A warm chocolate chip cookie and a cold glass of milk.
You can finish the sentence “Love is…” in so many ways, but I remember few things from my childhood as vividly as coming home from school to a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies and a tall glass of milk. Ah, the blessings of having a mom who cooks for a living and works at home.
So when a friend of mine lost her grandmother recently, I was trying to figure out how to send some love from afar. Since food is love for me (despite what psychologists might say), I whipped up a batch of my mom’s amazing chocolate chip cookies and FedEx-ed them.
The simple process of baking these cookies was so familiar, so therapeutic for me, that I made them the next day to bring to the church picnic. Guess I’m all about spreading the love…one cookie at a time.
Puffy, Chewy, Crisp Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
This is my Mom’s amazing recipe, originally published in her book, CookSmart. She makes these a bit bigger (about 16 cookies per batch), but I like to make them smaller for portion control!
2 ¼ cups bleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flavorless oil, such as vegetable or canola
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup dark brown sugar
1 ½ cups chocolate chips or 8 ounces good-quality bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate bar, cut into ¼-inch chunks (or 1 cup each chocolate chunks or chips and 1 cup toasted nuts)
Mix flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside. Mix eggs, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl; set aside. Microwave butter on high power until just melted but not hot, 30 to 45 seconds; set aside.
Mix brown and granulated sugars. Add butter and oil; stir until smooth. Add egg mixture; stir until smooth and creamy. Add dry ingredients; stir to form a smooth dough. Stir in chocolate and optional nuts.
Using a large spoon (I like my 2-tablespoon coffee scoop), spoon 24 dough balls onto a pan that will fit in your freezer. (Don’t worry if the dough balls are too crowded. They pull apart when frozen.) Freeze until dough is hard, about 30 minutes. (Once dough balls are frozen, they can be stored in freezer bags up to 3 months and baked as desired.)
Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to upper middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Working in batches, place 8 or 9 frozen dough balls onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake until set, but not brown, about 8 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue to bake until cookies are golden brown around the edges and lightly brown on the top, about 8 minutes longer.
Let cookies cool completely on cookie sheet or wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough balls. (Cookies can be stored in an airtight tin or container up to 5 days.)