Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies - A Classic

Yes, I'm all about eating healthy. But anyone who knows me knows that my sweet tooth sets a new standard. I crave dessert after breakfast. So I try to have small treats here and there, but I am not the type to believe that a few berries will satisfy my desire for something sweet. So here's a recipe for cookies that do the job perfectly. Enjoy - in moderation!

I’ve made these cookies with my mom since I can remember. We always used the same brown ceramic bowl to mix, and my older brother and I used to help spoon the dough onto the cookie sheet. I can’t wait to share the same experience with my kids someday.

Obviously, these definitely break the rules if you’re trying to eat unprocessed foods, but these cookies are better than slice-and-bake for several reasons:

  • It takes far more time and effort to make these cookies than to run out for a tub of premade cookie dough, so you are a) far less likely to eat them absolutely any time you crave sweets, b) more likely to acknowledge that you don’t want to run out, so you might eat fewer.
  • You know exactly what ingredients are going into your cookies, and, therefore, your tummy.
  • They are FAR less processed than anything you can find at a grocery store, and you will be able to pronounce every ingredient.
  • They taste incredible, and your friends and family will be impressed!

The smell of these cookies brings me home, which is very convenient considering I live about 400 miles from where I grew up. I hope you love them as much as my family does!

Ode to my childhood

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar (I’ve used a variety, and they all come out great)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (reduce to 1 cup if using other mix-ins)
  • (Optional mix-ins: walnuts, pecans, butterscotch chips, M&Ms…be creative!)
  • Sea salt (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl (it’s okay if you don’t have an awesome brown ceramic bowl from the 70s), use an electric mixer on low to medium speed to mix the sugars and butter. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix until smooth. (If you need to taste test at this point, as I always do, feel free. No one is watching.) Add the baking soda and flour (gradually so as not to end up with a lightly dusted kitchen) until all ingredients are smoothly mixed. Stir in chocolate chips and desired mix-ins.

Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet. If you want an extra dash of deliciousness, sprinkle the tops of the raw cookies with sea salt. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool on a cooling rack and enjoy with cold milk.

These cookies freeze beautifully. My mom always has a batch in the freezer when I go home, which I love because I think hers come out better (yet she thinks mine are better – but we use the exact same recipe!).


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