The combination of creamy milk chocolate, candied orange peel – with an additional kick from Grand Marnier – and the crunch of pecans makes this dessert a very grown-up and special chocolate-chunk cookie.
Images: Dédé Wilson
- 4½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 sticks (1½ cups) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier liqueur
- 2 cups (12 ounces) milk-chocolate chunks, from ¼-inch size to ½-inch, such as Callebaut or Valrhona Jivara
- 1 cup pecan halves, toasted and very coarsely chopped (optional)
- ½ cup chopped candied orange peel (see Tip)
- Position racks in upper and lower parts of oven. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
- Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
- Whisk together melted butter, brown sugar and sugar. Whisk in eggs one at a time, blending well. Whisk in Grand Marnier.
- Add dry ingredients and stir until a few streaks of flour remain; then add chocolate, nuts and candied peel and stir until combined.
- The dough may be refrigerated in an airtight container at this stage for up to 4 days, or frozen for a month.
- Form dough (defrosted if necessary) into ¼-cup-sized balls (using a ¼-cup measuring cup or ice-cream scoop). If dough is refrigerated first, form by rolling ¼-cup amounts between palms. If at room temperature, it is easier to scoop.
- Place on pans, leaving 2 inches between cookies. Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are golden, switching the positions of the baking sheets front to back and from upper to lower rack halfway through the baking time for even browning. Centers will be lighter in color, soft and a bit puffed up. Do not over bake. Cookies continue to firm up from residual heat from pan even after being placed on cooling rack.
- Cool the cookies on the baking sheets set on racks. Store at room temperature in airtight container, separating layers with parchment or waxed paper. Cookies are best eaten immediately or store for up to three days.
- To make these cookies extra special, make your own Candied Orange Peel and chop the pieces into ¼-inch to ½-inch pieces. Alternatively, you can buy candied orange peel, in which case it is usually already in small dice, and that is fine.
- These cookies can be made in a smaller diameter, but the large size allows for wonderful zones of texture within each cookie; crispy edges, chewy centers. Read The Important of Baking Proportions for more information.
- Any cookie will become crisp if over baked, so watch cookies carefully. Thirty seconds too long can leave you with cookies that are crisp all the way through. Nothing wrong with that if that’s what you want, just know that you can alter the outcome by varying baking times by mere seconds.