Friday, December 23, 2011

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

It was easier than I expected to pick a recipe for my first post. My family has been baking chocolate chip cookies since I was too short to see the stovetop. My mom was in charge of the Christmas baking when I was kid, but she always knew to call me when I was allowed to lick the bowl. What a good mother! She also knew to make my sister and I some cookies without any chocolate chips. Have you ever tried it? YUM! Sorry chocolate lovers, but I like to taste the cookie too!

A few years ago, I took over most of the Christmas baking for our family gatherings. In my years as a baker, I’ve learned that you don’t mess with something great. We have been using the recipe on the back of the Nestle semi-sweet chocolate morsel bag, minus the chopped nuts, for years.

It may be our retro oven, my mixer, baking pans, or old habits, but these chocolate chippers always turn out to be flat and chewy. Many bakers may frown on my flat cookies but I promise they are delicious. The flat nature of these cookies also makes them great for ice cream sandwiches.

Some notes on the recipe:
I grew up making these with margarine, but now I think margarine is evil. Yes, I said evil. I use Earth Balance for my daily “butter” needs, but if I’m going to indulge, I might as well use butter. You decide.

You’ll find that I break some common baking rules. I soften my butter by chopping it into pieces and beating it in the mixer. I never let eggs reach room temperature. I never sift my flour – I scoop it into a measuring cup with a spoon and level it off with a knife. Again, you decide.

The recipe calls for an entire bag (12 oz.) of chocolate chips but I’ve found with my flat, chewy cookies that 12 oz. of chocolate is 3 oz. too many. Feel free to use as little or as much chocolate as you want. I find that three-quarters of the bag is all I need and I have some chips to snack on while I eagerly await the first batch to come out of the oven.

Lastly, I don’t encourage eating batter but I also don't discourage it. A good tasting batter yields good tasting results.

Happy Holidays!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from the Original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe
Makes about 4 dozen 3 in. cookies

2 ¼ cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
¾ c. granulated sugar
¾ c. packed brown sugar, light or dark, I’ve used both
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
9-12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips, chunks, M&M’s etc.

Preheat your oven to 375°.
Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
Beat the butter, sugars, and vanilla with a mixer until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
Drop by rounded tablespoon or ice cream scoop onto ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
Bake 9-11 minutes until golden brown. Let cookies cool for 2 minutes before removing. Any cookies that “accidentally” drop or break are your responsibility to eat.

1 comment: