Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

There’s not much in the baking world that beats a classic chocolate chip cookie. The smell, the taste, the warmth when they come right out of the oven…yum! They’re just so good!

Chocolate chip cookies bring me back to the days of tip-toeing into the kitchen late at night to get my hands on that chocolatey goodness. But inevitably, as I made my way to those prized treats, I’d run into my brother who had embarked on the same exact mission: cookies or bust.

In high school, somehow chocolate chip cookie making became my contribution to the family food supply. I’m not sure how that happened. Maybe my mom just didn’t want to make unhealthy treats for us as often as we wanted them, so I decided to make them anyway (how about that for teenage rebellion?). I’d whip up that buttery, sugary, chocolatey concoction and it would just make me feel…well…all warm and fuzzy inside. After the 35th cookie, the warm fuzzy feelings would turn into sick-to-my-stomach feelings, but that’s besides the point.

Eventually I moved away to college and I’d come home for holidays and summer break. My chocolate chip cookie loving brother would, like any good brother, welcome me home. But that welcome was quickly followed by an almost guilty sounding plea of, “Umm, so when are you baking chocolate chip cookies?”

Now, I must confess – I am not a baker. I’d much rather put a little of this and a little of that in a pot and just keep messing around with it until it turns into something decent. But every once in a while I put aside my free-spirited cooking tactics and take out those measuring cups. Despite my lack of baking skills, these cookies have always stayed in my cooking repertoire. No frills, no fuss…just good cookies.

This recipe still brings me back to my days of coming home from college, baking for my brother, the two of sitting down with a huge glass of milk and a massive plate of cookies (each) and staying up way too late watching Seinfeld reruns. It was just one of those bonding moments that seemed so mundane at the time but now remains such a fond memory.

Trust me, chocolate chip cookies taste better when eaten with family…late at night…with a big glass of milk…watching reruns.

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Betty Crocker’s Cookbook (1972)
Yields about 7 dozen cookies

2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chops

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together shortening, butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla. Then stir in the remaining ingredients. I usually add an additional 1/2 cup of flour for a softer, rounder cookie.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until light brown. Cool slightly and then remove cookies from baking sheet. Pour a big glass of milk to go with your cookies and enjoy!

What kinds of treats bring back fond memories for you?

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