My husband thinks my chocolate chip cookies are pretty much heaven on earth – if I were a good wife, I’d make them all the time for him, right? Well, here’s the problem – one, we’d be humongous if I did that because they really are delicious; and two, making these cookies is a little bit of work with a KitchenAid mixer (or some equivalent thereof) – without the mixer? Well you can just forget it mister! Regardless, here’s my recipe, as interpreted from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook:
Chocolate Chip Cookies : The Honest Recipe
(cause I won’t lie to you about something as serious as a cookie)
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup butter (chilled)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 12-ounce package (2 cups) semisweet chocolate pieces
- 1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts (optional)
In a large mixing bowl beat shortening and butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed, stopping periodically to scoop out the mixture from between the blades of the wire whips or whatever you call them. Grumble to yourself a good long time about the need for the butter to be chilled and question whether or not you actually know what you are doing. After a long, long time, the butter will soften naturally, thus improving the strain of mixing until eventually you have a suitable “mixture” rather than a pile of jerky goop. Pat yourself on the back. You’re good at this!
Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Isn’t this easy? You should make these cookies more often! It’s really not that hard at all!
Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Cough and sputter as a big poof of flour smacks you in the face, while shouting in an Russian accent for no apparent reason (as flour cannot talk and is not likely Russian in it’s origin), “You fool! You sssink you can seeeempleee MIX me in? I vwill doughmeenate chu!” Using a wooden spoon, beat down the floury mixture with all your might until it whimpers and then add in the rest of the flour, and beat that down, too – show that stuff who’s boss, lady (or sir – baking cookies is a totally non-gender biased mission people).
Now once you have thoroughly beaten your cookie mix into submission and your Russian flour has seemingly disappeared (chickens always run away from the battle) you can feel free to stir in chocolate pieces and, if desired, nuts (but really why ruin a good thing?). From here on out it’s easy sailing and you’re feeling pretty good – you’ve outwitted the chilled butter and defeated a Russian Villian, and soon you’ll be eating chocolate chip cookies – what could be better?
Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Okay, seriously? Scoop out some dough into a reasonable size and shape that resembles your appetite, then roll it into a ball shape – yes really, don’t just plop it on there like you don’t care – you’ve invested this much time into cookie baking, show a little love for your once chilled Russian enemy and go the extra step – you’ll thank me when you have perfectly shaped cookies that look award winningly package worthy, instead of a pile of chocolately chippety stuff that tastes like a cookie but looks like a god knows what.
You will unlikely create the 60 cookies promised by the recipe if you are anything like me – I don’t know what kind of midget cookies those people eat, but I like a cookie larger than a quarter, so I tend to get about 24 cookies at most. But really, is 24 pieces of perfection anything to scoff at? I didn’t think so.
Bake in a 375 degrees F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until you can smell the perfect cookie from another room – honestly, this usually works for me and I don’t know why – maybe I have a cookie baking super power and other people can’t do this, but 9 times out of 10, if it smells done it’s ready. They say the edges will be lightly browned and that seems good to me, too. They will probably look underdone in the oven, but take them out and give them a few minutes to cool on the cookie sheet or they will fall apart into cookie crumbles, and nobody likes that even if they make cliched sayings out of just such a phenomenon.
(BTW: My cookies have a strange phenomenon of never being too crispy or too burnt, rather they almost appear underdone, but are in fact cooked through – they will be first day soft for at least a month if you have strange people in your home who require that much time to finish a couple dozen cookies – lord knows I’ve never met anyone so strange, but you know, whatever, I’m not judging.)
When you are confident you can do it right, transfer cookies to a wire rack and let them finish cooling, but secretly sneak a hot gooey one out for yourself – there were probably actually an odd number of cookies like 27 or something retarted like that, so grab two for you and one for your favorite person in the house (yes, you’ll have to choose now, don’t tell me you don’t play favorites, I know you know who is getting that cookie and who isn’t) and tell everyone else they will only taste good in an hour, and that no you don’t have chocolate stains on your mouth and clothing, it’s probably poop. Really. Go away. Tell them you are le tired from baking cookies all day and then sneak another one upstairs to eat in peace before taking a nap – you’ve earned it!
For a serious take on this recipe, check out the BHG website (the recipe I use is from their cookbook and looks pretty much exactly like this, so it’s a pretty reputable source).