Thursday, September 20, 2012

Simply the BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'd been craving chocolate chip cookies for several days.  I don't know about you, but when I'm craving a specific something - nothing else will do.  I tried some Oreos, some chocolate candy, some breakfast cereal bars, and probably a few other things but the chocolate chip cookie monster was still screaming from somewhere deep inside, demanding to be satisfied.  So, I pulled out my trusty recipe and got started.

This recipe is not hard at all, but do plan ahead as they turn out much better if you take the time to chill the dough as directed.  They just seem to flatten out and become hard faster if you skip this step.  It's also a lot easier if you use a stand mixer to mix the dough as it is quite thick at the end of the process.  It can be done manually, but I hope you've been working out because it'll take a strong arm.  LOL.

Here's what you'll need:

2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar (dark will make your cookies moister)
2 eggs (best if room temperature)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups semi-sweet or milk chocolate morsels
1 cup roughly chopped pecans


In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream shortening, butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  You may need to scrape down the sides a couple of times until it's all incorporated.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla.  At this point, you're going to want to change from the whisk attachment to your paddle attachment.

In a separate bowl, combine 3 cups of flour, baking soda, and salt.  Mix into the sugar mixture in batches until well incorporated.   If the dough seems very wet, gradually add in more flour until the dough appears workable. Be careful though, too much flour will result in a crisper cookie.  Finally, add your chocolate morsels and chopped pecans and stir them in on low speed.  (Note: your mixer bowl will be FULL).

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.

When your dough is thoroughly chilled, set your oven to 375 degrees F to preheat.  Lightly grease a baking sheet and drop dough onto sheet by 1/8 cupfuls at least 1 inch apart.  (The original recipe called for 1/4 cup sized cookies but those come out just HUGE.)

As you can see, 1/8 cup is still a substantial sized cookie (0=

Bake for 13 - 15 minutes or until cookies are light golden brown.  Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

The reasoning behind leaving the cookies on the sheet for a full 5 minutes is that as they start to cool, the cookies will create some steam which will then be absorbed by the bottom "crust" of the cookie helping them to stay moist longer.  I've taken them off too soon and found that by the following day, the cookies were very hard.  So, that being said, I'm a believer in the "leave them on the cookie sheet" school of thought.  

This recipe will yield approximately 2 dozen cookies depending upon how religious you are about measuring your dough out onto the cookie sheet and how tightly you pack it in.

Every time I make these, my husband says that they are the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever made.  I think he just forgets how good they are in between batches.  (0=

I hope you try these and enjoy them.

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