Can’t bake bread? Be a cookie cooker.

I may not be able to bake bread like Annie’s Grannie, but I can make a mean chocolate chip cookie…and so can you. Here’s the recipe I used for the last batch I made, which were so good (and easy) I wanted to share.Some people might think baking cookies is more difficult than it is. It’s really easy, it’s really inexpensive, and the lucky folks who get to eat them will think you’re the greatest. Depending on which ingredients you use, this batch of cookies will cost anywhere from $2.50 to $6.00. You’ll get about 5-6 dozen, depending on size. Where can you buy a dozen homemade preservative free cookies for $1 a dozen?

Here are a few tips for baking a great cookie:

  • Make sure your butter and eggs are at room temperature. The butter is easier to cream and the eggs will incorporate better
  • If you don’t want super sweet cookies, you can reduce the recommended amount of chocolate chips by as much as half
  • If you don’t want nuts, you don’t have to add them
  • You can use all margarine, a margarine/butter mix or all butter
  • It’s imperative that the cookie batter chills before you bake the cookies, otherwise they flatten out too much and are more hard and crunchy, as opposed to soft and chewy
  • You can form dough into logs by dropping large spoonfuls of dough along a length of plastic wrap and then folding plastic to make a tube – kind of like you see the cookie dough in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store. (I wish I had pretty step-by-step pictures like The Pioneer Woman). Once the dough chills, you can cut sections of the log and place sections on a cookie sheet to bake. I usually cut a section and then cut that section in half. This step is not necessary. You can leave it in a bowl with a lid and use a spoon to scoop out the dough.
  • You can also use an ice cream scoop to scoop dough from the bowl to make uniform cookies – I don’t own one, so I make the logs.
  • Baking cookies at a low temperature insures a chewy cookie
  • Remove cookies from oven when they start to brown on the edge
  • The dough can be frozen and baked later. Just remove from freezer, place on cookie sheet and bake at about 325 for approximately 10 minutes. What I have done in the past is lined a cookie sheet with waxed paper, spread an even layer of dough in the pan, covered with another sheet of waxed paper and stuck it in the freezer. Before it froze solid, I removed the pan from the freezer and cut dough into separate individual pieces. I laid the individual pieces of dough on a sheet of waxed paper making sure the sides of the dough didn’t touch, covered with another piece of waxed paper, repeat, repeat, repeat and put into a Ziplock bag.
  • If your cookies are harder than you like, reduce the cooking temp by a few degrees.
  • To save at clean-up time, you can sift the flour (after measuring) directly into egg/sugar mixture, but make sure you mix the salt and soda with the flour so you don’t have spots with too much salt.
  • Salt can be reduced if you like
  • Can be mixed by hand, but it’s easier with a mixer

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

1 cup butter softened (2 sticks)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (regular white sugar)
3/4 cup brown sugar (packed firmly in measuring cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips (12 ounces- any brand)
1 cup chopped nuts

Cream butter until softened. Gradually add both sugars and vanilla (break up the brown sugar to help avoid lumps), beat until well incorporated. Add eggs one at a time, beat until well incorporated.

In separate bowl, sift flour (after measuring), salt and baking soda together. Slowly add to egg/sugar mixture. Once flour is incorporated, fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Bake at 325 for about 10-15 minutes on a lightly buttered cookie sheet. Remove from oven when edges of cookies start to brown. Leave cookie on baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then remove to wire cooking rack to finish cooling. Enjoy.

Happy Gardening Cooking

Advertisements

15 Comments

  1. engineeredgarden said,

    December 2, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Now, I like recipes like this one – that use normal, everyday ingredients. Most recipes I see for things have some kind of exotic ingredient that us rednecks ain’t even heard of before.LOL. Thanks for sharing.

    EG

  2. gardengoodies said,

    December 2, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    These really are easy to make, but I can’t make them too often or else I won’t be able to fit through the door.

  3. December 2, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    You just had to do it, didn’t you? I really didn’t need to finish off the plate of chocolate chip cookies that I baked for Monday’s desert run, but after I read your blog I couldn’t control myself 😦

    Oh, mine were home baked, but not home made. I went to Costco last week and bought a tub of Nestle Toll House dough! I put a piece of duct tape over the list of ingredients and pretend they’re good for me.

  4. gardengoodies said,

    December 3, 2008 at 3:02 am

    Annie, you scared me there for a minute. I’m like uh-oh, what did I do? LOL

    I’m still working on making bread that actually tastes good. I think out of the last six or seven attempts, the only thing that was good was the cinnamon roll recipe from The Pioneer Woman. I’ll get there…eventually.

  5. Melissa said,

    December 4, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Cheryl,
    It sounds like you are quite the little baker, Have you been baking long? Your cookies look delicious and the recipe seems quite simple. How long did it take to do? I am thinking of making some for christmas and am trying to estimate as to how long a dozen batch’s might take me. Oh well if it takes to long I can ask my mother in law to assist but there in again I am not trying to be in the kitchen with her to long lol 🙂

  6. Melissa said,

    December 4, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Cheryl,
    I just noticed my post says I posted this response at 9:38 and it is 8:39.
    Just thought I would let you know.

  7. gardengoodies said,

    December 5, 2008 at 12:23 am

    Melissa-I do like to bake, but I don’t like to tempt myself with too many sweets laying around. Go ahead and bake cookies with your mother-in-law. Sounds like a great way for the two of you to bond.

    I don’t know what the deal is with the time stamp.

    Hey. Don’t you have a special day tomorrow?

  8. Bettyinga said,

    December 5, 2008 at 8:47 am

    This recipe is gonna get me in trouble cause I know I can’t eat just one!!! I am not a great baker either but Granny’s bread recipe was incredible. Give her recipe a try… I may never buy bread from the store again. It’s that good!
    Thanks for sharing your cookie recipe!

  9. gardengoodies said,

    December 5, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Bettyinga-Which recipe? She has so many.

  10. Bettyinga said,

    December 6, 2008 at 7:57 am

    The home style white bread that she posted on November 29th. She uses a food processor to make it and it is so easy. I think you will be happy with it. I used an electric knife to slice it and it looks and tastes like I bought it at a bakery. No kidding.

  11. gardengoodies said,

    December 6, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Thanks, Betty. I remember this one now. I”ve been looking at so many recipes lately that I’m forgetting what’s what. I’m going to give it a try this weekend.

  12. Bettyinga said,

    December 7, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Let me know what you think about it!

  13. gardengoodies said,

    December 8, 2008 at 12:58 am

    Bettyinga-I tried the recipe today. I had to replace the powdered milk by substituting milk for the water, but it came out pretty good. I’ll keep this as my basic bread recipe. Next I’ll try something with wheat or oats.

    I tried the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon roll too. The first time it was great, the second time NOT!

    I’d better find another winter hobby, though, or else I really won’t be able to get out of the door.

  14. Bettyinga said,

    December 8, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Cherylm – I didn’t have powdered milk either so I used coffee creamer instead. I am making a loaf every day now but I want to try mixing it with whole wheat and see how that works. I am also a fan of Pioneer Woman’ blog!

  15. gardengoodies said,

    December 8, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    Bettyinga-I had coffee creamer, but it never occurred to me to use it as a substitute. I’ll remember that for next time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: