As the holiday season gets underway, I’ve decided to do something a little different this week, and maybe for the month. I’m going to share a few of my favourite recipes with all of you. Around this time of year, I always feel like baking. It’s cold and snowy outside, so cranking the oven inside is a kind of comfort. The smells of baking cookies or squares is positively intoxicating. At least, it is to me. 🙂 And I enjoy seeing my family ‘taste-testing’ everything to make sure it turned out all right.
To start things off, I’m going to share a tried-tested-and-true recipe that has never failed to impress. They’re my mother’s old recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Nothing special to be sure, but let me take a moment to tell you a little bit about these cookies.
When we were kids, my brother and I would take two or three of these chocolate chip cookies in our lunches to school every day. I would sometimes share one or two with my friends, who were always very appreciative. My brother, on the other hand, would trade his cookies with other kids. He wouldn’t just trade them cookies for a pudding, or cookies for a bag of chips. Oh no. He would trade them these two or three cookies for entire lunches. I kid you not. Some of his friends wanted these cookies so badly, they would give up everything they had.
When I was old enough, I learned how to make these cookies myself. When I started working full-time at an office, every so often I would bake a batch on the weekend and take in a couple dozen to work to share. Everyone loved them. Even people who claim to never eat sweets or baked goods would indulge. I didn’t mind because if they were eating the cookies, that meant I wasn’t, hence, I was able to control my intake a little better. 🙂
I only make them every once in a while. Last weekend I made an enormous batch to give to my brother for his birthday. It doesn’t seem like a lot but I’ve done the cookies for his last three or four birthdays. He loves it, because his wife and kids aren’t able to eat dairy or gluten, so he never gets these old treats anymore. When I bake him the cookies, they’re all his, which he also loves.
Anyway, after ‘taste-testing’ the cookies last week – I had to make sure they’d pass muster, OK?! – I decided I needed some more. The rest of my family agreed. So, I made some cookies.
Below, you’ll find the recipe and instructions, as well as a few visual aids. Hopefully you give these cookies a shot. You won’t regret it, trust me. 🙂
Chocolate Chip Cookies: (One thing, I usually double this recipe but for your first time, maybe stick with the single. Then again… you might want another batch sooner than you think!)
1/2 cup – butter or margarine (I prefer butter, but depending on your preference, either works fine)
1/4 cup – white or granulated sugar
1/2 cup – brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp – vanilla extract (pure extract is always best for flavour but if you don’t have it, which I never do – too damn expensive – use artificial. It’ll be fine.)
2 cups – all-purpose flour (slightly heaping cups)
1/2 tsp – salt
1/2 tsp – baking soda
1 cup – chocolate chips
1 cup – chopped nuts (optional – I never add nuts, but you could add them if you like walnuts or pecans or anything like that)
(On a side note, I just listed all this from memory. What does that tell you about how often I’ve made these cookies?!)
First, cream the butter with the white and brown sugar. Mix until smooth.
Next, add in the egg and vanilla. Mix together.
In a separate bowl or dish, measure out the flour, salt and baking soda. Mix together and start to add to the sugar/butter mix in small portions. (If you try to dump all the flour in at once, it’ll just burst into a white cloud in your face and you’ll be coughing it up and cleaning it from everywhere for hours.) Keep adding the flour mix until it’s all in, then stir until smooth.
Finally, add in the chocolate chips (and nuts if you have them). Stir until mixed evenly.
Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. (You can make them any size you want really, but keep in mind that your baking time will increase the bigger you make the cookie lumps)
Bake in oven for 6-7 minutes at 375F. (Again, the time may vary depending on the size of your cookie drops, or your altitude. Just keep an eye on the cookies from 7 minutes on, and when they look brown around the edges, they’re done.)
Well, now you should have a pile of freshly baked cookies. I prefer to eat them with a glass of cold milk, but that’s just me.
I hope if you try these, that they turn out all right and your families appreciate all the hard work you put in to them. 🙂
Take care and happy reading!