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Archive for May, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies

Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are my Mom’s favorite go-to recipe for any occasion. I don’t think I received one care package when I was at college that didn’t include these yummy cookies. And no family get-together is complete without a dozen or two prettily arranged on a platter. We’re even baking them as favors for my wedding in August. To heck with you, Jordan Almonds!

Whenever we bake these, tasters usually ask, with their mouths full of cookie, “Can you give me the recipe?” And my Mom’s response is always “It’s on the back of the Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chips bag.” I know, I know, this isn’t a traditional family recipe, passed down through the years, but rather something originally concocted in a corporate test kitchen. After decades of baking these cookies, however, my Mom has made a few tweaks that really make the results fabulous—and make the recipe our own.

I’ll note this now instead of in the recipe—invest in Silpat. You can use parchment paper, or just grease the cookie sheet, but I swear to you, I’ve never burned a cookie on a Silpat. Two of these nonstick sheet liners have lasted me for three years, and still going strong.

Another note—if you accidentally make a batch and a half (long story), and can’t find anyone to eat all of them (which is unlikely, but you never know), these cookies freeze really well, and you can leave them in there for about a month before they get wacky. When you’re ready for one, just pop it in the microwave, and you’re good to go.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from Nestlé’s Original Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies)

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups chocolate chips (plus an extra handful if you’re feeling feisty)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. At the half-way point (about 5 minutes) switch sheets from top to bottom rack (and visa versa) and then rotate each sheet, so that the area of the sheet that was originally at the front of the oven is now at the back. Basically you’re just making sure that the cookies get to experience the top, bottom, front and back of the oven during cooking time, which will ensure that all cookies are the same color and level of done-ness. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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