Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cookie Week: Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Time for my second contribution to Erin's Christmas Cookie Week! I may have a third recipe in store for you - I'm baking tonight & we'll just have to see how it goes. Click over to The Speckled Palate every day this week to see some awesome recipes!

It's not Christmas in my house without chocolate chip cookies. My mom did the bulk of the work when I was a kid - we just got to measure things and then put the cookies on trays. We use the recipe right off the bag of Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet chocolate chips, and I probably always will. Even if I try out new chocolate chip recipes, I'll always come back to the yellow bag. It's what I know and it tastes good, so why mess with it?

Let's get started! Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grab the following items: flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, brown sugar (I've found little difference between light or dark, so go with what you have!), eggs, butter, vanilla extract, and of course, chocolate chips. This year I've also added some Nestle Mini Toppers, which are teeny-tiny white chocolate chips that are colored red and green.

The butter needs to be softened before you start. In one bowl, mix your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt).

In your mixer bowl (or a second bowl), cream together your wet ingredients except the eggs (sugar, brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract). Add the eggs one at a time, making sure they get mixed in well in between.

Add the dry ingredients gradually, in about three or four parts. When your done, the dough will look delicious and be stuck to the paddle.

At this point, add the chocolate chips. Sometimes I use the mixer to distribute them in the batter, but sometimes my mixer thinks that's too much work. This time, I tossed in the chocolate chips (and the Toppers) and mixed with a spatula. It was a good arm work out!

Drop the dough onto ungreased baking sheets. The size is up to you. I go with heaping teaspoons - not the measuring spoon, but an actual teaspoon. (Does that make sense? I hope so.)

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes. I find that 9 usually works, though occasionally I wait another minute. They're done once the edges are golden brown, but sometimes I like to leave them until they're almost all brown.

Cool for a minute before taking them off the tray, then cool them on wire racks (or your kitchen table, like I do). Feel free to eat them immediately because just-baked chocolate cookies are the best - just don't burn yourself! Otherwise, I've found that you can leave these out and they stay soft and chewy for a day or two. Past that point, put them away or else they'll start to taste a bit stale.

Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe copied straight from their website)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.