Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 70 cookies. Recipe is from “Dessert University” by Roland Mesnier with Lauren Chattman, Simon & Schuster, 2004, $40. French-born pastry chef Mesnier was hired in 1979 by first lady Rosalyn Carter and became the longest-tenured chef ever — pastry or culinary — in the history of the White House. He retired from the White House in 2006.
3 cups plus 3 tbls. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2⁄3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup molasses
1 tbl. pure vanilla extract
2 cups (one 12-oz. bag) chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
1. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until thoroughly combined. Beat in the eggs, molasses and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Then stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and allow the dough to chill for 1 hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat pads.
4. Drop heaping tablespoons or No. 40 ice-cream scoops of the dough 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets, flattening them slightly by hand. (Balls of dough may be placed next to each other on parchment-lined baking sheet, frozen, transferred to zipper-lock plastic bags, and stored in the freezer for up to 1 month. Place frozen cookies on prepared sheets as above, and defrost on the counter for 30 minutes before baking.)
5. Bake until just light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool the cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheets before using a metal spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will keep in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.