Now, far be it for me to assume that I’m an authority on baking. I think we’ve established on here by now that’s not the case. But, I also think it’s safe to say that if I make it and it turns out alright it’s pretty much fool-proof. So here are my 12 indisputable rules to follow when baking everyone’s favorite cookie.
1. Start with a good recipe. I’ve used the one in the Better Homes and Gardens cook book, the familiar “red and white check one,” for several years now. Prior to finding it, I was on a mini-quest for a good recipe that worked for me. And one day, my friend Joy brought some chocolate chip cookies to church. They were the best I’d ever had. I grabbed her and demanded she give me asked her for the recipe, and she looked at me kind of funny and said “it’s in the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.” Being in possession of said cookbook, it was right under my nose the whole time. I have no idea why I didn’t think to look in there. If you don’t have that recipe, there’s a very similar one here at Honey & Jam.
2. If the recipe doesn’t already call for it, use half shortening and half butter. I know some people will disagree with me here, but I find it helps the cookie stay together much better. And when I find something that works for me, I don’t mess with it.
3. Double, or maybe triple, the vanilla. Trust me. At the very least, don’t measure it, just dump it in.
4. Instead of creaming the butter and sugars together, melt the butter and the brown sugar together until they’re smooth, and then stir in the granulated sugar. Again, some people would disagree, but please try it at least once. The texture of the cookie is so much better this way!
5. Don’t omit the salt. I know this seems common knowledge, but I’ve heard of it being done before.
6. I don’t care if the recipe only calls for one cup of chocolate chips. Dump the whole bag in.
7. And speaking of chips, this time semi-sweet is the way to go. I normally love milk chocolate, but they’re just too sweet in these cookies.
8. Don’t add nuts! Nuts are only acceptable in white chocolate chip cookies.
9. Eat some of the dough. But try not to eat too much. Of course, pregnant ladies and persons with weakened immune systems are exempt from this – we don’t want anyone getting sick. (I was going to say that we want everyone to be healthy, but then I remembered we are talking about cookies.)
10. And while we’re on the subject of health – cookies aren’t supposed to be healthy, so don’t try to make adjustments to make them “healthier.” You want to eat healthy, then go eat some carrot sticks.
11. Don’t over bake the cookies. My recipe calls for 8-10 minutes, so I always set the timer for 8. Sometimes they’re done, sometimes they need a little more. And trust me, as little as 30 seconds can make a pretty discernible difference.So watch carefully and check frequently, k?
12. Enjoy with a glass of cold milk.