Friday, August 17, 2012

The Versatile Chocolate Chip Cookie.

The birth of the recipe for chocolate chip cookies was in the 1930's by Ruth Graves Wakefield; owner of the Toll House Inn of Massachusetts.  The chocolate chip cookies became a tried and true recipe by which all other chip recipes stood by; including bar cookies.  This is truly an American icon!

Imagine it; just using one simple recipe, but adding a variety of different chips, dried fruits, nuts, even candy pieces; you can create a multitude of delicious cookies.  To the basic recipe I'll be giving you, just add one cup of one item, or a mixture of several; want to be a little more precise, so long as whatever you're putting in adds up to the extra cup; you are good to go bake and eat.

Then there is the size of the cookie; petite one inchers to as large as a twelve inch pizza pie; take a little decorator's icing in a tube and write a message for a special occasion.  Press the dough out into a rectangular baking dish, score lightly with a knife and bake; while in the cooling process, complete the scores with a clean knife to create cookie bars. 

The basic recipe does contain white and brown sugars, but with baking products on the shelf made from Splenda or Truvia; even a diabetic can have a chocolate chip cookie treat.  What about the sugar in the chocolate you ask?  Hershey's has come out with sugar free chocolate baking chips; adding chopped nuts helps to keep blood sugar and pressure at a steady level.  Every little bit helps when you want a treat, but have to watch those carbs.

Well my freshly baked cookies are cooled and can go in sealable containers; of course a couple will accidently fall into my mouth.  So here's the basic recipe and have fun making your own chocolate chip cookies.  Enjoy!

The Original Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie

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 semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional or add another ingredient)


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.

Pan Cookie Variation: Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Makes 4 dozen bars.

Slice and Bake Cookie Variation:

Prepare dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

* May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.

FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.

Mary Cokenour

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