Thursday, December 19, 2013

An Old Favorite--Chocolate Chip Cookies



I'm in the mood to butter, whisk, stir and bake. As we decorate the tree, Rehan plays Christmas music. The house smells of freshly cut pine. Holiday decor gets me into the mood. I will make Christmas cake, kulkuls, neuris and of course cookies. And as most Xmas cookie recipes have some kind of nutmeat, I know I must make some non-life threatening ones for my two kids. Both are deathly allergic to any kind of nut! Hence Rehan is not very adventurous in his cookie requests so I make his favorite...chocolate chip cookies. They have taken up permanent residence in our house, occupying a large Tupperware container on top of the fridge. 

Since he has been so allergic from childhood, Rehan shies away from any food he isn't sure of. At school he could never eat birthday cupcakes or donuts or even home made treats for fear of an adverse reaction. At ice cream shops great care is taken making sure the scoop hasnt touched any concoction with nuts. And inspite of all precautions, mishaps occur. So we make double sure and hope for the best!

These cookies are a mish mash of several cookie recipes. Since I make them every three weeks or so I can recite the ingredients ad verbatim. I can scoop and sift without a second thought and the culinary sequences fall into place with little or no effort. I can bake the cookies in my sleep. I can make them big or small. I can double up this recipe and make enough to feed an army! But I cannot eat a single one! Years of making them will do that to you!!!


Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 24 large cookies or 30 to 40 small ones

2 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached Flour
1 teaspoon Baking soda
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
3/4 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips


Sift flour, baking soda and salt on to paper. Keep aside.


Put butter, brown sugar and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. If you are using a hand mixer, put butter and sugars in a large wide bowl.

Beat till soft and fluffy.
 

Add eggs one at a time.

Add vanilla extract and beat well. The mix might look like it's separating but that's fine.
 

Slowly add the sifted ingredients into butter mixture. 

When it's all incorporated add the chocolate chips, whirl for 10 seconds and stop.

Heat oven to 350F.

Line sheet pans with Silpat or parchment paper.

Drop cookie dough onto sheet pans using two tablespoon. Take a lime- sized ball of dough with one spoon and use the second to drop it on to the sheet. The cookies should be 1 1/2 inch apart. The balls do not have to be rounded or perfect. The cookies will bake just fine. If you are making large cookies use an ice scream scoop to measure the dough. If you plan to make small cookies, the lime-size dough ball and two spoon method. I use three 18x13 inch sheet pans. If you have just one, start with that and prepare the rest on parchment sheets that you could transfer to the sheet pan. Cookie placement depends on the size of your sheet pan.
 

Bake for 13 minutes.
 

Remove from oven, cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack.
 

Repeat with the other sheet pans.

Put cooled cookies in a tin or plastic container.

Watch them disappear.
 

NOTES

My mixer of choice is a KitchenAid.  You could easily use a hand mixer too. Follow the recipe as directed.

I hope I explained the sheet pan dilemma as best as I could. You can use any size. Please use a silicone liner, parchment paper or wax paper.

I use Trader Joe's semi sweet chocolate chips. Ghirardelli works fine too.

You could bake all trays at one time in a convection oven but I can't help you there as I haven't the faintest idea how to do that!

These are foolproof cookies. Remember the butter has to be at room temperature but not too soft. If the butter is too soft the cookies come out flat not domed. And if they turn out flat they still taste just as good!!



Rehan watches me bake all afternoon. Nothing I have made remotely tempts him. He smiles at his stash in Tupperware. The box on the fridge gets a work out almost every afternoon and then again on poker nights!!