October 25, 2011

Treat Bag Tuesday - Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have you ever done something completely by accident, and the results were absolutely fantastic?  And then when you try to reproduce it, you just can't get the same results because you were improvising and weren't really paying attention to what you were doing?

That's the story of me and chocolate chip cookies.

I grew up with the cookies my mom made, and they were great.  When I moved away from home, I took that recipe with me and used it with success. 

Then one night...

I was in college, quite poor, and had not alot of groceries in the house.  I had some friends planned to come over that evening, and I thought I'd make up a treat (because that's just the kind of girl I am).  After scouring through my cupboards, I decided that of all the recipes I had, I had pretty much all the ingredients I'd need to make some chocolate chip cookies.  Pretty much, but not quite. 

I remember improvising some.  After all, what college student has tons of baking ingredients on hand??  I don't remember exactly what I did.  But the concensus was:


Seriously.  They turned out sooooo good.  All of my previous homemade chocolate chip cookies seemed so... peasant-like, compared to these.  Even my friends agreed, they were super-duper.  "Eureka!"  I thought.  "I've perfected the recipe!"

But, I could never ever get them to taste that way again.  And so it became my personal mission to recreate the masterpiece that was. 

Years went by without success. 

Until finally.... I did it.  And, entirely by mistake again.  I started making cookies, as usual, and it was too late to realize that I was out of one of the ingredients.  So I substituted.  And JACKPOT.

I'll spare you the details, and just provide you with the final recipe.  Get ready for some chocolatey-chippy goodness.

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 30 cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips (or more, or less, depending on your taste)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  Add the egg and the vanilla, and mix until smooth.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Add this to the butter mixture, and stir well.  The dough should be quite firm.

Add the chocolate chips and stir until evenly mixed throughout.  I prefer semi-sweet chocolate as the dough is already quite sweet, but if you use a good quality milk chocolate it should work also. 

Spoon approximately 1 Tbsp-sized drops onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, spaced out a couple of inches apart (they will spread slightly when they bake).   Bake until only slightly golden around the edges and the tops are barely set.  They will continue to bake a little more once they're out of the oven, so don't overcook them.  They come out perfectly in my oven after exactly 9 1/2 minutes, but may take longer or shorter in yours. 

Let cool, and enjoy!!

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