I often bake chocolate chip cookies when I want comfort food. I think this is because chocolate chip cookies are a classic recipe that my entire family enjoys, and there has been a lot going on lately. It’s not a pragmatic endeavor, but sometimes we’re human, and everything doesn’t always make sense. Particularly when it comes to chocolate.
It helps that my oldest son is a self-proclaimed cookie monster, and my youngest son is looking to follow his example. My oldest loves brownies too, but cookies are definitely at the top of his list.
Edited to add: It’s also my birthday (shameless personal detail), and I really wanted cookies. It wasn’t enough for my oldest though. He wanted chocolate chip pancakes this morning too. I’m still laughing over this exchange:
Me: “It’s my birthday, can you not argue with me on my birthday?”
Him: “Your birthday is over!” He shuts off the kitchen lights. “This party is over!”
Anyway, I did concede and make chocolate chip pancakes. It’s still hilarious to me because I don’t know where he comes up with this stuff, he’s four, but I digress.
Where do I frequently turn when I want chocolate chip cookies? For anyone who knows me, you already know the answer, the Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. It’s a recipe loved by many, which is appealing if you are baking for friends and family. However, over the years my family has decided some changes were needed, and this is our adapted version of the recipe. I do have other chocolate chip cookie recipes, and I’ll share them in due course, but today feels like a good day to keep it simple.
Without further adieu, I often make these cookies when my brain becomes convinced I need salt and chocolate simultaneously—and mostly because I’ve had this recipe memorized since I was a teenager!
A few notes are useful here. I like to use an electric mixer; however, use what is available to you or what works best for you. Vanilla extract is wonderful, and I like to add an extra teaspoon of it to my cookies. These cookies are baked with extra love, and by love, I mean vanilla extract. I only use 2 cups of flour because I believe omitting the additional 1/4 cup of flour yields a better result. I use vegetable shortening instead of butter, but this is because my mother and grandmother always baked them this way; however, you can use butter if you prefer.
Using a cookie scoop to drop the dough onto the baking sheet is very helpful. My preference is to make large cookies, so I typically get carried away with the size of my scoops.
Finally, I get the best results if I bake my cookies for 10 minutes and 30 seconds. Ovens vary, so you may want to keep an eye on your first batch to determine the optimum bake time for your oven. When I remove the cookies from the oven, I like to let them sit and continue baking on the baking sheet for an additional 3 minutes. This is a secret I picked up from family—thanks to my uncle!
I frequently use semi-sweet chocolate chips when I bake cookies; however, I don’t let it stop me if I don’t have them in the pantry. I will mix bittersweet chips with milk chocolate chips (how I made them yesterday), or I will cut a semi-sweet chocolate baking bar up into chunks for a different chocolate experience. I have also baked these with a mix of sweet german baking chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate. Mint chocolate chips are divine around the holidays. It’s all good, and chocolate rarely disappoints.
In my opinion, there is nothing worse than baking homemade cookies and then biting into the cookies a day later only to discover they are becoming hard. That’s why I have a very specific way I store the cookies once I have baked them. Store the cookies using a method that works for you, but for anyone who is curious, this is what I do. I line a metal tin with plastic wrap, and I stack the cookies inside the plastic wrap. I bring the wrap over top of the cookies and seal them in so the cookies are wrapped and then I put the lid on the metal tin. This method helps the cookies stay soft and delicious for a number of days, and it keeps them from becoming hard.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Makes 3 to 5 dozen cookies (I unapologetically like large cookies, so I usually get about 3 dozen.)
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Electric mixer
- Cookie scoop
- Parchment paper (optional)
- Baking sheet
- Wire cooling rack
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 3/4 cup of brown sugar (packed)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup of vegetable shortening (or 1 cup of softened butter)
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 12 ounces of chocolate (can be a mix of bittersweet, semi-sweet, milk, and/or sweet chocolate!)
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small mixing bowl, combine four, salt, and baking soda. Whisk to evenly distribute the dry ingredients.
- In the larger mixer bowl, combine vegetable shortening, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed until evenly mixed and creamy. On low speed, add eggs, one at a time, and beat until mixed after each egg.
- On low speed, slowly beat in the flour, salt, and baking soda mixture. Add the chocolate and stir to combine with the cookie dough.
- Using the cookie scoop, place round balls of cookie dough on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the edges of the cookie turn a light brown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies bake on the sheet for an additional 3 minutes.
- Using a spatula, remove the cookies from the cookie sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!
I find that we normally can’t wait for these to cool much on the wire rack. We’re usually eating them while they are still soft and warm and filled with melted chocolatey goodness.
I feel this recipe is forgiving in many ways, the key is to have fun and create the cookies your family wants to eat and to enjoy time with the ones you love!
Adapted from the Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.