Ever since we moved to Central Oregon, I have made horrible cookies. Now, listen, I’m an expert cookie maker. Really, I’m quite good. So to move here and discover upon opening the oven door that, time after time, no matter the recipe, my cookies turned out flat, greasy, or hard and crispy instead of soft and perfectly golden bites of happiness was sheer heartbreak and frustration. I finally figured out a couple of things about baking above sea level (which I grossly took for granted). Read on to find out the best recipe that works — from zero to 3,000 feet. 

Jump to RecipePrint Recipe

One thing that you need to keep in mind when cooking at a little altitude is that you can’t add too much butter to cookies. They come out flat and greasy. 

The key to this recipe, I believe, is the 50/50 mix of all-purpose flour and bread flour. I think this extra gluten from the bread flour makes these cookies soft and chewy rather than hard and crispy! SO DON’T SKIP IT. 

The other thing that you don’t want to skip is slightly flattening the cookies before baking. This makes them perfect size and shape. 

Here’s the recipe for chocolate chip cookies that I am currently obsessed with. You could add in nuts, coconut, or use half peanut butter chips and half chocolate chips. A sprinkle of sea salt on the top right before baking would also be fantastic! 

I actually shaped these cookies (spooned them out and gave them a slight flatten) and then froze in a single layer on a baking sheet. Then when they were completely frozen, I transferred them to a bag so when I need cookies (yes, need!) in a flash, I have them at the ready. Plus, this prevents me and my family from eating them all at once 🙂 


Chocolate Chip Cookies at 3,000 Feet

Soft and chewy cookies - perfectly done at 3,000 feet or sea level.
Servings: 36 cookies
Author: Darlene - Pickle Jar Studios


  • 1 Cup 2 sticks Room temperature Salted Butter
  • 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup White Sugar
  • **Combine and blend in mixer until smooth** then add in:
  • 2 eggs one at a time while mixer is on low
  • 2 tsps. Baking Soda
  • 1 ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 ½ tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Instant Espresso Powder
  • 3 ¼ Cups Flour/Bread Flour 50/50 mix
  • 1 bag Chocolate Chips and/or nuts of your choice.


  • Preheat Oven to 375 degrees F. In a stand mixer with the paddle attatchment, mix the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth.
  • WIth the mixer on low, add in the eggs, one at a time, then add in the baking soda, salt, vanilla and espresso powder.
  • Blend in the flour mixture, 1/2 a cup at a time with mixer on low. You might need to add more power to mixer as more flour is added. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.
  • Blend in the chocolate chips and/or nuts if using, until incorporated evenly.
  • Add dough (1 ½ to 2 tablespoon ball sized) to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and MAKE SURE TO PRESS DOWN into a cookie form. The dough does not spread out very much on its own so you need to press it or it will be uncooked in the center.
  • Bake for 7-9 minutes until just golden brown.