Earlier this fall I took a plate of various cookies I was trying to my friend. "Oooh," she exclaimed excitedly, beginning to peek under the foil, "are there chocolate chip cookies in here?" Uh, no, I thought. I can make chocolate chip cookies in my sleep. Here I am chopping nuts, rolling balls, zesting lemons, melting caramels, and she wants chocolate chip?
Another time another friend told me of a man from church who could use a goody plate. "Perfect," I said, "I have more than I know what to do with in my freezer." I got his name and my friend said, "Are you going to bring him chocolate chip cookies? Those are his favorite." Again, I was like, sorry, I only have Peppermint Bonbons, Citrus-Drizzled Cranberry Oatmeal, and Chocolate Turtle cookies. Guess he's out of luck.
I finally took the hint when a fresh warm batch came out of the oven one afternoon. Hazel asked if she could have a cookie, and I was excited for her to try it, so I gave her one. She took a bite and said, "Mmm, delicious!" and walked off to the living room. I turned back to my task with a proud little smile on my face, until a moment later she returned. She handed me back the cookie, still with only one bite taken, and said, "Mommy, I don't like these cookies because they don't have chocolate chips in them."
I get it. And I agree. After months of trying fabulous recipes, the fact of the matter is that NOTHING beats the chocolate chip cookie!
So with that in mind, but still in the spirit of the Virtual Goody Plate, here are four variations on the King of cookies.
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
(even Maren can make them!)
This is my everyday, all-time perfect chocolate chip cookie. It's kind of a combination of the recipes from the Ghiradelli and Nestle chocolate chip bags. Comes out great every time.
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup oats, optional
1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans, optional
As many chocolate chips as you can cram in
Preheat oven to 375. Cream butter, shortening and sugar until fluffy, like 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating each time, and vanilla, mixing well. Add soda, salt and flour a little at a time, mixing until all combined. Stir in oats, nuts and chocolate chips. Use a spoon or cookie scoop (I love my cookie scoop) to drop dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake for about 10 minutes (every oven is different.) Cool on baking sheet about 2 minutes before moving to wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 3 or 4 dozen.
Crispy Rice Chocolate Chip Cookies
How could I not try a recipe for chocolate chip cookies with Rice Krispies in it? What a fun addition - a great way to add some crisp in a new way to soft cookies. Delicious.
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup crisp rice cereal
1/4 cup oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Stir flour, cereal, oats, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt together in a bowl; set aside. Cream butter with both sugars in a bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add the oil, egg and vanilla, then beat until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and flour mixture just until flour is incorporated. Drop dough by cookies scoop or 3 T mounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 12 to 14 minutes until cookies are set and golden around edges. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to rack. Makes about 4 1/2 dozen
Chocolate Chip Orange Drops
My mom cannot help herself sometimes, so I wasn't really surprised when she handed me a tattered book called The Big Chocolate Cookbook, copyright 1968. She got it off the free cart at the library. My first reaction was, there's not going to be anything good in here. But I decided to peruse anyway, and came out with this little gem. I do love chocolate and orange together. The almond extract is good, too, but I would just as easily use vanilla to let the orange shine more. The book wants you to top these with orange cream cheese frosting, but I don't usually frost chocolate chip cookies.
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp almond or vanilla extract
1 cup sifted flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 T grated orange rind
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375. Cream butter and sugars well and beat in egg and extract. Sift dry ingredients and add them, orange rind, ground almonds and chocolate chips to creamed mixture. Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until brown around edges. Move to wire rack to cool. Makes about 2 dozen.
Black & Brown Chocolate Chip Cookies
My aptly-named friend Heather Baker is a talented domestic artist. She even enters her creations in the Arlington County Fair...and wins. This particular recipe came about when she took her awesome Double Chocolate Chip cookie recipe and tried substituting black beans - that's right - for part of the fat. The cocoa powder hides the bean flecks, and you get a little extra protein, fiber, iron, manganese and antioxidants, without sacrificing any flavor. In fact, these cookies won 1st place in the entire chocolate chip cookie category at the county fair. Taste them and you'll see why. This is one of Ed's very favorite cookies of the whole month!
1 (14 oz) can black beans (white beans work as well)
½ cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
½ cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
½ tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
3 T cocoa powder
Nuts and chocolate chips
Drain and rinse black beans. Puree in blender with a little water to make a thick paste (about the consistency of yogurt). Cream bean puree, shortening and sugars. Add vanilla, salt, soda and eggs. Mix well, then add everything else. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.