I can’t say for certain, but I think the first from-scratch baked good I learned to make was chocolate chip cookies. If it wasn’t the first, it was certainly the most frequent recipes of my childhood. Naturally, my mom’s 1976 edition Betty Crocker cookbook automatically opens right to the page. We probably made them at least every other month.
I don’t know what it is about chocolate chip cookies that makes them appropriate for pretty much any occasion. It doesn’t matter if I’m headed to the beach with friends, playing Chocolate Chip Cookie Fairy at the office, or packing a road trip kit for my best friend headed to a new job 700 miles away… they just work.
What I haven’t broken to dear Betty is that I switched recipes six years ago and have never looked back. The original appeal of the recipe was that they’re only 88 calories apiece (provided you follow the suggested cookie size). I stay with it because it’s a damn good cookie.
A couple weeks ago, I made a batch and brought them to the office, just because. As always, the reaction was delightful. Sample email: “When I tell you that your chocolate chip cookie was THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE I have ever had, you need to trust that I am not just exaggerating with glee in some sugar high state of mind.”
I’m not saying that to brag — I’m just saying, it really is that good.
When your cookie isn’t overloaded with butter and Crisco, the brown sugar and salt really come out. The dough will be very crumbly, but the texture of the baked cookie is perfect. There’s no extra butter to disguise sloppy measuring — so measure carefully, and use parchment paper.
Whatever you’re celebrating or trying to forget this week, I promise these cookies will make you smile.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Cooking Light
Yield: 4 dozen
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Parchment paper or cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
Combine sugars and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add vanilla and egg whites; beat 1 minute. Add flour mixture and chips; beat until blended.
Drop dough by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pans for 2 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.