There are many good cookie recipes in the world, but finding good care package recipes is more difficult than you might think. Delicious cookies get eaten quickly. It’s a compliment to the baker that there aren’t any cookies left in a day or two. The baker doesn’t know if the cookies would have been good for longer than that (and in most cases, who cares?). Few recipes from web sites or even cook books, tell the reader how long the cookies keep. When storage times are given, they often indicate that the cookies should be eaten in 2-3 days. That doesn’t work for care packages.
Packages within the United States generally take 1 to 5 days to arrive. Packages to the Armed Forces stationed overseas take 10 days to 4 weeks. . Mailed baked goods should put a smile on the face of the recipient, not break their teeth.
I have discovered a few cookbooks that indicate storage times and include at least a handful or two of recipes for items that stay fresh for 1 week or longer. One of those cookbooks is The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle. It is an easy to read, easy to follow cookbook with some photos. I prefer lots of photos in my cookbooks to know what my finished product is supposed to look like. (That’s probably why I am a Pinterest addict.) Many of the 250 recipes in the book are for cookies that can be stored for 1 week or longer. Most importantly, I’ve been pleased with the results when trying out the recipes.
These Marbled Chocolate Chunk Cookies are a fun twist on standard chocolate chip cookies with only a minimum of extra effort. I did make one big change to the process of making these cookies. I suggest freezing the dough balls before baking. The original recipe baked unchilled dough and produced flat cookies. I freeze the dough in order to end up with a slightly thicker cookie with less spread. I like the chewy texture better and I find that thicker cookies have a longer shelf life, if they don’t get eaten first.
Marbled Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle
Makes about 30 large cookies
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
¼ cup Dutch processed cocoa
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chunks
- Line the bottom of a jelly roll pan or other large baking pan with sides, with wax paper or parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and sugars for about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes more.
- At low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.
- Remove 1 ¾ cups of batter into another bowl.
- Add the cocoa to the remaining batter in the mixer bowl. Mix until blended. Then stir half of the chocolate chunks into the chocolate batter.
- Stir the rest of the chocolate chunks into the vanilla batter.
- To form cookie balls: fill a cookie scoop (large 2 tablespoon size) half way with vanilla batter then the other half with chocolate batter. Release dough ball onto prepared pan. When all of the balls have been formed, place the pan in the freezer for at least 2 hours or overnight. (If the cookies are baked right away they will spread in the oven and be very flat.)
When ready to bake:
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Place cookie balls on baking sheet 2” apart.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the vanilla dough just begins to brown.
- Remove pan from oven. Cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes them move cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
- Store cookies at room temperature in an air tight container for up to 1 week.
Packing tips: Wrap pair of cookies, with bottoms together, in plastic wrap. Place in air tight containers or zip lock bags for mailing. Adding a handful of marshmallows to the air tight container may help keep the cookies soft longer.