24 very large cookies
This is an all-time comfort food. Big, thick, semisoft, moist, chewy-and loaded with goodies. Whatever you do with these, I suggest that you do not store them in a location that can be seen -- or reached. They will disappear too quickly. And frankly, if you don't have strong willpower, maybe you should just not make them.
7-1/2 ounces (1-1/2 cups) raisins
6 ounces (1-1/2 cups) walnuts
2 cups sifted unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs graded "large"
1/2 cup sour cream
6 ounces (1 cup) semisweet chocolate morsels (see Note)
Adjust two racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with baking parchment or with aluminum foil, shiny side up.
Steam the raisins as follows: Place them in a vegetable steamer or a strainer over shallow hot water in a saucepan covered, over high heat. Let the water boil for a few minutes, until the raisins are moist. Remove them from the saucepan and spread out on a piece of foil to air a bit.
Break the nuts into medium-sized pieces; set aside.
Sift together the flour, soda, and salt; set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter until soft. Add the vanilla and sugar and beat to mix well. Beat in the eggs and then the sour cream. On low speed gradually add the sifted dry ingredients and beat only until mixed. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
Stir in the raisins, nuts, and chocolate.
Use a heaping tablespoonful of the dough (make these large) for each cookie. Place them at least 2 inches apart (these will spread).
Bake two sheets at a time for 13 to 15 minutes. Reverse the sheets top to bottom and front to back a few times during baking. Watch the cookies on the bottom layer. They might get too dark on the bottom if you don't change the pans top to bottom soon enough. When done, they will be just barely golden color all over and should just barely spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip on the top. Do not overbake.
With a wide metal spatula transfer to racks to cool.
If you bake one sheet alone, bake it on the upper of the two racks.
When cool, if you are not going to serve these soon, they should be wrapped as follows: The cookies should be place two together, bottoms together. Each two cookies may then be wrapped in clear cellophane, wax paper, or aluminum foil, or you can simply put them in a box without wrapping, two together, bottoms together, with wax paper between the layers.
Note: If you wish, you can use cut-up chocolate bars in place of the morsels. I suggest that you use thin bars, for instance, Tobler Tradition or Lindt Excellence, and cut them into pieces a little larger than morsels (someone once said, jokingly, that the chocolate should be cut into chunks any size smaller than the diameter of the cookies). Aim for pieces about 1/2, inch in diameter, although some will be smaller and some larger.
Maida Heatter's Brand New
Book of Great Cookies
by Maida Heatter
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created December 1998; modified November 2006
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