Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies
All that’s missing is a glass of milk!

Who does not love a phenomenal chocolate chip cookie?  I mean, really.

I am going to tell you a story.  It will show you how far my skills at the oven have come…

…Back in college, I didn’t really bake (see the flat apple pie post for the reasons why).  If I had known that guys really dug getting sweet treats from my kitchen, I guarantee I’d have figured out this baking thing LOOONNNNNGGGG ago.  But I didn’t know it then.  I digress.  Anyway, I had a few awesome guy pals, and one of their girlfriends was my enemy.  And she baked.  They called her Betty Crocker behind her back.  That’s because it was all from boxes, but we won’t judge her here.  In spite of all the snide remarks, they loved that she baked.  I saw this.  I knew I had some capabilities somewhere deep down in my genes.  So when she was away one summer and we were all still there taking summer classes and it was so g.d. hot outside and no one should have been anywhere near an oven, I decided it was time to bake cookies.  For them. Not for her. 😉

The way the dough plopped onto the cookie sheet seemed weird.  I mean, it was already spreading out and liquid-y. I also got side-tracked by this cute guy who looked like Ethan Hawke circa “Reality Bites” (that was a good thing) who knocked on my door and had to check my windows to be sure water  hadn’t seeped in because he was on the maintenance crew and had just washed my windows. {We started dating a week later!  Again, I digress!!} But anyway, I forged ahead. And they seemed really, uh, abnormal upon coming out of the oven.  So I had the dudes over that night to watch “Road Rules” or “The Real World” or some other guilty-pleasure show from the 1990’s.  I felt so proud to offer them homemade cookies.  They seemed excited.  We munched on them for a few minutes.  Then one of them said, “Um.  How’d you get the carpet in these things?”  Before I could digest that comment, the other said, “You should put some chocolate chips in these things.” {There were chocolate chips, fyi.}

Anyway, yearrrsss later, here I am.  And here’s an awesome chocolate chip cookie recipe, loosely adapted from Martha Stewart’s pals, and many years in the making for yours truly.  It’s my #2 best-selling item! They are soft, and they are certainly not thin or crispy.  And there is no carpeting in them and plenty of chocolate chips!

Start here:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ingredients
See that corn syrup there? I feel funny about that. Sorry!

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Put your racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, because you can save time by putting two sheets in at once!  Yay!

Whisk the following ingredients in a bowl:

2 1/2 c. flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt (don’t use kosher because it’s too big for baking)

In your mixer with a large bowl, beat the following ingredients until fluffy:

2 c. unpacked brown sugar (dark or light, whatever you have)

1 stick (1/2 c.) room temperature butter

1/4 c. light corn syrup

Beat in:

2 eggs

2 1/2 tsp. the best vanilla you can afford

**Note: Since the development of this recipe, I have now switched to whole wheat pastry flour and to brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup. Still the same amazing cookie! 

Put your mixer on low and slowly shake in your flour mixture.  Once it’s all combined, toss in 2 cups of chocolate chips and then turn off your mixer.

Using a tablespoon sized scoop, drop them in grids of 3×4 onto two cookie sheets. Bake 6 minutes and then rotate the sheets and bake 6 minutes more.  Transfer to wire rack. This makes about 4 dozen cookies, so you’ll put in two more sheet’s worth.  And if you have to use the same two sheets as the first batch, cool them off first by running their backsides under cool water for a second.  Remember my story about baking on a hot day? Yeah.

Where were these cookies when I needed them for my love life?  I don’t know.  But I feel smug now when I think of Little Miss Betty Crocker.  That has made it all worthwhile!  Not really, but you know what I mean.  These days, I am just happy to serve them to Mr. Fresh Scratch when he comes home from work, just like June Cleaver, except my hair is long and smells like chocolate chip cookies.  As Martha says, “It’s a good thing!”

Waste Not

Two words for you: Snack Taxi.

Quite a few years ago, I decided to become more aware of packaging, plastics, etc. This does not mean I stopped shopping at Costco or only buy in bulk at my food co-op, but it does mean that I have not accepted a shopping bag from the grocery store in two years. It means that I wash out all my Ziplocks, big and small, and use them within an inch of their lives before recycling them. I recycle all the plastic you can poke your finger through at our house. Did you know you can rip off the zipper part of a re-sealable plastic bag, throw that out, and recycle the rest? Yes! We have a few grocery stores in Olympia with plastic bag recycling receptacles out front, and I am always sure to have a “bag of bags” in the car to drop off when I’m out running errands.

One way we avoid plastic at our house is to use these cute cloth “Ziplocks” made by Snack Taxi. You can find them online or in downtown Olympia at my favorite, FAVORITE STORE, The Compass Rose. They come in a big size (think hefty sandwich size) and a smaller size (perfect for snacks, carrot sticks, cookies, etc.). They are lined in rip-stop nylon, have a strong velcro strip down the middle, and come in tons of super-cute fabrics to choose from. My kindergarten Teensy Scratch and I fight over the pink and red one and the hedgehog one. We love them, and I hope you will find some to love, too! It’s one small and fun way to try to make a difference.