I will always give credit or credit is due. I have been making Ina Garten’s Chocolate Chunk  cookies for twenty plus years now and they always turn out the same.  PERFECT! They have been in a cookie jar or cake dome on the counter, added to school lunches, they have been after school snacks, taken over along with dinner to a friend, they have been the dessert for one of our summer parties and many times, I take them when asked to bring a dessert. You just can’t go wrong with chocolate chunk or chocolate chip cookies. Saturday night I took them to a party when I asked the hostess what I could bring. She suggested a dessert. So I whipped up a batch of dough following the directions to a tee, just like I have over these years.  They were a hit, I sent the recipe to a friend at the party and I thought, why not make this a Marvelous Monday? Most everyone likes chocolate chip cookies.

     Below is the recipe along with some tips from Ina Garten’s introduction and tips from her that I have heard her give on tv and how I have used the recipe.  A few years after Martha Stewart’s Magazine, LIVING, was launched, I recall reading a story on Ina Garten, a friend of Martha’s.  Ina did not initially set out to become a star in the kitchen and author of numerous cookbooks.  She and her husband, JeffRey worked at the White House in the Nixon administration.  They saw an ad for a little store, The Barefoot Contessa in the real estate section of The NY Times and on a whim they drove up to take a look.  They purchased it, made a move in locations and career paths and all the rest is history.  Ina is a very smart lady, she has a great story and her and Jeffrey’s love story is sweet.  I quickly became a fan after the introduction from Martha Stewart, reading her cookbooks cover to cover with numerous notes in the margins as to how I used the recipe and which serving dishes and pots and pans I used.  What I like about her recipes is that she uses simple ingredients, for the most part you can pick up at the grocery story and her directs are very clear.

Ina Garten’s Chocolate Chunk Cookies (from her book, Barefoot Contessa Parties.


     -1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature (or soften in     microwave for about 10 seconds)

     -1 cup light brown sugar packed

     -1/2 granulated sugar

     -2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

     -2 extra large eggs at room temperature (I have put the eggs in a bowl of warm water to get to room temperature quicker)

     -2 cups all-purpose flour (I use unbleached)

     -1 teaspoon baking soda

     -1 teaspoon kosher salt

     -1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

     -1 1/4 lb. semisweet chocolate chunks (I use what I have on hand, from a combination of semisweet and dark and most of the time, dark chocolate chips)


     1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

     2.  Cream the unsalted butter and both sugars in the bowl of an  electric mixer until fluffy, with a paddle attachment.  I have used the whisk attachment too, with good results. While this is mixing, pour into a bowl 1 cup of your flour, add the kosher salt and baking soda and add the final cup of flour.  Now, whisk with a hand whisk, these ingredients, so they will be ready when you need them.

     3.  Now add to the mixing bowl the vanilla and eggs.  Mix well.

     4.  Slowly add the dry ingredients mixture to the wet ingredients in     the mixing bowl. Mix just until all blended.  Now stir in the  chocolate chips or chunks.  Then add the chopped walnuts.

    5.  At this point, I will pour the cookie dough out onto either plastic wrap or parchment paper.  Wrap it and place it in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes, while I am cleaning up and putting all ingredients away. What placing the dough in the freezer (to do it quickly) or the refrigerator does, is it firms the dough so it doesn’t spread out too much while baking and you get a chewier cookie.

     6. Get the cookie dough out of the freezer/ fridg and spoon onto a cookie sheet-about 1 Tablespoon sized- lined with parchment paper.  I fill a pan spacing adequately.  Sprinkle some cold water on your hands and press the cookie down. 

     7. Put pan in the oven and bake for exactly 15 minutes.  No more.  Cookies may seem under done. Remove pan from oven.  Let cookies cool in the pan for a few minutes and then use a spatula to remove from pan and place on a cooling rack until cooled.  

     8.  I only make one pan at a time and freeze the rest of the dough, unless I serving them for guests or to take to a party (I like making fresh cookies more often). Take the wrapped dough, either in plastic wrap or parchment and place in a freezer bag, getting out as much air as possible before sealing/zipping. Defrost cookie dough either in the fridg or on the counter.  Place on pan and bake as directed above with water sprinkles.

Author, Mary Yana Burau and her Book, It’s a Great Day To…Gather Around a Table 🌼