Yosemite – the rock climbing center of the world. I recently headed to the valley for the weekend with a group of climbers from the Planet Granite gym in Sunnyvale. They volunteer the full Saturday to help construct work projects and then devote Sunday to climbing the granite.

It would be my first time meeting this group and I felt a bit out of sorts coming alone. But as a chef with culinary skills in my back pocket, I hoped to break the ice with a batch of Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies. My hunch was correct, everyone loved them and I was on my way to making new friends on and off the wall.

Here’s the recipe; just add milk and friends.


Chocolate-Chip Cookies

• 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 2/3 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
• 1 cup butter, at room temperature
• 1 package (6 ounces or 1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
• 3/4 cup chopped walnuts and pecans

1.  Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Add the sugars, egg, extract and butter. With an electric hand-held mixer at medium speed, beat until smooth and well mixed, about 1 minute.
2.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by tablespoonful, about 2 inches apart, onto an ungreased baking sheet.
3.  Bake the cookies at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, until browned. Remove and cool on rack

 Chef Dan is a member of PG San Francisco and is well loved for bringing in his recently baked delights to share.