On my recent quest to find my favorite chocolate chip cookie (CCC) recipe, I’m not aiming for perfection. All I want is better … decent, even. My CCCs have fallen so far from their prior glory, and I blame it all on living at altitude.
When I first moved to Denver about a year ago, I wondered, “Why all the hype about baking at altitude?” I made quite a few things that turned out just fine without alteration – muffins, banana bread, cupcakes. But there was something missing from my tried and true Toll House CCC recipe, even when I followed the altitude baking instructions. These turned out dry and too crunchy when I wanted lofty, golden brown, chewy-in-the-middle-but-crisp-on-the-outside.
Thus began the search for something better.
So I did some reading about what makes for a better chocolate chip cookie. Believe it or not, this is one area of hot debate. There’s the type of flour – all purpose vs. bread vs. cake. Then melted vs. softened vs. browned butter. And chocolate chips vs. chopped chocolate bars. Chilling the dough vs. not.
Here are some of the best articles I considered:
- The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 1 and Part 2
- NY Times Quintessential Chocolate Chip Cookies and
- Perfect CCC Recipe adapted for High Altitude
And my inspiration for these cookies was found here from Crazy For Crust. I had some leftover mini-marshmallows and thought they could only add deliciousness to my CCCs.
For this particular recipe, I combined a few CCC tricks. Basically, the dough is mixed just like any CCC recipe you’ve made – blend the butter and sugars, add eggs and vanilla. In this case, I opted for melted butter. Then mix in the dry ingredients followed by the chocolate chips and graham crackers.
My dry ingredients included my favorite trick yet – bread flour, which I think added just the chewy-crispness I was after. I know what you’re thinking – why do I need to go out and buy yet another ingredient to clutter up my pantry? To that I answer, because the chewiness is SO worth it!
Then I chilled the dough overnight, which made it easier to handle.
And this is the fun part. After taking the dough out of the fridge, flatten it into small discs and wrap each disc around two mini-marshmallows (if you’re feeling ambitious, you can make your own using Emily’s recipe).
And roll the cookies into about 2-inch balls, spaced a few inches apart on the cookie sheet. Then pop them in the oven and deeply inhale that fresh-baked CCC aroma. Ahhh …
- 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, melted
- 1 c. sugar
- 3/4 c. brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 3 1/4 c. bread flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 c. chocolate chips
- 1 c. chopped graham crackers
- 2 c. mini-marshmallows, frozen
- Pour melted butter into mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add sugars and mix on low. Let cool for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
- To the butter/sugar mixture, add eggs and vanilla, mix on low.
- Add the dry ingredients, mixing on low until incorporated.
- Stir in chocolate chips and graham crackers by hand.
- Chill the dough for at least 1 hour, but up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Form about 2 tbsp. dough into a flat disc and wrap around 2 marshmallows. Seal edges and roll into a ball.
- Bake 10-12 minutes. Let cool on the pan for 2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
If you live at altitude, increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees and decrease the sugars by 1 tbsp. each.
I was pleasantly surprised by these chewy, delicious cookies with a campfire twist. They were exactly what I was looking for. Up next on my CCC quest, I’ll be exploring browned butter a la Mountain Mama – wondering if it could top these amazing cookies.
Wish me luck!
Mary is a regular guest contributor to Good Not Perfect. Mary grew up in Kansas City and met Laura and Emily during her stint as a Hoosier in college. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two daughters and works as a physician in internal medicine. She aspires to be one of those women still running 10Ks in their 70s, and her bucket list includes visiting all 59 U.S. National Parks.