The Dessert NerdIt’s good to have a quest. It makes you focused, driven, and you’ll have an answer for that bridge keeper in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

My quest was to make a Big Cookie – one of the great mysteries for the home baker. How do you make a cookie that’s huge but not burned on the outside and raw in the middle? It has to be possible. I checked out exactly one billion recipes, and a lot of them were good, but I had trouble finding ones that I thought were really special. I had high expectations, after all.   Not many expectations: it needed to be chewy, and it needed to be big. But those things are IMPORTANT.

Imagine my delight when I was able to cobble together a recipe that produced a cookie that was both chewy and big, and it turned out to be very adaptable for different add-ins. I’ve made regular ol’ chocolate chip, coconut chocolate chunk, oatmeal raisin, and oatmeal chocolate chip. Once, I even put dried cranberries and blueberries and white chocolate chips in them. I’m sure you guys can think of some other stuff to throw in there. Pretzels? Sure! Candy bars? Why the heck not! See? You’re great at this. Here we go.

Plan ahead for this recipe. It takes a long time from beginning to end, but it’s SO worth it. These cookies freeze well after they’re cooled, so if you need them for an event like a cookie swap or a bake sale you can definitely do them ahead of time. I wrap stacks of mine in aluminum foil and then put them in freezer bags and try to forget they exist when I am foraging for snacks.

What you’re going to need:

1 - Big Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup granulated (white) sugar
  • 1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Add- ins: Chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, macadamia nuts, pecans, whatever your heart desires.

Place butter and all of the sugars in the bowl. I like to line up all the sugars and use a ½ cup measuring cup because I need one scoop for powdered sugar, two scoops for white sugar and three scoops for brown sugar. It helps me remember the recipe, but I’m a weirdo, so don’t feel obligated to do it this way.

2 - Big Cookies

Mix until well combined. I’m not sure what exactly powdered sugar does in this recipe, but it does give the dough a smooth look at this point. Like so:

3 - Big Cookies

Add the eggs and vanilla. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. If you’re adding in coconut or oatmeal, this is the time to dump it in and mix until it’s incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine. You might notice that I didn’t ask you to combine the dry ingredients ahead of time and run them through a sifter or whisk them or something, and there’s a very simple reason why: I am lazy. I’m sure that there are Pastry Geniuses who can tell you why that’s important, but I’ve just dumped everything in the bowl plenty of times and it’s worked okay for me. After the dry ingredients are mixed in, add the chips, nuts or whatever else you’re putting in. For this recipe, I added in coconut, macadamia nuts and dark chocolate chips.

4 - Big Cookies

5 - Big Cookies

This is usually the point when I declare my genius. Ooo, baby. Look at that!

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours! No getting around this one, it’s crucial to your Big Cookie Success. If the dough isn’t cold enough it will spread too much and do you think your cookies will look beautiful? NO. They will be squishy in the middle and they’ll burn around the edges, and you don’t need that kind of sadness in your life. So, chill.

When you’re ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 325 and cover your cookie sheets with parchment paper. Scoop the dough out with a sturdy spoon and form into a ball the size of a snowball, or a bocce ball or something. I can only fit 2 or 3 cookies on each of my cookie sheets at a time if I’m making the Big Cookie version. I also like sprinkling a pinch of sea salt on top.

6 - Big Cookies

Bake for about 20 minutes. This will depend on your oven, mine never needs any less than 20 minutes, but depending on the size of the dough ball and your particular oven, it could be longer. Keep an eye on it. When the edges are browned and the center doesn’t look shiny anymore they are done.

7 - Big Cookies

These are the finished babies. Aren’t they pretty? These guys are 5-6 inches in diameter.

8 - Big Cookies

My son calls these “face cookies” because they are as big as his face. Right now, he is standing behind the camera, waiting for me to be finished taking pictures so he can feed his face with face cookies.

9 - Big Cookies

The texture of these cookies is just perfect. I think that’s why I love this recipe so much. I have also used this recipe for smaller cookies, and it STILL takes 20 minutes to bake them. It’s possible that my oven is caught in some kind of Groundhog’s Day-style time loop.

These cookies are a wonderful gift as well. I bought 6 inch cardboard cake rounds at the craft store, then stacked the cookies on top and wrapped the whole thing in cellophane. The cardboard gives the cookies a little extra support. I also found a cute round box that was just the right size and stacked some inside of that. Festive!

So go forth and make Big Cookies, my friends! As for me, my quest is complete.


Coconut chocolate chunk

Add 1 cup of shredded coconut after the eggs and vanilla are incorporated and before the dry ingredients go in. Add dark chocolate chunks (and maybe ¾ cup macadamia nuts) after all base ingredients are combined.

Oatmeal chocolate chunk

Add 2 cups of oatmeal after the eggs and vanilla are incorporated and before the dry ingredients go in. Add dry ingredients. Add chocolate chunks.

Oatmeal raisin

Same as above except add raisins instead of chocolate, and add 1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon to the batter.

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