Wake and Convect

Early bird gets the cookie! I’ve had to relearn how to do a lot of things since moving 650 to 7,300 ft. Like simply how to breath. Baking, however, has been particularly challenging. But - I think have finally succeeded in my quest for the perfect high-altitude chocolate chip cookie!

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The main secret seems to be using convection while keeping the same bake temperature and time from the sea level recipe. That got me most of the way there. Chilling the dough is the next big step. Other than that a few minor tweaks to the classic Toll House recipe and they are baking right up the way I’m used to when I lived a lot closer to sea level.

Om nom nom. Only 9:30 AM and I already have 64 delicious cookies for the day. Ok actually to bring to a Christmas Tree burning party later, but more like 50 will actually make it to that. Here’s the recipe for any other crazy mountain people interested:

  • 2 1/2 c + 2 Tbsp flour (an extra 2 Tbsp vs. sea level - also, we are a Celiac household, so I use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free flour)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 c light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar (this is a different mix than the classic Toll house recipe that calls for 3/4 c of each - its more of a personal preference flavor thing than an altitude thing)
  • 1 c unsalted butter softened (2 sticks)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp cold water (this is an addition vs. sea level - it sounds counter-intuitive to add water but what happens is that the moisture evaporates more quickly up here so this little boost helps)
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

If you’ve made cookies from scratch before, the rest is pretty straightforward. The main change is adding in the extra water towards the end.

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Start by putting the flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and sift. In a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar. Then blend in the eggs and vanilla. Add the sifted dry ingredients slowly. Now mix in the 2 tsp of water. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the chocolate chips (I use a wooden spatula or wooden spoon for this).

Cover and chill the dough in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour. For this most recent batch I chilled overnight, which is fine but you want to make sure it is covered tightly so that it doesn’t loose moisture - I used aluminum foil. KitchenAid actually makes a lid for their mixer bowls that I need to pick up.

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Drop about 1 Tbsp each onto un-greased baking sheets. (Use parchment paper if you don’t want to clean the sheets.) I use an OXO cookie scooper for this. Bake in convection at 375˚F for 8 minutes. Cool on sheets for 8 minutes (this would be the time to put the next sheet of cookies in the oven). Then remove using a spatula to wire racks to cool completely. I use insulated cookie sheets. Plain sheets may require an adjustment to baking time.

Makes about 64 cookies.

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