Since I was a child, I have loved baking. In particular, I’ve loved chocolate chip cookies. Ruth Wakefield‘s Toll House recipe is an inspiration. Since 2010 I have been playing with Ruth’s recipe to put my spin on it. Amusingly after starkly diverging from it at first, the final product has organically come full circle back to its roots with many similarities to that recipe.
It’s hard to beat the best, but after many test batches and tweaks, I’ve finally gotten it to a place that I feel is ready to share with the rest of the world. I’ll let you be the judge.
May Day Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
by John Morrison
Yield: 48 cookies
Cook time: 10 minutes
Prep time: ~3 hours (including chilling)
Baking temperature: 375°
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup bacon fat
½ cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter at room temperature
½ cup wildflower honey
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 shot bourbon (~3 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 ¼ cups dark chocolate chips
- Combine butter and bacon fat in a large bowl and mix in an electric mixer on low until creamy and combined
- Add honey and brown sugar gradually. Beat until light and fluffy ~3 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Beat in vanilla, bourbon, and eggs one at a time and scrape down the bowl as needed. Add baking soda and beat into the mixture at low speed.
- Add ⅓ the flour and mix on low speed. Gradually add remaining flour until blended.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Cover bowl and chill for at least 1 hour in the fridge.
- Scoop generously rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart on silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Bake at 375° until golden brown around the edges. (Approximately 10 minutes on a baking sheet ~9 on parchment)
- Remove from the oven and place cookies on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
Notes: I usually get my dark chocolate from Blommer. I prefer to buy the ‘Alpine Dark’ broken ends and break them up further to use as chocolate chunks, but chips work excellently as well.
As far as the bourbon is concerned, I usually use whatever we have on hand. I don’t usually use Four Roses Single Barrel, but I did for this batch because it’s my favorite bourbon, and this batch is special to me.
You’ll notice there is no salt in the recipe, that is because the bacon fat should supply more than enough salt by itself. If you’re looking for an excellent way to make perfect bacon while preserving the grease I recommend checking out Dan Benjamin’s Bacon Method.
I landed on the “May Day” name because May 1st (aka International Worker’s Day) was the day I finally ‘froze’ the recipe and because I prefer to it with all local ingredients when possible.
I’d like to give shout outs to Gorden Tebo, Weien Wang, Rocco Palladino, Sean Wolter, Kellen Terret, Doctor Susan Brown, and Will Goodwin of Spoken Cafe. Over the years, each of these folx gave me feedback, advice, or inspiration that helped make this into something I’m very proud of.
Finally, a special thank you to my mother, Susan Morrison, for fostering my love of baking and my love of cookies in particular. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. Your share will be in the mail tomorrow.
Thank you all.