Friday, October 30, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Enter into the land of warm, delicious cookies. Today we have the very first recipe that I ever memorized, and one of the first recipes that I made by myself. It came after years of watching mom whip these up in less than 20 minutes, taking turns with my siblings for mixing the dough, and sampling the batter for quality control. When I first made these by myself I kept running downstairs to ask my mom "How much sugar?" and "How much vanilla?" and "How do you know when they are done?"

A note on the side - we sometimes keep our chocolate chips in the freezer, and I've found that the chips hold their shape better during baking.

Here's the Scoop:

2 sticks salted Butter
1 c White sugar
1 c Brown sugar
2 TBS Vanilla extract (or imitation)
2 Eggs
1 TSP Salt
1 TSP Baking soda
2 1/2 c Flour (unbleached, all-purpose)
12 oz SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS (or your favorite kind of chocolate chips)


Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Soften butter in a microwave-safe bowl large enough to hold the entire batch. Be careful not to MELT the butter.

Cream together brown and white sugars until it "is all one color."

Add vanilla and the two eggs. Batter should be smooth and shiny with no lumps of brown sugar dotting the surface.

Then mix in the salt and baking soda.

Add the flour - starting with about 2 1/4 cups, the add the rest if necessary. Do not overmix.

The dough should be sticky but able to hold shape. Add the extra flour if the dough seems too "wet." Be careful not to overmix. It is at this step that I find myself repeatedly testing the dough to make sure it is just the right consistency!

Pour in the semi-sweet chocolate chips. Lightly mix just enough to make sure they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto un-greased cookie sheets. Try to place most of the chocolate chips on the top of the cookie to make them visually appealing.

Bake in 350 F oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on how you like your cookies.

Once baked to desired doneness, take out of oven and drop the cookie sheet onto the ledge of your sink. Be careful not to let it fall to the floor. This step is optional, but it takes out the extra air from the cookies and is very simple once you practice it a couple of hundred times.