Baking at altitude presents a bevy of problems in the final product, so I use the best book I could find: Susan G. Purdy’s “Pie in the Sky”. While I have yet to successfully bake a cake with one of her recipes, she really understands how to make great chocolate chip cookies! I want to give her credit for the recipe, which I have altered based on ingredient availability here in Peru.
The first change, and one I recommend you adopt with all chocolate chip cookie recipes, is to brown the butter in a fry pan instead of softening it to mix with the sugar and egg. The browned milk solids lend a nutty carmel flavor to the cookies, which I needed because there is no brown sugar in Peru…that I can find! When it comes to chocolate chip cookies, browned butter is an excellent substitution for the flavor of brown sugar, but if you’re lucky enough to have both, the cookie’s flavor is even better.
The second change is also because I can only find Azucar Rubio- Light coffee color, sugar in the raw, essentially. It has a large grain that completely changes the texture of the cookie. Since we’re not using brown (fine, sticky grain) and/or white granulated sugar (small grain), I use a stick blender with the food processor blade attachment and give it a few pulses. It’s stil larger than a white sugar grain, but this medium grain gives the cookie a network of tiny sugar crunchies suspended in a perfectly chewy cookie! The grain size truly makes a difference and I urge you to try it!!
High Altitude Chocolate Chip Cookies 10,000 feet Recipe
- 3 c Flour
- 1 t Salt
- 1 t Baking Soda
In a large bowl, blend all ingredients well with a wire whip.
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) Butter
Melt butter in a good sized fry pan or pot. Cook over high heat. It will foam up, stir it gently and slowly, it can overflow very quickly so keep an eye out and adjust the heat if necessary. If it begins to overflow, carefully move the pan away from the heat source and stir. The butter will take time to brown, possibly up to 15 minutes, but when it is time to brown, it happens fast. Keep stirring, gently and slowly and you will see the foam disappear then browned bits of milk solids will begin to rise as you stir them off the bottom. Get a nice coffee color then very quickly remove the pan from the heat. Be sure to have a large bowl ready to pour the butter into. It’s great if you have a high heat rubber spatula to scrape every last bit out, it is part of your recipe so try no to leave any behind. The butter will be hot and you should wait at least 20 minutes or more for it to cool. You do not want to cook the egg when you add it!
Choose a sugar combination:
- 1 1/2 c minus 2 T Raw Sugar/Azucar Rubio
Process raw sugar so it is a medium grain between raw and white granulated.
- 3/4 c Brown Sugar
- 3/4 c minus 2T White Granulated Sugar
- 1 1/2 c minus 2 T White Granulated Sugar/Organic Sugar
Whisk into browned butter.
- 2 Eggs
- 2 T Vanila
Whisk eggs and vanilla into the butter sugar mixture.
Once well combined, add the sugar butter mixture to the bowl with the flour mixture and stir with a spoon or use your hands just to combine.
- 2-3 c Chocolate Chips
Put in as much chocolate as you like in your cookie. You can also add toffee chips or nuts if you like, but I recommend toasting the nuts first.
Lay a cookie sheet next to the bowl of dough and shape 1″ balls. Place them on the sheet and when full, place the pan in the freezer until the dough balls are hard enough to store in a ziplock bag. You can have cookie dough on hand at all times, if you wish!
You may cook them without being frozen, but I find a better texture if they’re cold out of the freezer.
Bake at 325/175. My oven in the Sacred Valley calls for 375/190.
The key to a chocolate chip cookie that has a crispy shell and chewey, doughy center is to remove them from the oven very early. Unless you prefer a crispy cookie, the cookies are done just when the bottoms barely turn golden. They may look undone. Barely golden bottom = Done. You may need to let them sit on the tray for a moment because they will be very delicate. Have a cutting board or a tight grid cooling rack ready and gently remove the cookies from the pan to cool. As they cool, you will be able to pick up the cookies without them breaking.
It’s best to store them in an airtight container or flat in a large ziplock, as soon as possible, even while still warm.
Sea Level Conversion
Bake at 375/190.
The process is identical. All ingredient measurements are the same except the changes below:
- 2 1/4 c Flour
- 1 1/2 c Sugar, of any combination