Edible Monterey Bay

NOT-YOUR-GRANDMA’S CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE

Courtesy Helena Bee, head baker, Captain + Stoker in Monterey. “My version of the infamous Neiman Marcus cookie,” Bee says.

Makes 30 cookies

2 cups rolled oats
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1¼ cups brown sugar, lightly packed
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon Tuaca vanilla brandy
13 ounces (roughly 2/3 of bar) Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Dark Chocolate, smashed or chopped into small chunks
3½ ounces Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate Lovers Chocolate Bar, grated, shaved or finely chopped
1½ cups walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Ideally, stack two baking sheets on top of one another when cooking.

Blend the oats in a food processor or blender to a fine powder. In a medium bowl, mix together all the drys: first the blended oats with the flour, then the baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, 3–4 minutes. If you don’t own a mixer, make sure your hands are clean, and cream sugar and butter with hands. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and gradually add the wets. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the Tuaca brandy.

If using a mixer, reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until incorporated. If doing by hand, use a rubber spatula to mix in the dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate pieces, grated chocolate and walnuts.

Using a tablespoon, scoop out a heaping amount and place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake one doubled sheet at a time, about 10–12 minutes, until the cookie edges are set but the center still looks undone, turning tray halfway through, if needed.

Cool the cookies completely on the baking sheets before attacking or storing. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days. You can also scoop dough and freeze to bake off later.

Notes: I like using a convection oven to keep my cookies dough like. Tuaca is a lovely liqueur like brandy that is used in a drink called a Hot Apple Pie. Mix with hot cider and top with whipped cream for a warm-up on a chilly night. Or mix with apple juice and throw in a lemon twist for a fruity summer drink.

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