Jun 7, 2010
Hillary

Chocolate Chip Cookies

More than any other dessert, chocolate chip cookies are my favorite! They are also my down fall and if you offer me one I’m more than likely to eat it! I actually think it’s a fair statement to say that chocolate chip cookies were the very first thing I ever baked on my own! There was one distinct time that has become a family favorite actually. I baked a batch of these cookies and made roughly 5 dozen cookies. I was letting them cool and had them pushed back on the counter so that our doggies, Ellie and Rudy were unable to reach them and then I headed upstairs to get ready for dance. In the meantime my step dad, Joel came home and called up asking if I’d only made a few cookies and when I came down to see what he was talking about the counter and floor were covered in cookie bits! Obviously the cookies were not pushed back quite far enough. We believe the main culprit was rudy, sometimes he lives up to his name and can be rude! The vet advised us to give them a glass of milk and call him in the morning. So from this story you can see that these cookies are irresistible to everyone…dogs included!

I make a dessert for Jordan and me every week but I ALWAYS have the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies in the cupboards, handy at all times!

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks of room temperature butter
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 3 cups of all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 12 ounce package of nestle toll house cookies

I always make these cookies using my kitchen aid mixer but no worries if you don’t have one. I mentioned it in my sally lunn bread post that when Jordan and I first starting baking and cooking back in freshman year of college we didn’t have a mixer handy. I couldn’t go without my chocolate chip cookies though and there were more times than I can count where I took the extra 15 minutes and mixed these together by hand. The one thing is that it’s even more important that you get the butter room temp or it’ll just make your job so much harder than it has to be!

Ok so to start put the two sticks of butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in the mixing bowl and turn the mixer on to a low-medium speed. You want to mix the sugar and butter until it becomes smooth and consistent. Next put in your two eggs, one at a time and beat those together with the butter and sugar. You will more than likely need to stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure you get all the batter off the sides and everything gets mixed. Then you can add your vanilla extract. I know a lot of people wonder if the extra few dollars for vanilla is really worth it over the imitation flavor and believe me when I say it is! Some short cuts and bargains are worth it but that is one that I just don’t recommend!

Alright, so now that you’ve got all your wet ingredients mixed together you can go ahead and add the baking powder, baking soda and salt into the combo. Just as a little side note, most chocolate chip recipes do not call for both baking powder and baking soda. I actually started doing this completely by accident. I got distracted when making cookies one day and could not remember if I had put baking powder or baking soda into my cookies and so I put a teaspoon of both in and ended up with some of the best cookies I’d made. Wether it truly adds something special to the cookie I can’t really provide actual evidence for but I’ve made every batch of chocolate chip cookies the same ever since!

Well, once you’ve got these ingredients mixed in you want to add your flour. I like to add a cup, mix and then put the mixer on a lower speed and add a 1/4 cup of flour until all 3 cups have been added. This is more flour than most recipes call for but I love my cookies to be a little more poofy. Jordan calls them little cakes. But if you’re not such a big fan and like the flatter more crunchy cookie, just reduce the flour to the normal 2 1/4 cups of flour. Now, you’ve saved the best for last: chocolate chips! Add the chocolate and mix it good and you’ve got yourself chocolate chip cookie dough!

Chocolate chip cookie dough completely mixed and ready for the oven!

You can see from the picture above that the dough doesn’t completely pull away from the sides of the bowl and it’s thick. This is due to the extra flour. After making the cookies so many times I can look at the consistency of the dough and know whether my cookies will hold their shape or fall. If the dough seems too moist I always add more flour for good measure!

Ok well now on to baking. You want to preheat your oven to 350 and I always use my oldest, most scratched up baking sheet. You can use a non-stick if you’d like but my problem I have when using those is that the dough can’t hold on to anything and it’s almost like slip and slide. My cookies can’t hold their shape and I get super flat cookies as a result. Another trick you can use to help the cookies is by putting the cookie sheet in the freezer for 5-8 minutes before you put them in the oven. Works like a charm! Remember when you’re putting the dough on the sheet not to put the cookies too close to one another. If you put them in the freezer you actually can get away with putting them a little closer than normal just because they grow up more than out. But I also now use a little ice cream scooper to form the cookies. I’m notorious for being slow and precise and back in the day it used to drive my dad bonkers while he waited for me to make every cookie absolutely perfect on the cookie sheet! Here’s how I usually space things with no traffic jams during baking:

Spacing of chocolate chip cookie dough before baking. Also note the super beat up baking sheet. May be ugly but it never fails me when it comes to keeping the shape of my cookies!

You want to bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. It could be on the longer side if you put the dough in the freezer first, as it takes them just a tad bit longer to cook the whole way through. I usually take mine out when they start to get a little brown on top and around the edges. When I take them out I don’t let them sit on the cookie sheet for very long; probably no more than 3 minutes. I like to immediately transfer them to the cooling rack and then fill up the baking sheet with another round!

Chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven!

I know I said I’m a sucker for pretty much any chocolate chip cookie, but to be honest you can’t really beat a homemade chocolate chip cookie. They’re always a great treat to share with friends and bring a smile to someone when they’re down and there’s just something comforting about homemade cookies in general. Since I can remember both my mom and dad always made our cookies homemade. Pillsbury dough boy cookies were an anomaly to me when I went to friends’ houses and they sliced this roll of dough and just popped them into the oven! Sure, homemade may take an extra 20 minutes and requires a bit more than slice and bake techniques but at the same time there’s a quality to them that just can’t be beat!

So grab a glass of milk, bake a batch of fresh homemade chocolate chip cookies and enjoy! For now, that’s chocolate chip cookies…in the shell of a nut!

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