Monday, July 7, 2008

Cookie Recipe

I have baked thousands of cookies during my lifetime. The cookies to the left are a batch I made for Corey and Dad for a recent weekend getaway. I'm known in my family as the "baker". Whenever it is time for a family gathering, I'm always asked to bring a dessert. I have tried hundreds of recipes over the years- from the back of the cookie bag, clippings from magazines to "perfect cookie" recipes from Mrs. Fields to The Nieman Marcus $1,000 Cookie Recipe. I've made some good cookies over the years, but it is the bad ones I can really remember! Cookies that spread out paper thin merging into one another. Hard ones that you worry will chip a tooth as you break off a piece. Burnt ones so black on the bottom even Annie wouldn't eat them. Cookies with missing ingredients so they tasted funny. Oh yeah - I've experienced all the trials and errors of baking and I'd never really perfected it into a cookie recipe that would make good cookies each and every time.

I have finally settled on a favorite. This recipe makes the big, soft and chewy cookies like you can get at the mall. Even better - they are easy! My friend Ann is completely new to the world of cooking and baking. I am happy to say she just tried the recipe and was so pleased with her success! I was saying to Bill recently, I can't believe I finally have a great cookie recipe when now I really shouldn't be eating cookies! Grandma Jo recently brought me a huge variety of baking chips she'd gathered when she saw them on sale - toffee crunch pieces, milk chocolate, semi-sweet, Andes peppermint, white chocolate and even cherry chips (yeah - those ones are still in the pantry. I'm not so sure about those!). Those chips have led to me baking dozens of cookies and giving them away. I've been asked by several recently for the recipe. For anyone that knows me, I am an open book on pretty much any topic. Cookie recipes are no different. So, here you go!

Courtney’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 Sticks Salted Butter 

2 c + 2 T All Purpose Flour (I measure this as two heaping cups)

1/2 t Baking Soda

1/4 t Salt

1 c Light Brown Sugar

1/2 c Granulated Sugar

1 lg Egg + 1 Yolk

2 t Pure Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 c Milk Chocolate Chips or your favorite mix-in (ideas: cranberries and white chocolate... add half a cup of PB2 and reduce some of the flour for peanut butter... or at Christmastime add red/green mini M&Ms and holiday sprinkles)

Crystallized Sugar or Flaked Sea Salt (my favorite here) (optional)

Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 325 F. Melt the butter in the microwave and cool in separate bowl. Place both sugars in a medium mixing bowl. Pour the melted butter into sugars and mix until completely blended. Add egg, yolk, and vanilla extract. Mix until blended. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture and mix until blended. Add chocolate chips (or mix-ins of your choice). Stir until chips are evenly distributed. I use a large cookie scoop – scoop and form into one large ball for one cookie. Place onto the cookie sheets (I use air-bake variety) ensuring enough room because they will spread.

Put cookies in oven and bake for 18-22 minutes. Start checking after about 15 minutes and every two minutes thereafter. They are done when they are turning light golden brown and the edges are starting to get dry and firm while the centers are still soft. It all depends on your oven. I have gas, so I start checking my cookies at 20 minutes and sometimes they are done and sometimes they need to go a bit longer. Let cookies cool slightly and then transfer to a cooling rack or the "old school" variety we used growing up that works just as well - aluminum foil. After you have transferred the cookies, sprinkle them with granulated sugar or flaked salt. This is an optional step. Adults tend to like the salt, kids the sugar.

* The secret to these big and soft "mall style" cookies is the melted butter, the extra egg yolk, low temperature and longer baking time. I’ve tried making these healthier by using whole wheat flour and smart balance butter, etc., but they just aren’t the same. Save your healthy ingredient swaps for other recipes – you just have to go for it with these cookies!

1 comment:

The Norris Clan said...

Oh my goodness... my mouth is watering right now! I LOVE mall cookies... remember that cookie shop that used to be in South Sound Mall? They had a great sugar cookie with chocolate marshmallow spread on it - delicious! You should use the cherry chips in combo with dark chocolate chips and make a chocolate covered cherry chip cookie... LOVE your blog. Can't wait to read more...


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