by David Fisco
20 December 2012
Word count: 385
Dessert | Baking
This takes the standard chocolate chip cookie to a higher level, with more flavorful sugars, lots of vanilla and some orange zest.

1 cup walnuts
2.25 cups (270 grams) bleached all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
.5 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons kosher salt
.75 cup (144 grams) minimally-processed sugar (I use Florida Crystals.)
1 cup (192 grams) demerara sugar</a>
zest of 1 orange
2 large eggs at room temperature
12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate bits

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Put the walnuts on a cookie sheet, spreading them into a single layer.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they are fragrant and beginning to release their oil.  Do not let them burn.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.  Turn your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In your stand mixer, combine the all-purpose flour, baking soda and baking powder.  Turn your mixer to the stir setting and let run for one minute to combine these ingredients.

In a saucepan over low heat, melt the 2 sticks of butter.  Turn off the heat and add the vanilla, kosher salt, minimally-processed sugar and demerara sugar.  Stir until all of the sugar is dissolved in the butter.  Pour into the flour mixture on your stand mixer.  Turn the mixer to the lowest mix setting and let it mix until all of the flour is coated with the butter/sugar.

Remove the bowl from your mixer and place a Microplane grater on top.  Remove the orange's zest into your mixer bowl.  Add 2 eggs and return the bowl to the mixer.  Turn the mixer to the lowest mix setting and let it mix until all of the ingredients are combined.

Put your cooled walnuts into a food processor and pulse until the nuts are ground.  Add the nuts and the chocolate chips to the mixing bowl and turn your mixer to stir, integrating all ingredients.

Using a small ice cream scoop, drop scoops of cookie dough onto cookie sheets, leaving about 1.5" around each dough ball.  Bake for approximately 9 to 11 minutes, until the bottoms of the cookies are browned but not burned.

Remove from oven and allow to cool 2 minutes on the sheets.  Transfer to a cooling rack and allow the cookies to cool completely.
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