Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies from Le Cordon Bleu
The first thing they had us make when I studied at Le Cordon Bleu was chocolate chip and walnut cookies. Seems like such a simple recipe but as with so many other things, there is a good reason behind it: They are easy and they are delicious.
When I first had the idea to become a pastry chef I assumed I had to go to school. I had to learn all the tricks and techniques to make those fancy little desserts. I could already rock chocolate chip cookies and banana bread but I needed so much more. I looked around and decided to enroll at Le Cordon Bleu. Seemed like a better idea to have a ‘known institution’ on my resume than the local university or community college. I mean Julia Child went to Le Cordon Bleu and both Duff Goldman and Anthony Bourdain are graduates of The Culinary Institute of America.
On the other hand, many chefs, including pastry chefs, are self taught. With YouTube and websites like this, there are so many resources out there to give you all the knowledge you need. Should you go to culinary school? Up to you. If you do, you will make lots of interesting desserts, some of which you may have never heard of. I mean, I had no idea what pate a choux or a croquembouche was when I enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu.
Since schools like Le Cordon Bleu and the local university or college are open to the general population and require no experience or prior baking knowledge or skill, they have to start somewhere so we started with a basic item many of the students had already made- Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies. I mean you do not just go from nothing to the amazing tiramisu cakes my friend Oksana at My Delicious Tiramisu makes without learning the basics first. (Make sure to check out her cakes. They totally rock!)
If you are reading this, you are obviously very smart…and probably sexy and sassy as well…yet maybe you have not made Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies in a while so I figure why not. Right? So let’s have a go with the first ever recipe I made on my official journey to becoming a pastry chef.
Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies
1) Pre-heat oven to 350*F
2) Cream butter, sugars and salt until smooth and light.
3) Reduce mixer speed. Combine liquids and slowly add making sure to fully incorporate before adding more.
4) Combine / sift flour and soda and fold into mix until combined.
5) Add nuts and chocolate chips.
6) Using a Size 40 scoop, place dough onto parchment paper lined sheet pans. (If using a 12×17 sheet pan, use a 6×4 pattern for the dough.)
PRO-TIP: The #40 scoop, sometimes called The Purple Scoop, is about 3/4 ounce and is standard for cookies.
7) Bake at 350*F for 10 minutes.
So there you have it. A pretty easy recipe for some delicious cookies. The above recipe yields about 60 cookies. You can always make the full batch and freeze whatever you are not going to eat right away. Or, better yet, what I like to do is scoop the dough onto a tray, freeze that then bag the dough balls and defrost / bake as needed.
Let me know in the comments below what you think about this recipe. Also, what are your thoughts on attending a formal chef school? Did you? What was your experience?
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