Cookies are coming…

to a few lucky ladies in the mail!

I was lucky enough to have a mom who cooked when I was growing up, and who introduced me to cooking and taught me a whole lot.  One of my earliest memories cooking with her was making chocolate chip cookies.  Sometimes she would accidentally ‘spill’ the brown sugar as she measured it, and then I would happily lick my little fingers, dab it up, and eat it.  This may or may not be the reason that I almost always end up with a little bit of a belly ache when I bake today from too much tasting, but that’s another story.

I’ve had this recipe memorized since I was about 12, when  I officially became the chocolate chip cookie maker of the family.  And I still believe that chocolate chip cookies are a little bit magical – they can brighten a day, say thank you, or I love you.  So this week I whipped up a double batch, and turned half in to white chocolate and cranberry cookies, and mailed them to a couple of special ladies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 sticks butter softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 bag chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar.  Add vanilla and mix well. I usually stop here for a taste or 4.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Set the wet ingredients aside.  In another bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the flour is completely incorporated.  Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Place mounds of dough on a cookie sheet (roughly 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie), and bake in a 375 degree oven for 12 minutes, until golden on top.

White Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Cookies
Follow the recipe above, except use 1 bag of white chocolate chips instead of the traditional semi-sweet chocolate.  Swap out the 1 cup of walnuts for 1 cup of dried cranberries, coarsely chopped.

I made I sheet of each kind of cookie (with 16 cookies per sheet) and then froze the rest of the dough for later.  I love having cookie dough in the freezer, because you just let it thaw for about 20 minutes and then bake.  It’s great for last minute company, or when you get hit with a sweet tooth.  I wrap it in plastic wrap and then tin foil, and then label the tin foil with a sharpie.

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