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From Your Kitchen

Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Joan Ross in Amenia, N.Y. Here are her great ideas for chocolate chip cookies:

Of the many chocolate chip cookie recipes, I frequently use the basic recipe below, which I like to vary when the mood strikes me. I must say my family enjoys variation #2 ( below ) the best. I always suggest to my friends, start with the original recipe so you get an idea of what it is supposed to come out like, then try the variations!

Note: The idea of putting chocolate pieces in a butter cookie dough is credited to Ruth Wakefield who owned the Toll House Restaurant in Whitman Massachusetts in the 1930's. Her cookie recipe called Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies appears on page 216 of her original hard cover cookbook: Ruth Wakefield's Toll House Tried and True Recipes, C.1936. The original recipe used cut up pieces ( pea size ) of Nestle's semi-sweet chocolate bar . Later Nestle's went on to manufacture chocolate morsels ( chocolate chips) with The Toll House Cookie Recipe appearing on their packages ( Nestle's and Toll House are registered trademark's of the Nestle's Food and Chocolate Company ). Also, interesting about the original recipe were the instructions to dissolve the baking soda in 1 tsp.. hot water. Today we know that baking soda has better leavening power when mixed directly with the dry ingredients. Her recipe also indicated to drop the dough from 1/2 teaspoons, recipe making 100 small drop cookies. Later, revised editions of the Toll House Cookbook ( paperback) list 2 packages of semisweet chocolate morsels and her tip to chill the dough before forming into small balls, which are flattened on the baking sheet to insure uniform round cookies.

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter or margarine softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts
Yield: 5 to 8 dozen drop cookies

Preheat oven to 375 F ( 190C ) In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. In another mixing bowl combine butter, sugars and vanilla. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until a soft dough forms. Stir in semi sweet chocolate chips and nuts. Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls two inches apart onto a ungreased cookie sheet. Bake nine to eleven minutes until edges are golden. cool completely.

Variations of the basic chocolate chip:

Try these creative changes with cookie ingredients and methods. Remember that variations will definitely change the flavor and texture- but tailor the recipe the way you enjoy it.

  • For a softer chewy cookie, substitute all white solid vegetable or margarine for the butter or use 1/2 cup butter or margarine or 1/2 cup solid white vegetable shortening and increase vanilla to 2 teaspoons
  • For large, nicely rounded soft chewy cookies see suggestion #1 above- do not drop from a spoon, drop from a small ice cream scoop ( #24 ) about 1/8 cup, three inches apart on baking sheet. I place 9 to a average baking sheet. Flatten with the bottom of a wet spoon or bottom of glass well dipped in granulated sugar.If you use the glass you have to smack the cookies quickly so the glass doesn't stick to the soft dough. Bake till pale golden.
  • Do not overbake! They will firm up more during cooling.Let set a minute on baking sheet before carefully removing to rack lifting with wide spatula. Yield: approx 2 dozen large cookies. Store tightly sealed.
  • Hand mix the recipe ( use softened butter or margarine ) with a mixing spoon or whisk- It comes out nice when well mixed by hand too.
  • Omit nuts and increase chocolate chips to 16 ounces for a heavy laden chip cookie
  • Omit nuts and substitute 1 cup soft raisins or currants, or plump raisins in wine or sherry & drain well and pat dry before using
  • Substitute white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, colored candy coated chips etc. for some or all of the semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Substitute mini chips or larger chocolate chips in the recipe
  • Add 1/4 cup baking cocoa for a dark more intense chocolate color and flavor
  • Substitute 1/2 cup oatmeal or coconut for nuts
  • Substitute 1/2 cup granola or dried fruit ( such as cranberries etc ) instead of the nuts .
  • Substitute light brown sugar for dark brown sugar
  • Use 1 egg instead of two for a firmer cookie
  • Change flavor extracts from vanilla to lemon or black walnut, maple nut etc.
  • Make chocolate chip pan cookies by using the recipe above and placing the dough in a 10 X 15 X 1 inch pan, baking 350F 15 to 20 minutes or tested done. Cool and cut into bars.
  • When trying variations and if dough becomes too thick, adjust by adding a bit of water or milk.I have used buttermilk to make an interesting buttermilk chocolate chip cookie.
  • For a large quantity recipe: multiply the classic chocolate chip recipe ingredients two times for approximately 16 dozen cookies or four times for 32 dozen drop cookies.
  • Enough suggestions? - bake your own variations!

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