Cookies have such simple ingredients: flour, sugar, butter, eggs, salt. It’s pretty much impossible to get them completely wrong: unless you seriously fucked up, the end result is going to be yummy.
But like so many deceptively simple things in life, attention to little details makes all the difference between good cookies and oh-my-god-give-me-another, melt-in-your-mouth yumminess cookies.
Here are some important things to keep in mind:
- Do not substitute anything for the butter. I cannot emphasize this enough: if your cookies are going to be worth the trouble of making in the first place, just do it right and use whole-fat, salted butter.
- Get the extra-nice chocolate (or butterscotch) chips. Ghirardelli is great. Scharffen Berger is better. The cost difference is more than made up for when you bite into the cookie and, without meaning to, roll your eyes back a little because the delicious melted-y sensation is just too good to handle.
- Use pure vanilla extract, not that imitation crap. And go ahead: if the spirit moves you, pour in an extra splash.
- Most recipes for chocolate chip cookies call for light brown sugar. Do not listen to them. They are in line with The Man, and they are lying to you, to ensure that the Common Man (or Woman, or Tranny, or Whatever) is denied the best possible cookies. Dark brown sugar gives the cookies a more satisfying, caramel-y flavor.
- Make sure that the ingredients are all at room temperature while making the cookie dough, but then chill it for a while before shaping and baking the cookies. Do not skip this step. It makes sure the butter doesn’t melt too soon in the baking process, so the cookies stay soft and chewy.
- Use parchment paper. Just trust me on this. I don’t care how nice your cookie sheets are: your cookies will turn out better in the end if you bake them on parchment paper.
- Make them as big as I tell you to. You know you want to. Fuck that 1-tablespoon-sized cookie that the cookbook tells you to make, in some neo-Victorian plot to make cookies decently small instead of pleasantly palm-sized. Just keep a close eye on them while they bake, because it will affect their cooking time and you don’t want them to burn. That would be sad.
With those things in mind:
When I made them yesterday, I divided the dough in half, and mixed 1 cup of butterscotch chips into half the dough, 1 cup of milk chocolate chips into the other half. I did this because my sweetie wanted chocolate chip cookies and butterscotch chip cookies. And I like baking things that make my Boo happy. Feel free to to the same, or to substitute any of the crazy-flavored chips they have available now. Or to make the whole batch with one kind of chip. Whatever, as long as you use a total of 2 cups. Have fun.
(Adapted from the classic cookbook that belongs in every kitchen, The Joy of Cooking)
Yumminess Chip Cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- 2 1/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 t baking soda
Beat in a large bowl until well blended and creamy:
- 1 c (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
- 1 c white sugar
- 1 c dark brown sugar
Add to the sugar and butter mixture and beat until well combined:
- 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 3/4 t salt
- 4 t vanilla
Stir in the flour mixture until well-blended and smooth.
- 2 c chocolate chips (or butterscotch chips, or cinnamon chips, or peanut butter chips…)
- 1 1/2 c chopped pecans (optional)
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30-45 minutes.
Using a 1/3 cup measure (or the palm of your hand, if you don’t mind getting cookie dough on your hands), drop the dough about 3 inches apart onto the cookie sheets. You will only be able to fit about 6 cookies to a sheet, but remember: big cookies are the best cookies. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until golden brown, which can take from 10-15 minutes.
Let the cookies stand briefly, then remove to a rack to cool.