Jul 28, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Two Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have two favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes.  They both yield consistently good results, so I offer them both for you to test for yourself.  The first recipe is from a longtime family friend who shares my penchant for all things sweet - she was the source of my turtle cake recipe we enjoyed as a birthday cake a few weeks ago.  (She also makes a mean brisket and does wonderful things with everything that comes out of her huge garden.)  The photo below is a tin full of the slice and bake cookies, baked up hot and fresh for a group of middle school youth group workers.

The second recipe is from The Pillsbury Complete Book of Baking, a cookbook I bought from a fundraiser many years ago.  It gets used more frequently because it makes a smaller batch (and it stays on my counter next to my KitchenAid mixer, along with a few other oft-used cookbooks. )

Denise's Slice & Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups butter or margarine, softened
1 1/3 cups white sugar
1 2/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups (16 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts

Cream butter and sugar.  Beat in vanilla and eggs until light and fluffy.  Gradually stir in dry ingredients into creamed mixture.  Add chips and nuts last (I usually take the mixer off the stand and fold them in by hand.)

Divide dough into 4 equal parts.  Shape into rolls 2 inches in diameter; wrap tightly in waxed paper and refrigerate. Can be frozen for 6 months. (I double-wrap in foil if I'm freezing them for any length of time.)  When ready to bake, slice 3/4 inches thick and bake at 350 F for 10 minutes. Makes 7-8 dozen cookies.

Pillsbury's Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts or shelled sunflower seeds (I confess I've never used sunflower seeds in cookies)

Preheat oven to 375 F.  In large bowl, combine brown sugar, white sugar, butter and shortening; beat until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and egg; blend well.  Stir in flour, baking soda and salt; mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Drop dough by teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool 1 minute then remove to cooling rack.  The book says it makes 4 dozen cookies (I usually get just under 3 dozen, but that could be due to generous portions and sneaking nibbles of dough.)

As you can see, the recipes aren't merely scaled differently, but have different ratios of fat-sugar-flour.  But they do have one thing in common:  they both bake up chewy, crispy edged cookies that make you contentedly close your eyes and smile as you eat one.  Or two.