Chocolate Chip Cookies: Comfort food for a hard week

Times are challenging, the news is triggering, and I’m not quite sure what I want to say about all of it. I learned long ago not to speak out rashly in anger, but to think carefully about what I want to say, especially about important and potentially combative topics.

That said. I’m still angry. So I’m still percolating.

While I’m percolating, I decided to share one of my comfort food recipes. I’ve made so many batches of Chocolate Chip Cookies that I no longer need to refer to the recipe. I am the family cookie baker, but my skills with this recipe were honed in my time as a nutritionist and cook’s assistant for the campus day care at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Four out of five days in the week, I prepared and served healthy, balanced snacks for the under-five set.

But on Fridays, I broke out the treats.

Chocolate Chip Cookies are a classic favorite. My original recipe was ripped right from the Nestle Chocolate Chip bag, but I’ve tweaked it a lot to produce a cookie that’s uniformly cooked, chewy instead of crunchy, and loaded with chocolate chips. Pay special attention to the method.

The recipe:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat together until fluffy:

3/4 cup of white sugar

3/4 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup of real butter

1/2 cup of butter-flavored shortening

Gently stir in:

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Blend in:

1 cup of all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Fold in:

1 1/4 cups additional white flour

Fold in:

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (Variation: mix up your chips–my husband particularly likes a mix of butterscotch and chocolate chips)

Using a one-ounce scoop (or a rounded teaspoon), drop cookies onto ungreased sheet pans. I bake two sheets at a time, swapping the trays’ placement in the oven half-way through baking. I usually start with 4:30 on the timer, then swap for another 4:30.

Your oven might be tricky, so watch for lightly browned bottoms and golden, dry tops of the cookies. If the tops are brown, you’ve baked them too long for the chewy stage. They’ll still be tasty, but they’ll be crunchy. Yield is about four dozen.

I made a double batch this week.

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