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TJ's "highbrow chocolate chip cookie" recipe?

fara Feb 8, 2013 03:18 PM

I am trying to find a good cc cookie recipe, and I love the TJ's one. Does anyone have it or something very close? They are hard little disks that are crunchy and buttery, not as sweet as some recipes as far as I can tell.

A related question- can very dark chocolate replace unsweetened or semissweet? I don't know about these things but there seems to be more eating chocolate around me, and less of a choice and value for the baking stuff. thanks.

  1. s
    sandylc Feb 8, 2013 03:29 PM

    Here is the crunchy cookie that I developed:

    1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, divided use
    4 oz. brown sugar (about 1/2 cup)
    4 oz. granulated cane sugar (about 1/2 cup)
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    8 oz. unbleached flour (a shy 2 cups)
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 cup pecan halves
    1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli 60%)


    1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2.Set aside 2 T. of the butter to soften. Brown the remaining butter over medium heat. Meanwhile, mix the sugars in a large mixing bowl. Throw the 2 T. of butter in with the sugars. When butter is nicely browned, run it through a fine strainer over the sugars and regular butter. Stir until the butter is melted and the mixture is somewhat uniform. Set aside to cool a bit.
    3.Toast the pecans at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Put on a cool plate to cool. Break into large pieces. Reduce oven to 325 degrees.
    4.When butter-sugar mixture has cooled slightly, throw in the vanilla and the egg. Mix. Stir together the flour, BS, BP, and salt. Dump the dry stuff into the gooey stuff and stir to blend. Throw in the chips and nuts and stir again. Chill dough for 20 minutes or so.
    5.Use a 1 1/4" scoop to portion dough - it won't hold together, so you will have to squeeze it gently in your hand to form slightly flattened balls, 12 to a sheet.
    6.Bake for 20-22 minutes.

    3 Replies
    1. re: sandylc
      fara Feb 8, 2013 04:08 PM


      1. re: sandylc
        trolley Feb 9, 2013 08:16 AM

        i like how you have your measurements in weight. i'll have to try your recipe.

        1. re: trolley
          sandylc Feb 9, 2013 03:20 PM

          Thanks. These are crunchy rather than crispy and they keep better than your average CHCH cookie.

      2. s
        sandylc Feb 8, 2013 03:34 PM

        Regarding the chocolate, baking and eating chocolate are interchangable. The only things to pay attention to are cocao content and sweetness. Generally speaking, bittersweet and semisweet are fine to switch around in recipes (and eating!), but unsweetened is a different animal and should only be used when actually called for in a recipe. For bittersweet, 60% is a nice number for eating and baking.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sandylc
          fara Feb 8, 2013 04:08 PM

          good to know, thank you

        2. chowser Feb 8, 2013 05:53 PM

          If you like crunchy, buttery, not too sweet, try the real Neiman Marcus ccc recipe. It's not the one in the NM myth w/ ground oatmeal. Use Trader Joe's big block of chocolate (they have various grades of dark chocolate) and chop, or if you don't want to do that (can be time consuming), use their chips. The cooking time is off on these, start looking at about 12 minutes.


          1. Berheenia Feb 9, 2013 06:23 AM

            Hope you find it. I love those cookies! I'm not much on baking and there are just 2 of us but this is a recipe I would definitely make.

            1. trolley Feb 9, 2013 07:07 AM

              these are thin and crunchy...


              1. a
                Ariadanz Feb 9, 2013 09:00 PM

                They always reminded me of the Alton Brown recipe for thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies. He did a show with 2 types, one thin and crispy, and one thicker and chewier.

                1. b
                  bmorecupcake May 22, 2013 07:50 PM

                  Someone posted in the Yay/Nay thread that the Highbrows are being discontinued so I came here hoping someone had the recipe.


                  I've tried 5 different recipes I believe are variations on the Tate Bakeshop recipe, but none produce results like the Highbrows. The Highbrows actually remind me of the Tate Bakeshop chocolate chip cookies before they started mass producing: the ones that came in cellophane, not the ones in the fancy green bag they have now. (I'm in the camp that believes the recipe in the Tate Bakeshop book was never meant to produce the same cookie.


                  If anyone gets results close to the Highbrows, or knows TJ's manufacturer, please do share.

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