Monday, August 11, 2014

Everyone's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie

Chocolate chip cookies can't be beat. I first made this recipe in 1973 for a Boy Scout camping weekend. At the time I was a new mom, and Walter had volunteered to help an older friend with a merit badge camping weekend. For some reason, I couldn't send him off with those twelve year olds without a tin of cookies. That weekend began our love affair with scouting and with this recipe.

All I had in the pantry was a bag of self rising flour. The cookies turned out perfectly, and I have used nothing but self rising flour ever since. My mother was a huge fan of self rising flour. She used it for cakes, cookies, and biscuits. She was always about cutting out extra steps whenever possible. As the years have passed, I have learned many tips about cookie baking and have even perfected a few recipes. This is one that never fails.

My two secrets are to use silpat baking sheets. They are well worth the money, and always turn out cookies as nicely browned on the bottom as on the top. The bottoms are never burned and the cookies have crisp edges with tender gooey centers. Secret number two is to never bake more than one sheet of cookies in the oven. Luckily, I have a double oven, and can bake two batches at a time. Don't overload your cookie sheets, and always bake in the center of the oven. Remember that cookies continue to bake as they sit on the cookie sheets, therefore, they may seem a little gooey when the allotted baking time has passed. Also, it is very important that the butter and eggs are at room temperature when mixing the dough. Don't forget this step.

Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups self rising flour - it really doesn't have to be sifted
1 cup ( 2 sticks butter) softened
3/4 sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar- packed
2 tsp good quality vanilla
2 eggs at room temperature
1 12 ounce package semi sweet chocolate chips - I use Ghiradelli
1 cup pecans or walnuts - optional - none of my children like them

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla and eggs one at at time, mixing on low until incorporated.
Gradually blend flour into creamed mixture. Stir in chips and nuts. Drop by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets lined with silpat mats. Bake 9 to 11 minutes until edges are golden brown. 

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