Cookies and butter
I seem to make cookies at least once a week or ever other week. And I always seem to feel comforted by making chocolate chip cookies. Oatmeal raisin are my personal favorite, but I have a never fail chocolate chip cookie recipe that seems to be a big crowd (by crowd I mean work and home) pleaser.
The secret, or the not so hidden secret to cookies, is creaming the butter and sugar. Most recipes will say about 3 minutes-double it. You can never cream enough. The butter and sugar(s) will get light and fluffy, making for a soft and wonderful cookie. Room temp butter-if your recipe calls for it, do it. This goes for your eggs, if your recipe says room temp butter, set the eggs out at the same time. Anything else that is cold, set it out and let it get to room temp. This takes about an hour. This is one of those things you do not want to skimp on. My other advice is to chill your dough-make it and put in the fridge for about an hour, just add 1-2 minutes of cooking time onto it when you make them. And to keep them from getting too crisp, don’t make them too thin, always use a cookie scoop or a spoon for even cookies. And don’t go by the recipe times, always check your cookies or baking a few minutes before. Many times they will be finished, or you will know how much longer you actually need.
My last tip, and this goes with the second part of this post, is butter. Now I use unsalted pretty much all the time. This way you can control the amount of salt that goes into your baking. If you use salted butter, the salt varies, and you might have way too salty cookies, cakes, etc. So if you buy butter in bulk, just freeze the rest of it until you need it. If you don’t have it, no worries, use what you have, but unsalted is always best for baking. In a pinch I will use salted or margarine, just cut back a bit on the salt you use otherwise.
You can never have too many cookies in your life, or too much butter. Go forth, buy butter, bake and enjoy a soft cookie.
Chocolate chip cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees if not chilling your dough. If chilling, wait until about 15 minutes in the fridge, then set your oven for 350.
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ vegetable shortening (I have never used butter on these so I am not sure how they will turn out)
½ tsp vanilla
2/3 cup all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips
¼ cup chopped and toasted pecans (optional)
Cream sugars and shortening for 5-8 minutes or until light and fluffy
Add egg and vanilla. Scrap down sides of mixing bowl
Whisk dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture, stir until just combined
Fold in chocolate chips and pecans if using
Scoop onto greased or parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes
Let cool for five minutes and move to a cooling rack