Grandpa Joe’s Cookies

I’ve been on a baking and cooking spree lately. After making these last week, I was in the mood to mix up some more cookies, and I decided to go with an old favorite recipe. I adapted the Grandpa Joe’s recipe in the early nineties, partly from the back of a box of Ghiardelli chocolate chips. Imagine everything about cookies that’s unhealthy in one bowl, the confectionery equivalent of a bacon cheeseburger with onion rings.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) margarine or butter, softened (not melted)
  • 2 cups sugar

    So-called “raw” sugar gives the cookies a nice texture. I think I’ll try half raw and half normal sugar next time I make these.

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup crushed or sliced macadamia nuts

    A 6.5 oz jar is about the right size for a double load of these cookies. It’s almost impossible to slice these in half cleanly, so just chop them coarsely. You’ll have a galaxy of small nut chips on your cutting board, save these, they look great in the dark cookie dough.

  • 3/4 cup vanilla milk or white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla extract, and beat until light and fluffy. If you use an electric mixer, a double load of these will overflow a 5 quart kitchen aid bowl by just a little bit.

Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually blend into the butter and sugar mixture. Mix in the chips and macadamia nuts.

(An aside: I recommend refrigerating the dough overnight, even though you’ll get a bit of a workout when working the dough, I think the cookies taste a little better in a difficult-to-define way.)

These cookies will get melty underneath, so keep them fairly small or they’ll be impossible to transfer off the tray later. It helps a lot if you can place them so there aren’t as many chips on the undersides of the cookies. (I use a teaspoon to get the right size of cookie, or just guesstimate and roll them by hand if I’m in the mood for irregular cookies.)

Bake 8—9 minutes. Don’t overbake; you won’t be to tell that they’re done by the edges darkening, like you can with regular chocolate chip cookies. Cool 2—3 minutes, then remove from cookie sheet to a cooling rack. Cool completely. Makes 4-5 dozen cookies.

(Note: A few people asked me for this recipe yesterday, so this is Monday’s post, up early.)

Click on the pictures for a larger version and more information.

Edit: I made these again recently, and found that a little extra butter (maybe a couple tablespoons) makes the cookies a little more melty in the oven. You end up with flat, chewy cookies that are quite excellent.

Also, using one cup of white sugar, one of “raw” sugar, and two of brown sugar works exceptionally well. I’ll be doing this from now on.


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