Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my family's favorite things to eat are my homemade chocolate chip cookies. My husband knows that all he has to do is ask, and I will make them for him no matter what time of day it is. When I first started making them years ago, I had some trouble. I tried using the recipe that was on the bag of chocolate morsels, but noticed that once they cooled they would start to harden. I wanted them to actually stay as soft as possible and still be cooked in the middle. After many test batches (no one seemed to complain) I have come up with a recipe that works for me every time. Before I start making my dough I turn my oven on to the desired temperature in order to preheat it.
You have to start with room temperature butter or margarine. I test mine to see if it is ready by peeling back the wrapper and pressing my finger into it. If my finger can make an imprint without putting any pressure then it is ready. I have tried melting and cooling the butter and then mixing it with the other ingredients. This causes the cookies to just spread when they are cooking. Instead of having 12 individual cookies you end up with 1 or 2 large flat cookies. They still taste good, but they aren't pretty. 
 I then put my butter and sugars into my mixing bowl.
Using a hand mixer I cream these 3 ingredients on low speed. To make it easier on yourself and your mixer, you can use a table top mixer.
Don't forget to scrape the sides of your bowl so that everything gets evenly mixed together.
I then add in my eggs and vanilla and mix them on low speed until they are incoprated.
 Then I add all of the pre-measured dry ingredients, and mix the dough on low speed again. Don't forget to scrape the sides.
  This time your mixer is going to sound like it is working very hard, because you are working with a much stiffer dough. If you feel that the hand mixer can't handle the strain, the dough can be mixed by hand. Now you have a perfect cookie dough ready for any type of morsels and nuts. One of my favorite combinations is white chocolate morsels and tosted macadamia nuts. Mmmm!!
But, today all I have are milk chocolate morsels. I only use half of the 11.5 oz package, because I personally don't like the chocolate over powering the actual cookie dough. I mix in the morsels by hand until they are evenly distributed.
Now they are ready to be placed on the cookie sheet. I always use parchment paper to line my cookie sheets when making cookies. In order to have each cookie be the same size I use a small ice cream scoop. This one I found at my local craft store, and it was labled "Cookie Scooper".
Scoop out dough and smooth off the top by sliding the full scoop up the side of the bowl.
Place each scoop of dough about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. If they are placed to close they will just stick together. Now they are ready to be baked.
The cookies are done when they are golden brown. Allow them to cool slightly on the cookie sheet before removing them. If you try to take them off to soon they will fall apart.
Remove them from the cookie sheet and place them on a cooling rack to finish cooling completely. A couple of them are missing, because they took a detour to my belly. Shh...don't judge!!
Chocolate Chip Cookies (Yield 36-48 cookies)
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 of a 11.5 once bag of  chocolate morsels

Bake 9-11 minutes at 375' F.

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