Monday, August 10, 2009

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies: My Quest

All through my teenage years, I was often found in the kitchen baking up a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

I used the recipe in my mom's recipe box. Taped to an index card was a small yellow plastic square cut from the back of a bag of Toll House morsels. I only ever made those chocolate chip cookies.

I dropped them by teaspoonfuls. Sometimes, I made them into bars.

I don't ever remember having trouble with them.

Then, I got married.

Suddenly, the chocolate chip cookies that I'd always made and had even been my boyfriend's (now husband) first Christmas gift which told him (and his dad) that I was a pretty good cook, began to flop.

I mean, they weren't the same at all. They were spreading. They were overcooking. They were just awful (in my opinion; my new husband didn't care - he was just glad I was making cookies). ;-)

I figured it had to be my brand new bridal shower gift cookie sheets. My mom's cookie sheets were the old metal lids from old Wilton's cake pans.

I bought some different cookie sheets. Still not happy with the cookie results.

So, I started experimenting with the recipe - all butter, no butter, etc, etc. Since that didn't seem to work either, I began searching for an all new recipe to try.

I've been searching for almost 9 years. Yes, truly.

Sometime last summer, I found my chocolate chip cookie keeper.


KEEPER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 (3.4 oz) pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together margarine, butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Add flour and baking soda and mix together. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips (and nuts if you want to ruin your perfectly delicious cookie like that kind of thing. ;-)

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
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*I'm sure there are better chocolate chip cookies out there...but, for my basic "everyday" chocolate chip cookie that consists of ingredients I always have on hand, this one's the one!*

During the cookie sheet experiment stage, I did purchase an inexpensive pizza stone at my local Walmart several years ago for around $8. At the time, I wasn't going spend a fortune on a Pampered Chef one when I didn't know if it would help my cookies or not. I'm not sure if it's really done anything, but I DO love it and now use it for most of my baked goods! It's one of the best $8 I've ever spent on something!

What's your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe? Now that I know I have MINE to fall back on, the stress of trying recipe after recipe is no longer there. So, share yours with me!!

Oh yes, I actually still DO use the Toll House recipe...but only for making bar cookies. :-)

Recommend: YES

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3 comments:

Nancy Irby said...

Do these cookies stay soft, or do they get hard when they cool? I wondered if the pudding in them kept them soft. I love the soft and chewy type cookies from the store, but whenever I make cookies at home, they get hard after they cool. They still taste ok, but just not soft.

Stephanie said...

They actually stay soft for several days! They are almost cakey, but not too cakey -- I don't like cakey chocolate chip cookies. They're just my kind of perfect! :-) Not too chewy, not crispy, not too cakey...just good. :-D

MaRiN said...

This is the same recipe I use. The vanilla pudding mix makes all the differance! I usually make a really big batch and freeze some. Delicious!

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