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Gourmet High Altitude Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home." She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated."

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies

High Altitude Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you have ever struggled with high altitude baking, you know that not even cookies are immune to the effects of high altitude. The dry atmosphere will quickly dry out any baked product, and that includes cookies. Too much leavening will make cookies collapse and flatten.

It's always important to buy high quality ingredients for baking. Choose real butter instead of margarine, unbleached flour and high-quality chocolate. If you don't have chocolate chips, chop a high-quality chocolate bar into small pieces the size of chips. You can substitute raw sugar for the brown and white sugars. For a healthier version, try substituting white wheat pastry flour instead of unbleached flour. You probably won't notice the difference.

Because of the dry atmosphere at high altitude, be sure to store the cookies while they're still slightly warm. Stash them in an air-tight container and store them in the refrigerator for best results.

This recipe produces gourmet cookies that are chewy and moist. It's bound to become your go-to recipe for high altitude cookie baking. Enjoy!


  • Use real butter, not margarine.
  • Choose good-quality chocolate chips. We love Ghirardelli 60% cacao.
  • Refrigerate cookie dough until stiff.
  • Even heat is important for high altitude baking. Try using a silicon baking mat or Silpat with the baking sheet.
  • Be careful not to over-bake cookies.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Warm cold cookies for a few seconds in the microwave for like-fresh results.
  • Store cookies while they are still slightly warm to keep them from drying out.

High Altitude Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

15 min

25 min

3 dozen medium-sized cookies


  • 3/4 cup salted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk from one large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

*If baking at sea level, increase baking soda to 1/2 teaspoon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cream melted butter and sugar with a hand mixer.
  3. Add egg and egg yolk, beating well.
  4. Beat in vanilla extract.
  5. Add flour, baking soda and salt and beat until dough comes together.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
  7. Refrigerate dough for 1-2 hours, or until stiff. Dough will keep in refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  8. Scoop out 1/2 inch balls and space evenly on baking sheets.
  9. Bake cookies 10-12 minutes, until golden.
Cooling cookies

Cooling cookies

Serve Cookies With:

  • a glass of cold milk
  • a mug of steaming hot coffee
  • a cup of hot tea with milk

Store cookies while still slightly warm

Store cookies while still slightly warm

More High Altitude Recipes:


Claudia Porter on November 30, 2014:

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Another great looking recipe for high altitudes.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on November 07, 2014:

I love cookies!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on October 21, 2014:

Grand old lady, I'm sending you a virtual cookie!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on October 21, 2014:

Ericdierker, they are addictive!

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on October 20, 2014:

Those cookies look so delicious I wish I could grab them out of the computer and gobble them down. Sigh, the limitations of virtual reality:(

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 20, 2014:

I would make these but would gain a lot of weight. Bet you can't eat just one.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on October 20, 2014:

Nadine May, it's nice that your partner does the baking in your home! I hope your friend enjoys the cookies.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on October 20, 2014:

Anglnwu, I agree with your choice of coffee with these cookies! Thanks for your comment.

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on October 20, 2014:

I must share this recipe with a good friend who does baking. I just never do. My time in the kitchen is over is what I told my soul partner when I met him fifteen years ago.He does most of the baking but is allergic to chocolate!

anglnwu on October 19, 2014:

Yum, your cookies look divine. I would love mine with a steaming cup of coffee. Thanks for the great tips on how to bake at high altitude. Rated up.

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