Recipes

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hungry Bear Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hungry Bear cookies originated in Fresno, California. Deryl Bear spent 20 years perfecting his cookies. His first store was opened in 1983 at Fig Garden Village. That year, Hungry Bear was voted "best cookie", in the Fresno Bee.

This recipe was given to me from my mother-in-law. She obtained it through channel 47 TV. I always thought it was weird for a popular cookie shop to give out their recipe. So, since they volunteered the recipe, I see no reason not to pass along this fabulous chocolate chip cookie recipe.

I want to point out something. When making cookies, sometimes the instructions are given to beat until light and fluffy. Here is a photo of what light and fluffy looks like. Notice, it is not flat and grainy. In essence, you beat the sugar and butter for several minutes, until the granules of sugar have dissolved into the butter, like this:


I have a feeling this post is going to be filled with tips! Another bit of advice I would like to give, when any recipe calls for vanilla, get real vanilla! Do not waste your money on expensive imitation vanilla extract. If you happen to have a Sam's Club or Costco membership, you can buy the real vanilla for the price of the imitation stuff sold at the local grocery store!

Now, since this recipe yields 56 cookies (using a 1 3/4" cookie scoop), I flash freeze the scooped cookie dough, onto a baking sheet. After the dough is frozen solid, I shrink wrap, for future use. This is convenient, for our family, as we are not going to eat 56 cookies in a short amount of time. Really, do you want to eat cookies, the next day, that are stale? Or do you prefer your cookies baked fresh? I think it's a no brainer that people enjoy freshly baked cookies, over stale cookies pulled out of Grannie's cookie jar.




A quick mention on shrink wrapping systems. I've picked up several Food Saver brand systems from yard sales. They work good. They work just as good as this Kenmore system. In fact, the Kenmore works better! That is why I use it. On the Food Saver's, I noticed problems with the seal. They like to fall off! Which is really annoying. I will devote a post to shrink wrapping at another time.



HUNGRY BEAR CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

INGREDIENTS:

1 Cup butter, softened
1 Cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 Cup sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoons vanilla
2 Large eggs
2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Teaspoon salt
1 1/4 Teaspoons baking soda
1 Cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
3 Cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:
In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking soda; set aside. In a mixing bowl, on medium speed, blend together butter and sugars, until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, on low speed. Incorporate flour into mixture. Add walnuts and chocolate chips. Chill dough. Drop by spoonfuls on a baking sheet. (I used a 1 3/4" cookie scoop). Bake at 400 for 8 minutes. You want these cookies on the pale, tan side. Not golden brown. Yields 56 cookies. Bake what you are going to serve. Freeze the rest!

17 comments:

  1. Biggest fights we had at home was Kathrine making cookies and Milton wanting them before they cooled. By the way don't use knock off chocolate chips. The reason we had "toll house" cookies was because Mr. Mitchell, a broker for Nestles gave us the 12 pack of chocolate chips along with Choco-bake. We were spoiled.

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    1. Good tip! Never use knock off chocolate chips! Why risk your cookies tasting terrible? It would be a waste of time, and money to use substandard cooking ingredients. It also goes against my cooking style, which is to bring food to it's fullest potential. Thanks for that tip.

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  2. I am going to try these!!!! And I want a shrink wrapper!!! Lol

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    Replies
    1. Put it on your birthday or Christmas list!

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  3. This recipe is great! My family loves these cookies!!!

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  4. Hi there! I just love love hungry bear cookies. We live just 20 miles from the fig garden store. However, in looking at the picture you show, these do not look like hungry bear chocolate chip cookies. Theirs are darker in color.....
    Yours are quite light. I'm sure they are delicious, but they do not look like hungry bear. Maybe we're missing a secret ingredient--lol. What would make a cookie dark looking? Molasses? But their cookies don't taste like molasses..........hmmmmm.

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    Replies
    1. This is their original recipe. If you want them darker, simply cook them longer.

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    2. Try dark brown sugar instead of light brown

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  5. The recipe was printed on Hungry Bear Cookie letterhead, and distributed by the local news channel. This was decades ago. Maybe they have updated the original recipe.

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  6. I remember when they shared the recipes in the early 90's. I was given a copy but lost it in a move. They had also shared the Sugar Dream recipe. Any chance your Mother-in-Law may have a copy as well.

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  7. I do have the Sugar Dream recipe, as well. I plan on posting it soon.

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  8. http://therighteouskitchen.blogspot.com/2014/03/hungry-bear-sugar-dream-cookies.html

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  9. Be sure to edit that - the original recipe calls for unsalted butter.

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  10. It is unsalted butter. The salt is added later, in the recipe.

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  11. There will never be another original Hungry Bear Chocolate Chip cookie with the exact texture, taste, color and size because Deryl Bear did not use local store ingredients nor home kitchen appliances. He used professional ovens and mixers and insisted on procedure, procedure, procedure. I personally typed the two Channel 47 recipes per his request, however, notice that the recipes were no different from most cookie recipes. So why give out such recipes? The public asked for them but without the procedures, ovens and vendor ingredients they never tasted nor looked the same. That's why our cookies had a trademark name.

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  12. Good information. Try as we might, we are never going to get the recipe exact. It's fun to try, but even better, to stop by and enjoy the original!

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