Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Of all of the comfort foods in this world, my absolute favorite is a chocolate chip cookie. It is the first recipe I learned to make. It is my go-to recipe when I need to bring a dessert to a friend's house. When I am craving something sweet, a scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough cures it every time. These cookies taste fantastic warm and gooey straight out of the oven and are still good three days later when you dunk them in milk so soften them up.
The recipe I use is from my mother's Betty Crocker cookbook. It is the version she got when she was my age. Her cookbook is old and the pages are dog eared and falling out from years of use. You can't even read the oatmeal cookie recipe because there is a hole worn in the page from being wiped clean of batter so many times. It is just a guess how much brown sugar is needed. But my sister and I tried to get her a newer version of the Betty Crocker Cookbook and the chocolate chip cookie recipe is just not the same, so the book sits unused in her cupboard. The recipe is good, don't get me wrong, but those same feelings of nostalgia do not come bubbling to the surface with each bite.
When my sister and I used to bake these chocolate chip cookies, we used to fight over who got to pour the vanilla in and who got to stir in the chocolate chips. We have made this recipe so many different ways depending on what we had in the cupboard. If we were just going to eat the dough, we left out the eggs. We have made it with no vanilla, no baking soda, butter instead of margarine. We've put butterscotch chips, vanilla chips, cinnamon chips, M&Ms, and mint chips in them, but honestly, never have we put in the optional nuts. Each time the cookies turn out a bit different but still good. We have probably made these cookies for almost every person we know.
I made this batch of cookies for my husband's interns. It is their last week of work because summer is coming to a close. However, he forgot he had meetings in the city early this week and would not be seeing his interns, so no cookies for them. But chocolate chip cookies never go to waste...
Chocolate Chip Cookies adapted from Betty Crocker
2/3 c. shortening
2/3 c. margarine
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
3 c. flour
1 12oz package chocolate chips
1 c. nuts (optional)
Mix ingredients together. When I was little, I melted the shortening and margarine in the microwave and stirred in the ingredients by hand. Now I am big and I have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer and so I just throw everything in there with the paddle attachment and whip the batter right up. Its really personal preference. The mixer gives you a more whipped dough than stirring by hand, but the cookies come out pretty much the same. So I guess it depends on whether you like to eat whipped dough or not ( because really, who can make chocolate chip cookies and not snitch some of the batter?)
Scoop tablespoons onto a cookie sheet. If you used butter instead of margarine, leave a lot of room between cookies. They will spread like crazy.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes or until the bottoms are just starting to turn brown. My family prefers cookies on the gooier side, so I tend to try and err on the side of caution by pulling them out a bit early. However, if you like crunchy cookies, leave them in.