OLC x The Container Store Recipe as demonstrated at The Container Store holiday event in Cherry Creek.

+ Cookie mix (3/4L and 1L jar options) + Homemade vanilla extract + Vanilla sea salt + Masala chai spice blend

*A previous version of this post was accidentally restored (for a couple of hours) due to my inability to properly edit my posts on the mobile app (HEH). I've since updated it to the originally published version but am sorry for any missing recipes, typos, etc. Thanks for coming today! It's always a joy to meet you people in real life. <3

Chocolate chunk cookies

Notes: Use any 3/4L jar you prefer, but I really love the look of the 25.3 ounce red lid glass hermetic storage jar and the 25 ounce glass hermetic storage jar. Feel free to replace the oil with melted and cooled butter.

To gift, pair with a baking sheet and silicone liner, a 1/4 cup scoop, a nice set of mixing bowls, and/or a bottle of vanilla extract or a jar of vanilla sea salt (both recipes can be found below).

3/4L 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 it's important to 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

*If the sugar has hardened, empty the chocolate from the jar, place a piece of sandwich bread on top of the sugar, then seal the jar and let the bread work its magic for 1-2 hours, or until the sugar is soft again. 

Empty the contents of the jar into a large bowl and break apart any chunks of sugar that may have dried out. 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, use a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop and bake for 9-10 minutes.

OLC x The Container Store

Notes: Use any 1L jar you prefer, but I really love the look of the hermetic class jar with metallic lid and the 32 ounce glass jar with chalkboard label. Feel free to replace the oil with melted and cooled butter.

To gift, pair with a baking sheet and silicone liner, a 1/4 cup scoop, a nice set of mixing bowls, and/or a bottle of vanilla extract or a jar of vanilla sea salt (both recipes can be found below).

1L COOKIE MIX

To make the jar 2 2/3 cups (370g) unbleached flour 1/4 cup (40g) potato starch 1/2 teaspoon (2g) baking soda 1 teaspoon (4g) baking powder 1 teaspoon (5g) fine sea salt 1 1/2 cups (309g) dark brown sugar 1 1/2 bars (135g) 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 1L 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 1L jars vary slightly, you may use a bit more or a bit less than 135g of chocolate (which is why it's important to 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 2/3 cup (140g) refined coconut oil, melted (but not hot) 1/2 cup (110g) unsweetened almond milk 1 tablespoon (15g) pure vanilla extract

*If the sugar has hardened, empty the chocolate from the jar, place a piece of sandwich bread on top of the sugar, then seal the jar and let the bread work its magic for 1-2 hours, or until the sugar is soft again.

Empty the contents of the jar into a large bowl and break apart any chunks of sugar that may have dried out. 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 two large baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Using a 1/4 cup scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets - 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: 15-16 cookies

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

OLC x The Container Store

Notes: Do not use vanilla grade beans. Although considerably cheaper, they're not nearly as fragrant as premium vanilla beans and - if you go the cheap route - your extract won't be nearly as potent. Although a dark amber bottle is preferred (in the event the extract is exposed to light), using the 3.4 ounce glass hermetic milk bottle will be fine so long as the vanilla is stored in a dark, cool place. If you'd like to make a large batch, a good rule of thumb is to use 4-6 vanilla beans for each cup (8 ounces) of alcohol.

These are the vanilla beans I used for the demonstration. They were surprisingly great quality and are currently on mega sale (10 for $17).

To gift, pair with a jar of vanilla sea salt (recipe can be found below) and/or a beautiful cookbook.

HOMEMADE VANILLA EXTRACT

To make the extract 2 Madagascar vanilla beans (per 3.4 ounce bottle) 80+ proof vodka

Using a paring knife, carefully slice each vanilla bean, lengthwise, to expose the vanilla bean seeds. Depending on the size of your beans (most are 5-8"), you'll have to cut them into shorter pieces so that they fit into the bottle. Insert the split vanilla beans into the bottle then cover with vodka just until you get to the ridge of the neck. Seal the bottle and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Store in a dark, cool place, and shake once a day for one week, then once a week for seven more weeks. After that, it's ready to use.

OLC x The Container Store

Notes: Use any jar (up to 20 ounces) that you prefer, but I really love the 16.9 ounce artisan glass canister with oak lid16 ounce glass jar with chalkboard label6.75 red lid glass hermetic storage jar, and 4-8 ounce commercial straight-sided jars. A good ratio is one vanilla bean for every 3/4 cup of salt. If you can't find affordable vanilla beans, feel free to use 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean powder in place of each bean.

To gift, pair with a jar of cookie mix (recipe can be found above) and/or a salt cellar.

VANILLA SEA SALT

4 Madagascar vanilla beans 3 cups flaky sea salt

Add the salt to a small mixing bowl. Using a paring knife, carefully slice the vanilla beans, lengthwise, to expose the vanilla bean seeds. Using the tip of a butterknife, scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the salt and mix thoroughly until the seeds are evenly dispersed. Transfer salt to a jar and store in a cool, dry area.

Instead of throwing out your empty vanilla beans, add them to a canister of sugar. After two weeks, you'll be left with delicious, vanilla-scented sugar. You could also dry the empty beans, grind them into a fine powder, then mix the powder into salt, sugar, etc.

Yield: 3 cups

OLC x The Container Store

Notes: Use any jar (up to 20 ounces) that you prefer, but I really love the 16.9 ounce artisan glass canister with oak lid16 ounce glass jar with chalkboard label6.75 red lid glass hermetic storage jar, and 4-8 ounce commercial straight-sided jars. Recipe can be halved, doubled, etc.

To gift, pair with a nice ceramic mug and loose tea, an individual teaspoon, and/or a mortar and pestle.

MASALA CHAI SPICE BLEND

50g whole black peppercorns 20g whole red peppercorns 90g dried ginger 70g cinnamon sticks 50g whole cardamom pods 3g whole cloves 2g whole nutmeg, freshly grated

Add the peppercorns and dried ginger to a large jar; set aside. Add the cinnamon sticks to a ziplock bag, place on a towel, then beat with the end of a rolling pin. You need them to be broken into short, thin slivers. Once the cinnamon sticks are pulverized, add the cardamom pods and bang just a few times more, so that they crack open just slightly (some of them may crumble completely, that's fine). Empty contents into the jar then add the cloves and freshly grated nutmeg, then cover with a lid and shake.

Yield: 285g (about 10 ounces by weight) (by volume it will fill a 20 ounce jar)


To brew the chai 1/2 cup of water 1 cup of almond milk 1-2 teaspoons masala chai spice blend 1 1/2 teaspoons loose black tea leaves Tiny pinch of vanilla sea salt Turbinado sugar, to taste

Add the water and milk to a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. While you're waiting for the liquid to boil, put the spice blend in a mortar and use the pestle to grind/crack the spices. Once the liquid is boiling, add the fresh cracked spices and loose tea, and bring mixture to a boil five (yes, 5) times, lifting the pan from the burner each time the bubbles start to rise. Remove pan from heat and add the sea salt and sugar, then strain into a small mug.

Yield: 8 ounces of masala chai (if you boiled it correctly)