First, I started making them at 10PM, only to realize that I was out of eggs and short on chocolate, thus requiring a run to the corner store. Second, I’d forgotten to factor in the one-hour chilling time for the dough. They were finally done around 12:30AM. But hey, I’d waited six months to finally make these—what was a few hours?
Americans ex-pats typically crave strange, hard-to-find things like Kraft Blue Box, chipotle peppers, cream of mushroom soup, and Saltines. Chocolate chip cookies are another doozy. Good luck finding any of the essential ingredients in Germany: brown sugar, chocolate chips, or vanilla extract. I hadn’t had much luck.
But then my friend, Liza, brought me back a bag of fancy chocolate chips from her last trip to the U.S. A plan was hatched. My dad good-naturedly agreed to haul a 2-lb. bag of brown sugar in his luggage at Christmastime. And the vanilla extract problem I solved by macerating a vanilla bean in a mini bottle of vodka:
Finally, it was cookie time! I started with a recipe billed as no less than “The Best Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies in the Entire World.” Although I might not go quite that far, if you like a chewy cookie…these were totally worth the wait!
(Makes 22-23 medium cookies)
-1 1/2 c. flour
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly colder than room temperature
-1/2 c. sugar
-3/4 c. tightly packed light brown sugar (I used dark but recommend light)
-1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 large egg, at room temperature, lightly beaten
-7 oz. bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips
-1/3 c. chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugars and butter together until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix just until combined.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly mix together with the creamed sugar in the large bowl.
3. With a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate and walnuts until evenly distributed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Preheat the oven to 350F and position baking racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven.
5. Bake 9-13 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Remove the cookies from the oven before they really begin to color or brown on the edges. They should look slightly underdone. Let cool 30 seconds, then carefully lift the cookies and parchment/foil off in one fell swoop. Cool on the counter or a rack.
6. Bake any remaining cookies (assuming you didn’t ingest 5-cookies worth of raw dough while making them).
Grab a cold glass of milk and dunk away!