I feel that it would only be right to start with a chocolate chip cookie. You can tell a lot about a person from the type of cookie they choose to bake. In keeping with this theme, this cookie is more than just a cookie; it has a story to tell. Growing up, the day after Christmas my family and I would pack our bags and head down to sunny Florida to visit my mom’s family. It was our “thing;” something we did every year. I never liked the drive, but I always loved the arrival. My cousins would be there to greet me, and we would immediately commence playing, as if an entire year hadn’t gone by. My aunt, forever a talented cook/baker, always had these cookies waiting. Always. Everyone loved them, including me. These cookies became a symbol for the time spent with my family.
The version I’ve made is a little different from her original ones, but the heart and the taste is still the same. They are thin, and crispy, with a little bit of a chew as you get to the middle. I changed up using chocolate chips to using chopped chocolate. Feel free to do what pleases you. Her version always had pecans, and while they are a delicious addition, for this first recipe post, I wanted to keep it simple. A simple chocolate chip cookie, with flavors that transport me back to my childhood.
2 c plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour (I like King Arthur the best).
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1c plus 1 Tbsp. brown sugar (I use dark brown, but the original recipe calls for light brown). I prefer a heavier molasses taste.
1/2 c plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract (I use ridiculously priced Vanilla Bean Paste, feel free to use what you would like).
2 large eggs, at room temperature (it really does make a difference).
1 1/2 c chocolate chips/I used about 6 oz of chopped dark chocolate (from the Trader Joe’s 4 pound bar).
*Optional: 1 1/2 c pecans (or other nut of your choice).
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift flour, baking soda and powder and salt together in a medium sized bowl. You may also whisk your dry ingredients if you don’t feel like sifting, as long as you aerate the flour. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the butter with the two sugars until light and fluffy.
Slowly add in the vanilla, and mix until combined.
Add 1 egg at a time, allowing time to incorporate before adding the next egg. Make sure they are well blended.
Slowly, with the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients. Mix until just blended, about 30-45 seconds. Try to not overmix because the batter will become more difficult to work with.
Fold in the chocolate chips (and nuts if you’re using them) until well combined.
*If you’re not ready to bake at this moment, feel free to wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and freeze or refrigerate until ready to use.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart (these cookies need space, they like to spread).
Bake about 9-12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.
–I hope you enjoy the delicate texture of these memory filled cookies.