Load ‘Em Up Chocolate Chip Cookies

Is there anything better than a fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookie loaded with luscious chocolate chips? Okay, better when paired with a tall glass of  ice-cold milk. Or a steaming hot cup of tea. Mmmmmmmmm….

Sometimes I just gotta have a homemade chocolate chip cookie, and thankfully they are easy to whip up. We especially love our cookies with tons of nuts, too, preferably pecans but walnuts will do if that’s all we have on hand.

Here’s my cookie secret: I always take them out of the oven about a minute before the specified bake time. They’ll look a bit pale, but when I wait until they are brown and crunchy, they come out overcooked and dry. Taking them out early ensures a soft, chewy delight.

Below is a recipe I’ve had since sometime in the early 90′s, torn out a New York Times newspaper. I’m puzzled as to how I came across a NY Times paper when I live in the Los Angeles area and don’t have a subscription, but I have vague memories of tearing this out of a newspaper while waiting at some doctor’s office… Who knows? Anyhow, it was a worthwhile steal save.

What I especially love about this recipe are all add-in options. My favorite add-in: peanut butter.

Most of the time, these come out of the oven all thick and chunky, just how a chocolate chip cookie should look. That’s why I continually turn to this recipe for my all-time favorite cookie.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups semisweet and /or milk chocolate chips (about 12 ounces)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy.
  4. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs.  Mix well, about 1 minute.
  5. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough, about 2 inches apart, on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake until cookies are golden around the edges but still soft in centers, 8-10 minutes.  Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheets, 1-2 minutes.  Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Add-Ins  (use one, two, or several )

Nuts

  • Mixing in 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (such as walnuts, pecans, or macadamias) with the chops gives the cookies extra bite.

Cocoa

  • Replace 1 cup flour with unsweetened cocoa powder to make double chocolate-chip cookies.

Espresso

  • Add 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder to dry ingredients; replace 1 cup flour with unsweetened cocoa powder for a mocha flavor.

Shredded Coconut

  • Stirring in 1 ½ cups shredded sweetened coconut with the chips gives the cookies texture and milky sweetness.

Dried Fruit

  • Combine 1 cup chopped dried cherries or other dried fruit with the chips for added chewiness and fragrance.

Ginger

  • For a spiced-up version, mix ½ cup finely chopped candied ginger or up to 1 teaspoon ground ginger to dry ingredients.  You can also try this with ground cinnamon.

Candy Bits

  • Substitute 1 cup chips with chopped chocolate candies, such as malt balls, for a surprise treat.

Oatmeal

  • For hearty cookies, stir in 1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats along with chips.

Peanut Butter

  • Make a chocolate-peanut butter combo by reducing the butter to 1 ½ sticks and mixing in ½ cup smooth peanut butter with sugars.
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