overbake the cookies.
- Remove to wire rack to cool for 2 minutes.
- Transfer to cooling racks to cool completely before storing in a reusable plastic container. These cookies may last up to 5 days or frozen.