Sylvia’s Heartbreakers: The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie

img_6188There are over a hundred billion stars in our galaxy. Says Google, at least. After perusing chocolate chip cookie recipes on-line this week, I’m guessing there are about that many recipes for chocolate chip cookies. Minimum. So do I really need to burden the web with, yet, another one?

It depends. What’s your taste in cookies? The following list meets my criteria for a superb cookie. If you agree, there’s a valid reason for the following recipe to be added to the chocolate chip cookie stratosphere:

#1. The cookie is fat, not flat, with a crispy crust and unctuous, moist, almost cookie dough filling.

#2.) Cookie is packed with the texture and crunch of walnuts, and a lava flow of creamy, melted chocolate.

#3) Cookie is served warm; precisely 10 minutes out of the oven. (Don’t get me wrong–these cookies are still yummy days out of the oven, but the chocolate chips harden.)

My recipe calls for wrapping the cookie dough balls individually, and then freezing them. Therefore, you can  bake off the cookies on an as need basis, enjoying them hot from the oven every time. Besides, the recipe only works when the cookies are baked in a partially frozen state–one hour out of the freezer. When baking from a thawed state, the cookie falls apart.

img_6198I spent hours last week developing, and then refining, this recipe for my next novel, “The Welcome Home Diner”. It’s a recipe that Samantha, one of the protagonists, created. She wanted her diner to have a signature confection that would be their calling card. Prior to the novel’s opening, she’d worked as a baker at Manhattan’s Levain Bakery, which inspired the following recipe.

Levain is an establishment known for their gigantic, scratch-made, stuff-of-dreams cookies. And there are hoards of food bloggers, such as myself, who’ve spent hours copycatting their masterpieces. I’m pretty sure I got it down. Honestly.  As a side-note, one cookie easily serves two.

By the way, I’ve found the ultimate blog for those who love food-centric books. If you’ve read this far into my blog, it could very well have your name on it . It’s called, Ivory Owl Reviews  Every week, Rhiannan reads a food-centric book, and then posts her review on Friday. This week she reviewed “The Promise Kitchen”. This is very exciting for me since Rhiannan lives in Atlanta, just like Mallory Lakes–my food-blogging protagonist.

Ivory Owl has also hosted a book give-away for “The Promise Kitchen” that ends on Friday. So check it out!

Recipe: Sylvia’s Heartbreakers: Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies


  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cool room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cups toasted chopped walnuts


  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cornstarch. Whisk until ingredients are well incorporated and there are no lumps.
  2. Cut butter into 1-inch pieces. In a stand-up mixer, cream butter and both sugars together and beat on medium-speed until well combined. Add eggs and beat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the batter is combined. In ½ cup increments, add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating between each addition until well-combined into a batter.
  3. With a spatula, scrape batter out of the bowl. With your hands, work the chocolate chips and walnuts evenly into the batter.
  4. On a pastry table, dry work surface or cutting board, and using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, form twelve cookie dough balls. They should weigh about 4 ½ ounces each, and be of uniform size so that they will bake evenly.
  5. Wrap each ball individually in wax paper, place the balls in an extra-large Ziplock or air tight container. Freeze until frozen, about 3 hours, and up to six weeks. Cookies may be baked off as desired.
  6. When ready to bake, thaw 1 hour at room temperature. (Note that if the dough is rock frozen, the inside will be too gooey. If the dough is thawed, the cookie will crumble too easy after it is baked.)
  7. Preheat oven to 375 (convection) degrees. Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. Bake on center rack of oven 22 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet 10 minutes. (This sitting time allows the chocolate to become creamy.  For my palate, 10 minutes out of the oven is the best time to indulge in all of their warm heavenly goodness.)

* * Your finger is able to make a slight indention into the butter, but not much more.

Active time: 40 minutes

Freeze time: At least 2 hours and up to 6 weeks

Baking time: 22 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 1 dozen jumbo cookies

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