We did a lot of driving on our honeymoon. 4300 kilometers to be exact (about 2700 miles). From Calgary down to Glacier National Park in Montana, back up again to Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, then west to Revelstoke, Whistler, Squamish & Vancouver. From Vancouver we went further west to Vancouver Island and all the way out to “the end of the road,” Tofino; then worked our way slowly back to Calgary and our flight home.
As always when traveling, either on business or on vacation, I find I eat a lot of junk food on the road. Part of it is that there are not a lot of options for non-junk food; organic health food markets are slim on the ground at gas stations and roadside rest stops. Part of it is that there is a certain tradition that develops, over time, with road trips: Sun Chips, Smartfood, ginger ale and peanut M&M’s are among our traditional road trip food. Never McDonald’s but occasionally Wendy’s or Subway while we are traveling. In Canada, A&W is all over the place, and we made at least one stop for root beer, burgers (Tai) and chicken fingers (me).
Through all of that, however, I was craving my junk food; not really junky, I guess, but not exactly as nutritional as a chicken sandwich or kale soup. The first thing I did when we got home was make popcorn; my popcorn, popped on the stovetop, in olive oil, and lightly sprinkled with sea salt and just a touch of melted Ronnybrook butter. Heaven. Then, it was onto cookies; my version of chocolate chip cookies. Not too sweet, some heft and flavor to the flour and lot of stuff: pecans, white and dark chocolate chips, dried sweet cherries. Tai says I’m the best wife ever. Mostly, I agree.
Adapted (very loosely) from the Nestle Tollhouse Cookie recipe
Cherry Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 and 1/2 cups whole grain spelt flour
- 1 cup whole white wheat flour
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups (12 oz) chocolate chips (I like Dagoba, but here just used regular supermarket chips)
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup dried black cherries
- 1/4 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Whisk together flour (spoon & sweep method), baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
- Beat butter, brown sugar, turbinado and vanilla together until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture until well mixed. Add chocolate, pecans and cherries and mix well with a spatula or wooden spoon.
- Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto ungreased baking sheets (I usually get 16 cookies per sheet). Bake in the preheated oven for 9-12 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp on the underside. Remove from oven, cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Yields about 64 cookies (4 sheets of 16).
- This recipe bears only a passing resemblance to the original Tollhouse recipe which called for 2 and 1/4 cups of all purpose white flour, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 eggs and 1 cup of chopped nuts (no cherries or white chocolate).
- These came out pretty cakey; I actually like them a bit more melty and crisp, so next time would probably cut back on flour & eggs (or increase the butter). They are delicious as they are, but with a cakey cookie like this I feel compelled to have vanilla ice cream.
- I like a lot of real estate with my chocolate chip cookies; less dough, more stuff. If you are more of a cookie perfectionist, you may want to cut down on the amount of chocolate chips, cherries or nuts you add. The white chocolate chips are optional just because I only had a scant 1/4 cup of them in the pantry; had I had some more, I would have added about 1/2 – 1 cup.
In an airtight container at room temperature. Cookies also freeze well for up to 3 months. Re-heat in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Year-round, but somehow I only want them when the weather turns cool.
Great pictures! Yum.
Update: In an effort to make a less cakey cookie, I made a batch today with the following modifications: 1 cup packed brown sugar, 2 eggs, 6 oz whole wheat pastry flour and 6 oz white wheat all-purpose flour. I also used 12 oz of Ghiradelli baking chocolate: 1 bar of 70%, 1 bar of 60% and 1 bar of white chocolate.
On the advice of Alice from Savory Sweet Life, I creamed the life out of the butter & sugar until it was very light & fluffy (about 5 minutes). http://savorysweetlife.com/2009/10/alices-chocolate-chip-cookie-recipe/
This batch is *very* yummy; closer to what I want. The outsides are crisp while the insides are nice and soft. They are a little flatter than I would like and a touch too sweet for my taste.. but it’s hard to solve that when sugar contributes so much to the texture. Working on that one. Because the Ghiradelli chocolate is so intense, 12 oz was actually too much – you can’t really taste the pecans and cherries. Next time I will go with 8 oz.