Chocolate Chip Pecan Icebox Cookies
I have a friend that has been trying to develop the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe for years, and even though I don’t hear from him very often, the conversation usually starts out with him wanting an opinion on his latest trial. As far as I know, to this day, he is still questing for the grail. I met him over 8 years ago… a long quest indeed. He wants a cookie that’s thin and crispy and most importantly, will stay crispy for the next few days, which his are not.
One day I decided to do some research and give it a go myself, since I was running out of advice and ideas. Now I’m afraid I hit the nail on the head in one try and I don’t have the heart to tell him. It’s like being first in line for a piñata and breaking it in the first swing (I did this once, everyone was mad). These cookies are crispy, not overly sweet and stay crisp days after baking. Mark, if you’re reading this, sorry man, but I think this is the cookie you’ve been searching for.
225 grams (8oz or 2 sticks) Butter
220 grams (1 cup + 1 Tbs) White Sugar
80 grams (1/3 cup) Brown Sugar
2 Tspn Vanilla
450 grams (3 cups) Bread flour
2 Tspn Instant Espresso Powder
1 Tspn Baking Soda
90 grams (3/4 cup) Pecan Pieces
240 grams (2 cups) Chocolate Pieces
Since I was going for a crispier cookie, I decided to use bread flour for the higher protein content. The higher protein content will make it crispier with the amount of fat in this recipe and chewier if it had more fat. Think more egg yolks rather than butter. The recipe will turn out fine if you use all purpose.
I also used two different chocolates, one dark and one semi-sweet. Use whatever chocolate you want, it doesn’t have to be chips. Chips are so limiting, as they only come in a few varieties. If you have a favorite chocolate bar or want a specific percentage of dark chocolate, then chop it up and use it.
Let your butter and eggs come to room temperature, as everything is easier to incorporate when they are all the same, especially the eggs. Cold eggs can “break” the butter and sugar mixture and be hard to blend. Using beaters, beat the butter and sugars together until the mix is smooth and a bit fluffy. Next mix in the eggs and then the vanilla.
Whisk the flour, baking soda and instant espresso together. The espresso adds just a bit of richness to the final product. Toss the flour mix on the egg mixture and with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon begin mixing the two together. It will get fairly stiff, but remember, you’re making dough not batter. When you have the dough homogenous, toss the pecans and chocolate on top and using your hands, gently knead them in.
When your dough is ready, split it in two and form each half into a log. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and roll it on the counter to make is smooth. Make it approximately 2” in diameter and twist the ends. Put them in the freezer until they’re solid. At this point you can bake them whenever you’d like. I like to bake off one log and then save the other so the cookies are fresh when I want them. They should stay good in the freezer for at least a few weeks, but they never last that long at home.
When you want to bake, take one log out and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. If you try to unwrap it too soon the plastic tends to come off in pieces, and you certainly don’t want to leave any of that behind. Use a serrated knife to cut the dough into rounds of about 1/4″ thickness or less. Bake still frozen on parchment paper or a silicone mat at 300º for 35 minutes.
Let them cool on a rack for a few minutes before you sneak the first two.