Sesame Street was a favorite show among my sisters and I. We would wake up in the mornings, huddle close in front of the TV and watch our favorite characters go about their adventures. But no character was more beloved than the Cookie Monster. Growing up with our own personal pâtissière, my mom; we were spoiled with scrumptious homemade sweets and baked goods. So much so that I developed an unquenchable, insatiable desire to devour any cookies set before me. As I look back, I am confronted with the harsh reality that I was a real-life cookie monster! I think I can speak for a majority of people, and the Cookie Monster himself, when I say that there is just something special about a good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookie. (I mean there is a reason realtors have them baking before prospective buyers come to view the house!) The sweet aroma filling the air, the teeth sinking into the soft, warm cookie with chocolate oozing out; you just can’t beat that! I have learned to embrace my inner “cookie monster” and have embarked on a quest to discover the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. After much trial and error, I have finalized my recipe and would love to share it!
16 tbs. (2 Sticks) Salted Butter
¾ Cup Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Baking Soda
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 ½ Cup Flour
Chocolate Chips to taste
Bake at 375°F
The dough isn’t complicated and easy to make. Simply add in the ingredients in the order that it is listed, stopping to thoroughly mix the batter after the addition of each ingredient. The way you mix is completely up to you, if you want to build up those arm muscles, mix by hand and be sure to use a bowl with tall sides so that nothing spills out too easily. Or if you need to give those muscles a break, feel free to use an electric mixer such as a Kitchen Aid. If you decide to go that route, be sure to have a spatula handy to scrape off the sides of the bowl in order to get everything evenly incorporated.
You can absolutely use whatever brand of ingredients that you like to bake with. However, to make these cookies the best, you will need to use a very specific type of vanilla extract. The brand is: “Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste”. For a 4 oz. bottle on either Amazon or Sur La Table, it is $29; I know, it’s a lot for just 4 measly ounces. But let me say, that it is absolutely worth every penny and is truly the key ingredient to making these cookies better than the rest. I purposefully did not include nuts this recipe, that is no mistake. I am a firm believer that nuts do not belong in cookies, but of course, it is you who is baking and is your choice if you want to include them or not; simply add the nuts to taste. I also left the amount of chocolate chips in your control. Some people prefer to go light on the chocolate chips and some people prefer to dowse their batter with chocolatey goodness; you decide!
Once everything is in and well stirred, you are ready to bake. Another crucial aspect to baking cookies is what you bake them on. If you do not already have one, I would highly recommend purchasing a stone baking sheet. This helps the cookies bake evenly without getting that hard, tough bottom of the cookie that happens when you use a
metal baking sheet. If you cannot get a stone baking sheet, the next best thing is to put down a sheet of Parchment paper on whatever you are using; this will also ensure that the cookies are baked evenly through. I like to scoop out my cookies using a small spoon and placing it on the baking sheet, pictured here to the right.
Place the cookies in the pre-heated oven of 375°F for about 7 to 8 minutes. I usually like to set the timer for the lower number and just keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get burnt and depending on your oven (all ovens work and bake a little differently) that number can vary. Whatever you set the timer for, just be sure to keep an eye on them for the best results. Each recipe renders about 24-30 cookies depending on how big or small you make them. Once the cookies are all done,
they should come out looking like the picture to the left.
And voilà! You have delicious, irresistibly delectable homemade chocolate chip cookies that would make even the Cookie Monster’s mouth water! Find an excuse to bake these for some friends or family and they will be asking for more. But before you serve them, be sure to try 1… maybe 2… or 5; just to make sure they turned out ok!
And that’s the dirt!