Big Sur Chocolate Chip Cookies are inspired by Cakespy, who posted the recipe in a timeline called “Look to the Cookie”. The recipe, as Jessie the Cakespy notes, is from Maida Heatter who says “she doesn’t know of a bigger cookie”. I’ll bet she does now – especially if she’s stopped by Levain or met up with a Carol’s cookie. But Maida’s Big Surs, at 6 inches across, were big for their time.
I made a batch of Big Sur Chocolate Chip Cookies today and while they were large, they were on the flat side. Also, Maida says hers are crispy, but mine were soft and chewy. I tried cooking them a little bit longer and again they were chewy, but with slightly crisper edges.
So at this point, I’m really interested in hearing your experience with Maida’s Big Sur cookies. Katrina, who made them right after Jessie posted the recipe, thought they were a little soft as well.
(See note below picture — Update)
UPDATE: Maida mentions that these cookies are supposed to be crisp. Mine were chewy, but with a few changes in technique, I was able to get a cookie that was crisp around the edges — or at least about an inch of the diameter. The cookies are still chewy in the center. I went ahead and paraphrased a half batch version with emphasis on the things that seemed to help make the cookies crisper.
1. REALLY pack the brown sugar — higher proportion of sugar makes cookies crisper
2. Make sure you sift the flour and measure very carefully since 3/4 cup sifted flour weighs less than 3/4 cup unsifted. If you don’t sift the flour, you’ll be using more of it and the cookies won’t have as high percentage of sugar.
3. Bake the cookies on a non-insulated cookie sheet.
4. Cook for as long as possible. These cookies get pretty brown, so it’s tempting to take them out early. 16-18 minutes would have burned my cookies, but at 15 minutes they were nice and brown but not burnt.
If you can’t bake the cookies for 15 minutes without the edges burning, it may be a good idea to bake at a lower heat.
5. Remove the cookies from the cookie sheet immediately and let cool and crisp on a rack.
- 6 oz (1 1/2 sticks or 3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup quick cooking rolled oats, uncooked (not instant)
- 6 oz. walnuts, cut or broken into medium sized pieces (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 (6 oz.) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate morsels (1 cup)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- With an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy.. Add the vanilla and lemon juice and then both of the sugars and beat to mix.
- With mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, increasing speed after eggs are added. Scrape sides of bowl often.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients.
- On low speed or by hand, add the dry ingredients and then the rolled oats, scraping the bowl as necessary with a rubber spatula and beating only until mixed. Stir in nuts and morsels.
- Spread out a piece of wax paper or foil. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to measure the amount of dough for each cookie, form 12-15 mounds of the dough and place them any which way on the foil or wax paper. At this point, you may want to chill the mounds. Otherwise, continue on.
- Pick up a mound of dough, roll it into a ball, flatten it to about 1/2 inch thickness, and place it on the foil. Do not place more than 4 cookies on a 12 x 15 1/2 inch piece of foil or cookie sheet, as they spread.
- Bake two sheets at a time for 16 to 18 minutes (I prefer baking one sheet at a time), reversing the sheets top to bottom and front to back as necessary to ensure even browning. Bake until the cookies are well colored; they must not be too pale. Watch carefully.