Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love to bake cookies because of what they offer: quick, tasty gratification! And since my father was a baker with his own shops, as a kid, we always had sweets around. My sweet tooth traces back to my childhood. To turn out the best cookies, please read several suggestions on page XX to help produce the ideal cookie. I relish my first bite with these cookies in particular, with its faint crunch, and immediately my teeth feel the sensation of soft cake and soon touch a decadent chocolatey center. Once baked and when all the ingredients come together I feel overall delight, like my mouth has been shot to the moon with flavor!

Each chocolate chip cookie recipe has its particular unique flavor with various alterations from the baker. Most versions are big or little variations of the familiar original recipe from 1930. This old recipe came about fortuitously. Mr. and Mrs. Ken and Ruth Whitman owned an inn in Whitman, Massachusetts back then. While baking one day, Ruth, already a well-known baker then, ran out of Baker’s baking chocolate, and offhandedly replaced it with cut-up pieces from a block of semi-sweet chocolate she had been given by, none other than Andrew Nestles, of the Nestles company! Ruth believed that the chocolate would melt, like the other chocolate she regularly used. However, t hat did not happen, rather with this chocolate, once baked stayed in its original form. Hence the beginning of the iconic chocolate chip cookie, and t he rest is history! For me, that original cookie recipe lasted for decades until my passion for baking rose and I searched and used other recipes I tried and many where I adjusted the ingredients to make it more to my liking, like this one.

I don’t like large cookies; they feel too cumbersome to hold for a simple quick bite. I like the size I created, not too large or small, but with a slight raised center dome plus plenty of chips With these cookies I created my own moniker. I add extra chips, different chip flavors, and for added punch I sprinkle on each one a dazzling array of colored toppings such as red, green or blue. They make the cookies pop! Also, sometimes I make cute designs, perhaps chocolate swirls with the chips, once the cookies come out of the oven melted. With a spatula, I spread around some of the warm chocolate on top. Also, the options are nearly endless. Sometimes I add coconut, or nuts. Once too for decadence, and since I stock a jar of cinnamon, sugar and fine ground nuts, I sometimes dust the mixture on top of the cookies, once baked. I enjoy creating fun, different and attractive cookies that catch the eye of friends, family and people at group events.

INGREDIENTS Yield: 40-45

1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup (2 sticks cold butter), salted, all cut in half-inch pieces

2 tsp vanilla

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup coconut, or walnuts, coarsely chop the nuts (optional)

1/4 cup small red sparkly sprinkles (optional)

2 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips – divided

PROCESS

1 Using a stand mixer attached with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with an electric mixer), add both sugars and mix for about 1 minute.

2 Add the butter and mix on medium-high for about 4-5 minutes, scraping down t he sides as necessary, for about 4 minutes until a grainy paste forms.

3 Slowly add the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla and mix on medium until just combined. Do not overmix. Do this for about 1 minute.

4 In a medium size bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Add the dry ingredients gradually in about 3 portions to the wet ingredients. Fold in the chips and the coconut and/or walnuts if using.

5 On three large plates or a large cutting board, scoop 1 1/2 tablespoons mound and place on the plates or cutting board. Or use a #30 scoop. Don’t let the cookie mounds touch each other. On the plate or cutting board remember to dust a small amount of flour before you place the cookie batter on them. You’ll have about 40-45 cookie mounds. Leave them in the refrigerator, covered, with plastic, for about 4 hours or overnight.

6 The next day or four hours later, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Prepare 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Remove the mounds carefully and place 12 on each cookie sheet. If possible, return one cookie sheet to the refrigerator, until it’s time to put it in the oven. Gently press each cookie down slightly before it goes into the oven.

7 Bake 13-15 minutes, until the cookies are very faintly brown around the edges. Be careful not to overbake. They may look underdone, but they will firm up as they cool. I bake mine close to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven. While warm, sprinkle each one with red sparkles, or if you like, carefully press 2 or 3 chips on top of each cookie. Let t hem sit on their trays for 10-15 minutes as they cool. Then remove them judiciously to a cooling rack. Wait until the cookie sheet is totally cool before you use it again for another batch of cookies.

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