Your new favorite cookie mix + some things I really like

Chocolate chunk cookies from a mix

First things first: THIS COOKIE MIX.

One of the ideas I was (too) quick to propose for my event at The Container Store was cookie mix. And then, after testing the recipe the first two dozen times, I started thinking maybe I should write my contact and be like SORRY, LADY! NO CAN DO COOKIE MIX because each batch was producing cookies that were too dense and dough-y. And even worse? They all looked like mini, semi-edible versions of Jabba the Hutt. But then I had a moment (while I was covered in flour and the counters were speckled with empty chocolate wrappers) and realized I needed to throw everything I knew about making chocolate chunk cookies out the window. And from that point forward, it only took me half a dozen attempts to develop the version you're looking at today. 31 tests later (this one wins the award for Number of Times a Recipe was Tested and Amount of Money Wasted on Chocolate) and not only do we have a cookie mix that produces top-notch cookies, but it makes a great gift for the holidays, too.

Speaking of gifts, I've got a roundup of my favorites below. Not a roundup of things I want, but of things I actually own (and love) and think you might love, too. If you look close enough, you'll find a few discount codes ($10 off Hatchery, $25 off Elizabeth Suzann, and 25% off Paddywax) that might come in handy. And for the next two weeks I'll be spontaneously bringing you giveaways (via the OLC Instagram) for things like a 4-quart Staub cocotte, a six month Hatchery box subscription, and a $500 giftcard to one of my favorite shops (just to name a few). I'll actually be kicking off the first giveaway tomorrow night on Saturday (sorry, my labels are taking F O R E V E R), which will be for three bottles of RDVE (if sales are anything like years prior, it will be sold out well before the giveaway starts).

Also, if you live in the Denver area - my gig at The Container Store is in just a few days. So if you want to learn how to make homemade gifts (vanilla extract, vanilla sea salt, masala chai mix, etc.) and how to package them up all nice (I'm a minimalist/no-fuss kinda gifter who has zero paper-wrapping skills, FYI), come hang  on 5 December from 11AM-1PM. But try to RSVP so I have an idea of how many batches of cookies I need to make, OK?

And on that note, I'm off to drink copious amounts of coffee and watch the clock because RDVE goes on sale at 7AM MST. So get it while it lasts. Or hold out hope that you're one of the three Insta-winners.

My favorite cookbooks
Cake stands
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Favorites
PADDY
Fart around
B O N J O U R
Carry on Cocktail Kit

IN THE KITCHEN

Baking
Mosser pressed glass nesting bowls - My favorite set of mixing bowls. Not only are they heavy duty and can take a beating (I'm pretty rough on things), but they're made in America (SUP OHIO) and they look damn good sitting on a shelf.
Chicago Metallic bakeware - Chances are, if Chicago Metallic makes it, I own it.
Fletchers' Mill bakery pin - My dad's a percussionist and has always used VF drum sticks. So when the same folks released a line of rolling pins - sold under the name Fletchers' Mill - I knew they would be top notch. And they are.
Oven monitoring thermometer - If you bake with any frequency, you need to own at least two of these. I put them on opposite sides of my oven to ensure the internal temperature is what's being displayed.
GIR spatulas - I used to break every spatula I owned but haven't broken one since I started using GIR, exclusively, three years ago.
Mosser pressed glass cake plate - Timeless and classic (and really great, made-in-America quality). I also have a couple of cake stands by Jansen + Co and love them, too.

Cooking
Staub cast-iron round cocotte - I have two sizes (4QT and 7QT) (in graphite) and use them often. Also? Staub > that other cocotte company (in case you were wondering).
Turk forged criss-cross cast iron fry pan - I love my Lodge cast iron skillets but this fry pan is something else. It fries beautifully and (BONUS!) isn't too heavy (Kaufmann has loads of other pretty things, too).
Dansk kobenstyle saucepan - My go-to saucepan. We also have the 4QT casserole dish and the butter warmer (which serves no purpose other than to warm my coffee creamer).
Benriner Japanese mandoline slicer - Affordable. Beautiful. And it gets the job done.

Ingestibles
Real Deal vanilla extract - It's here. IT'S HERE! Get it while it lasts. All orders will ship next week. Sorry, all gone.
Hatchery Box - A monthly ingredient subscription box delivered straight to your door. Get $10 off your first box by using code OHLADYCAKES at checkout.
Noble tonic 01 - The kind of maple syrup you'll want to hide when friends come over for breakfast.
Art in the Age ROOT - It's my belief that no bar cart is complete without a bottle of this stuff. It's flavorful and delicious, and goes down way too easy.
FROST'D coconut oil frosting - Although I usually make my own, I like to keep a jar of this stuff hanging around for when I want to frost a single graham cracker and stuff it in my face.

Cookbooks
The Year of Cozy - Get your bake and your craft on. One of my favorite books this year.
Bowl + Spoon - I've almost always got one of Sara's sauces chilling in the fridge.
My Darling Lemon Thyme - Just released in the USA and it has quickly become one of my favorites. The recipes are gluten free and many are vegan, as well.
Hand Made Baking - Probably the prettiest cookbook I've ever owned. It looks damn good on a coffee table and our guests love flipping through this one.
Afro-Vegan - A year and a half later and it's still one of my favorite cookbooks.

Etc.
notPERFECTLINEN half apron - Simple and durable. I've had it for a year but it still looks good as new. NP makes some of my favorite dish towels, too.
Iris Hantverk everyday dish brush - Minimal, functional, and assembled by the visually impaired.
KM brass & walnut pour over coffee brewer - I should admit that I would never spend $180 on a coffee-making device but Thom surprised me with it for my birthday, so.. if you know a cheap ass who loves coffee and doesn't treat themselves as often as they should, you should get this for them because they'll be over the friggin' moon.
Mazama large mug - Weighty, beautiful, and the perfect size for my morning cuppa.
Weck jars - I use them to store bulk ingredients, leftovers, etc.

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Dark brown sugar
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RDVE
Chocolate chunk cookies from a mix
Chocolate chunk cookies from a mix
Your new favorite cookie mix
Chocolate chunk cookies from a mix
Chocolate chunk cookies from a mix
Your new favorite cookie mix

Notes: Feel free to use any 3/4L jar you can get your hands on. I've got an abundance of Weck jars in the house, so that's what I used, but if you're giving this as a gift I'd recommend snagging a fancy hermetic jar. This time of year, I prefer chocolate chunk cookies made with dark brown sugar but if light brown's your thing (or if you're a fan of a mix of cane sugar and brown sugar), go ahead and replace the dark brown sugar with a lighter variety. This cookie mix has not been tested with any other flours but, if you're using the weight measurements instead of cups, I suspect white spelt will work in place of the all-purpose, and that you'd be able to replace up to half of the all-purpose flour with your favorite whole grain flour (whole wheat, whole spelt, etc.).

YOUR NEW FAVORITE COOKIE MIX

TO MAKE THE JAR
2 cups (278g) unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (30g) potato starch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups (242g) dark brown sugar
1 bar (90g) good quality dark chocolate, plus more if necessary

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, starch, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt. Hold a funnel (you can make one out of paper, you know) over a 3/4L jar and pour in the flour mixture. Or carefully scoop the flour mixture into the jar. Whichever you prefer. Tap the jar on the counter then firmly (but carefully) press the flour to ensure it's packed. Add the sugar next and firmly press it to pack it as tight as you can. Chop the chocolate bar into small chunks (if they're too big the cookies will be shaped kinda funky) and layer over sugar. Because 3/4L jars vary slightly, you may use a bit more or a bit less than 90g of chocolate (which is why we add the chocolate last).

Other delicious mix-in options (if chocolate chunks aren't your thing): White chocolate and crushed peppermint sticks, dark chocolate and salted pretzel pieces, dark chocolate and salted peanuts (or raw pecans), white chocolate and dried cranberries (and maybe handful of pecan pieces), dried blueberries and unsweetened coconut flakes, dried cranberries and orange zest, etc.

TO MAKE THE COOKIES
1/2 cup (102g) refined coconut oil, melted (but not hot)
7 tablespoons (90g) unsweetened almond milk, room temperature
2 teaspoons (8g) pure vanilla extract

Empty the contents of the jar into a large bowl and break apart any chunks of sugar that may have dried out. (If the sugar is too dry, place a piece of bred on top, seal jar, and wait an hour for the sugar to soften.) Whisk ingredients from the jar until evenly combined; set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the coconut oil, almond milk, and vanilla extract, then drizzle over dry ingredients and mix, using a wooden spoon, until the liquid has been absorbed. The mixture will be a bit crumbly, but there's more than enough moisture - use your hands to work the dough and press it together (but don't do this for longer that 30 seconds or else you'll melt the chocolate). Tightly wrap the dough with plastic and press to compact it. Wrap plastic tighter, in needed. Refrigerate dough for 30-45 minutes, which gives it just enough time to rest and soften.

Preheat oven to 350˚F and line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Using a 1/4 cup scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet - about 3" apart - and sprinkle with vanilla sea salt. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will keep in an air tight container for up to five (yep, 5) days.

Yield: 12 cookies

*If you prefer smaller cookies (pictured below), use a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop and bake for 9-10 minutes.