Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The best chocolate chip cookies EVER!

From the time that I was a child, I have had an affinity for baking. I have so many memories of times that I spent with my grandma and my mom - watching them carefully, in awe at the wonderful, delectable treats that they would create. I think it is the memory of these tasty, little delights that causes me to have such a love for baking today.

I remember baking homemade biscuits with my Grandma Ruby (my mom's mom) - sitting there at her kitchen table, waiting anxiously and impatiently for those warm, comforting mounds of goodness to finish baking so we could devour them straight from the oven with butter and jam.

Then, every Christmas, my mom would make the most delicious pumpin rolls. She would bring them to our annual family Christmas party and they were always a huge hit. To this day, you can see the disappointment on everyone's faces if she runs out of time before the big event and isn't able to make them.

I also remember her divinity, helping her frost sugar cookies that she baked (I actually have a scar on my chest from when I pulled the cookie sheet out of the oven while helping her bake these for Easter one year), cupcakes, fudge, rice krispy treats with peanut butter, and the list goes on and on.

One thing I really remember my mom baking as I was growing up; though, was her chocolate chip cookies. I don't know what it is about these warm, gooey, little confections that make every child so giddy - perhaps it's the simple fact that they are so warm and gooey, but there is something about the aroma that fills the house while they are baking in the oven, and the appearance of a huge bowl full of chocolate chip cookie dough that brings me back to the days when I would sit on the counter and help my mom drop rounded spoon-fulls of the chocolatey goo onto a cookie sheet. It's like a scene from Ratatouille when the food critic takes a bite of the rat's creation and is instantly brought back to his childhood. haha. Good stuff.

Anyway, for the majority of my life as an adult, I have struggled and struggled with attempting to make the perfect chocolate chip cookies. I have even tried using the Nestle Toll House recipe that my mom always used, but for some reason, they always come out really fragile-like for me. They taste great and all, but they have no "meat" to them, and they always end up falling apart when you pick them up.

When I think of a scrumptious chocolate chip cookie, I think of a firm cookie that is crispy on the edges, but gooey in the center, and I was racking my brains because I could never quite get there.

Well, I have had so many chocolate chip cookies in my lifetime and have tried so many different recipes, and I have FINALLY found THE one!

These cookies are so delicious. They are humungous and chewy - with the perfect combination  of sweetness and goo. Hehe - It makes my mouth water just to think about them. I am thinking my children have the same problem too...

My 11-year-old showing her enthusiasm for these cookies. ;)

I made these cookies for our Sunday school class one Sunday a while back (we used to teach the 16 - 17 year olds), and people who weren't even in our class were talking about them. ;)

Anyway, those of you who know me know that when I find a good thing, I just can't keep it to myself! I know, I know - I am so thoughtful. ;)

The original recipe that I use can be found here; although, I have made a few alterations to the recipe and usually double the batch so there are plenty to go around. I have come to realize; however, that I can  only make these when I have to give some away (visiting teaching, etc.). Since Zach and I have been on a mission to lose weight these last few months, having them in the house can be dangerous (haha), for all I want to do is sit and eat them until either they are gone or I have a tummy ache. :-P

At any rate, the exact recipe that I use is as follows (note that this recipe is already doubled):

The best, big, fat, chewy chocolate chip cookies

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon almond extract
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups peanut butter chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Happy baking. Hope you enjoy! :) 

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