Monday, June 8, 2009
Nothing says love to my kids quite like homemade cookies. Particularly to the boy who seems to have inherited the "obsession" gene from his father when it comes to food. His soft spot (and I'm careful not to let it get to be too soft if you know what I mean) is for chocolate chips.
I grew up on the Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe from the outside of that yellow bag. Many a happy afternoon was spent licking beaters (why didn't mom leave more dough on there??). Since then I've tried quite a few different recipes whose ingredients only varied slightly...one egg or two, milk or no milk, baking powder or just baking soda. Alton Brown has a few varieties including crunchy and chewy cookies, that I was sold on for a while.
But last year as I was visiting my sister, she made us the most delectable cookies ever. Maybe it was that she used these huge organic free-trade chocolate chips or maybe it was that we were both super pregnant, but that night while our kids pretended to be sleeping in the other room we made our way through quite a few of those cookies.
Her recipe is from the tried and true Betty Crocker Cookbook. It's the one I use most often now, although I usually only make half the recipe so there aren't too many laying around begging to attach themselves lumpily to my waist. The only tricky part of halving this recipe is that it only calls for one egg which means cracking the egg, beating it lightly, and then approximating what half an egg is before adding to the dough (usually a couple of TB is about half).
I was feeling adventurous this time, although I don't know where I got the confidence since my baking has been heavy on the failure side lately. Maybe the whole failure thing was the reason why I made the whole recipe this time. Less chance of screwing up the math. Don't you hate it when you're halving everything, but you forget on one ingredient like baking soda or something and dump it all in. Totally ruins the recipe!
I changed the recipe slightly, adding 1/4 of cocoa powder in for 1/4 of the flour. Mmmm...double chocolate chip cookies. I was short on the chocolate chips by about half, so I added in a cup of white chocolate chips. They look really nice in the dark brown cookies, adding a pop of contrast. As expected, they were wolfed down happily, dunked occasionally in cups of milk while watching a Sunday afternoon movie.
Betty Crocker's Chocolate Chip Cookies
(plus my double chocolate version)
1 c butter, softened (that's 2 sticks)
3/4 c brown sugar
3/4 c white sugar
Add in and beat until smooth:
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a separate bowl, combine:
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour (or 2 c flour plus 1/4 c cocoa powder)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until well combined.
Add in and stir by hand:
2 c chocolate chips (or a combination...white chocolate, peanut butter, butterscotch chips)
Plop by the rounded spoonful onto a baking sheet (parchment paper makes for easy clean up). Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes...my oven seems to need all ten minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool a bit more.
Pour yourself a mug of milk, dunk the cookie in, take a bite. Repeat the dunking and biting until it's all gone. Lick your fingers. And check your face in a mirror to make sure you don't have lines of chocolate anywhere!