Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie

Well, I've reverted to my baking ways... that didn't take long, did it? I'll never give it up, and I figured I could include some of these recipes too, for anyone who's curious.

So, I made these cookies many, many years ago, and people just LOVED them. What's my secret? I followed the recipe supplied with the packaging for Crisco shortening sticks:

Got that?


(holy smokes - if you follow the link above, they even have a video! You might just want to click through and stop reading my lowly post right now.)

Okay, if you're still reading, you make me happy, and for your dedication, I'll type this out for you...

3/4 cup (3/4 stick) Butter Flavor Crisco Shortening
1-1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (optional - if you know me, you know these were omitted for my batch)

So, for the visual people, here's what you need:

This recipe says that you should add more chocolate chips if you leave out the nuts, but I don't even add as many chocolate chips as the recipe calls for, because... well, I just prefer them that way -- I know some people will call me crazy, but it seems like an excessive amount of chocolate, especially when the cookie has a good flavor.

Here are the instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Combine shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix until well blended. Beat egg into creamed mixture.

3. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix in just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips (and pecans if using).

3a. Test cookie dough ;-)

4. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls (I use this, which is two tablespoons) three inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.*

*Following the advice of a friend, we registered for these baking mats, and they're pretty nice, and not sent to the landfill like parchment paper.

5. Bake for 8-10 minutes (11 to 13 minutes for crisp cookies, but I prefer chewy). Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to rack to cool completely. 

Right out of the oven

I only have a little bit of editorializing that goes with this recipe ;-)

a. First, does anyone have a user-friendly way to measure shortening??  Crisco has these sticks available, but they're significantly more expensive per-ounce than the tub. I use a measuring cup with clear sides, so at least I can see where there are voids and compensate, but just curious if there's a trick I'm not aware of.

b. Personally, I never preheat the oven right away -- our oven takes 15 minutes to preheat, which is probably how long this recipe would take to prepare if everything was pre-measured. But this is the real world, and I measure as I go. The oven gets turned on after the egg is added. Yay for energy conservation, even in small doses.

c. Since these need to cool slightly on the baking sheet before they're sturdy enough to move to wire racks, it works particularly well if you have two cookie sheets. Well, it always works best if you have two cookie sheets, just to keep thing moving.

Finished product

Are you craving chocolate chip cookies now? And hating me? ;-)  mmm... those do look good, think I'll go grab one (or three)!

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