Cookies are nostalgic.
Growing up, we’ve watched in envious awe as the Cookie Monster has demolished piles of them in a mad frenzy on Sesame Street. They’ve been branded and marketed as the ideal accompaniment for cold milk. As children, we set them out for Santa on Christmas Eve.
On the third episode in the seventh season of the old television show Friends, Monica (Courteney Cox) requests Phoebe’s (Lisa Kudrow) grandmother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe. Like most family recipes, it’s a prized secret. She wants it as an engagement gift, having aspirations of being the mom who bakes the very best cookies for future children.
When Phoebe goes to hand over the recipe, she discovers it was lost in a fire and the only remnant of the recipe is a single cookie. Throughout the rest of the episode Monica bakes countless batches of cookies, attempting to replicate the original. In the end, they discover the recipe – on the back of a bag of NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® chocolate chips.
My own mom uses the trusty Toll-House standby, even though her signature is the snickerdoodle. After seeing this episode, I too, wanted to be the mom who makes the very best chocolate chip cookies. (And developed an intense cookie craving.)
I like my cookies tender in the middle, slightly crispy on the edges and a medium thickness. Using this recipe I’ve made monstrously large and averaged sized cookies, just vary the baking time and keep a close eye on the oven. No matter how big or small, follow these three tips for cookie perfection:
- Chill cookie dough before baking, approximately 30 minutes
- Gently roll the dough into balls
- Do not over bake the cookies, take the sheet out of the oven when the dough has just set and is firm in the middle.
Beware, there is nothing more inciting than the aroma of warm cookies baking in the oven. Your inner monster might rear it’s hungry head. Luckily, these cookies are kid, monster and Santa approved.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Note: Occasionally, I will replace some of the white all-purpose flour with wheat flour. I feel like this makes them a little bit healthier, therefore I can eat more cookies.
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. all-purpose white flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
optional: 1/2 c. walnuts or pecans, chopped
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and both kinds of sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs and vanilla, beat until creamy. Slowly add in the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips (and nuts if you so choose).
Stick the bowl of dough in the refrigerator, chill for 30 minutes or so.
Once chilled, form cookies by scooping out heaping spoonfuls of dough and gently roll them into balls between your hands. Drop cookies on a cookie sheet at least two inches apart. For smaller cookies, use heaping tablespoons of dough and bake for 10-12 minutes. For larger cookies, use a 1/4 c. of dough and bake 15-20 minutes.
Take the cookie sheet out of the oven once they start turning golden brown. If they are a tiny bit undercooked it’s okay, leave them on the sheet for at least five minutes. (They will continue cooking.) Then, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.
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