I did an informal poll a few weeks ago when readers were asked to name their favorite kind of cookie. The results weren't surprising--chocolate chip cookies came out on top. It's hard to find someone who doesn't like this all-American classic. I knew then that I had to share our family's favorite recipe.
Like my thin and crispy oatmeal cookie recipe, you'll only like this chocolate chip cookie recipe if you like them thin, crispy around the edges and a teensy bit chewy in the middle. If you like them thick and chewy throughout, this isn't the recipe for you.
But in our family, this is hands-down the favorite cookie recipe. In fact, it is so loved that a batch of these cookies was often requested in place of a birthday cake. Especially for Bracken (aka Brackenthebox). He loves these cookies. Turns out his birthday was yesterday. My oldest turned 29. (I had him when I was 25. Do the math. Ugh.) He lives with his wife, Rachel, in Boston. So, being the equal opportunity kind of mom that I am, I had to mail some baked goodies to Bracken, just as I did for his brother, T-Man, a few weeks ago. (I wrote previous posts about the Cookie Dough Truffles and Crispy Brown Rice Treats that T-Man received in his birthday box).
First, the required photos aimed at embarrassing Bracken. Required because I embarrassed T-Man by sharing his baby photo 2 weeks ago. It's big brother's turn now. So, here's baby Bracken on his first birthday in Providence, Rhode Island. He definitely enjoyed his first cake and ice cream. It was absorbed through his skin as much as eaten--the baby way.
Here's Bracken with a mouth full of chocolate chip cookies. It was his 16th birthday, and the cookies were his requested birthday "cake". King-Man has taught his sons the fine art of dunking warm cookies in a glass of cold milk. It isn't always pretty. Serious slurping and dripping is involved.
When Bracken was in college and renting a house with friends, I sneaked into his garage on his 21st birthday and left this balloon and batch of chocolate chip cookies on his car. Surprisingly, he preferred to spend his 21st birthday with his friends rather than his parents (go figure), but the mom in me couldn't let his birthday pass without a discreet cookie delivery for the birthday boy.
So, yesterday Bracken was eating chocolate cookies baked in my kitchen in St. Louis and mailed to him in Boston. Happy Birthday, Bracken! You know that you will have 29th birthdays now each year forever more. Because I can't possibly be just one year away from having a 30-year-old child. Impossible.
To give credit where it's due, the original recipe on which this one is based came from my step-mom, Sandra. She's a great cook. Sandra gave me her "Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookie" recipe in 1990, and I've been using it ever since. This one is definitely in our family's recipe hall of fame. In recent years, I've added whole wheat pastry flour and flax seed. The cookies are healthier and taste every bit as good. I added nuts, because Brackenthebox likes them. But, the nuts can be omitted.
Here's a great way to have freshly baked cookies every time they're eaten. Place the cookie dough disks in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, transfer them to a ziploc bag and store them in the freezer. Now you're ready to prepare a quick pan of freshly baked cookies at any time. No need to thaw them--they can go straight to the oven.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, flax seed, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl (use stand or hand mixer), cream butter; add sugars and mix until creamy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. With mixer running, gradually add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time until completely mixed. Add chocolate chips and nuts (if using) and blend on low, just until mixed. (Note: The dough can be refrigerated at this point and baked later.) Use a scoop or spoon to form walnut size balls of cookie dough. Space 2" apart on a parchment lined baking sheet; flatten them slightly with your fingers. Bake 2 sheets at a time, rotating and switching pans half way through cooking time. Bake 12-14 minutes.
FREEZING TIP: Mix dough, form into flattened balls and freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. When completely frozen, transfer to ziploc bag and return to freezer. To bake, arrange frozen dough balls on baking sheet and bake as described above, adding 2-3 minutes to cooking time.
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I use this healthy, whole grain flour in place of all or part of white flour in many recipes. It contains all of the wheat berry's healthy and natural elements - the germ, endosperm and bran - yet it has a lighter texture than regular whole wheat flour.
These are the best cooling racks and are rated #1 by Cooks Illustrated. They have the added convenience of fitting inside the 13x18 baking sheet (above), for broiling and baking when a rack is needed (perfect when I bake bacon so the fat can drip into the baking sheet).