For some reason, I have been out of the cookie baking routine. It must be that summertime was just too busy, the kitchen too hot, and the gardens and back yard too tempting. The last two weeks, though, have brought me back to cookie sheets, dough recipes, and freshening the cookie jars. Last week it was peanut butter cookies ... this week it's a basic chip cookie recipe, BUT... take out the semi-sweets and walnuts. Put in white chocolate chips, chopped dried cherries, and macadamia nuts. These cookies are killer!
I love pretty platters!
I first had these when my daughter, Kate brought the recipe home from Brooklyn. She made them as a special treat for a friend and the moment I tasted them, I was a fan. Dried fruits have since inspired me to play with what goes into different cookie doughs, quick breads, and salads. It's amazing what one little bite can do, huh ?!?
It occurred to me, too, that this recipe is a great one to pass on to any kid headed off to college or boarding school. What kid doesn't need a cookie fix every now and then, when the study crunch gets to be too much? Making an 'under the bed box' up with a few basic kitchen tools and cooking ingredients would be an awesome gift for anyone headed off to college. Those college dorm kitchens aren't the best equipped and it can be pretty frustrating for a kid to get the urge to cook up some homemade comfort and not have the goods! Just a thought, folks, as so many kids are heading(ed) off to school - Parents' Weekend is coming up! I thought of this because my young blogging friend, Max, is always sending me quick emails asking about easy recipes - so I actually started a 'Basics' label just for him. These cookies have been duly labelled - one thing lead to another in my feeble little mind and there you have this rant!
So ... the next question would be what to put in the 'under the bed' box - you know your particular student, so go for it, but I did get the coolest collapsible bowl from a Pampered Chef friend a few years ago and air-cushion cookie sheets, measuring spoons and a turner and wooden spoon for a friend's daughter as she headed out to school. Word has it she is extremely popular with her suitemates... just sayin'.
Back to these basics ...
I love cool cookie jars!
These cookies are a basic chocolate chip cookie dough ... check it out. I use half margarine and half butter and two teaspoons of vanilla. I also try to pay attention to the consistency of the dough after I beat the sugars and butter/margarine. If things look really loose, I up the flour amount just a bit to stiffen the dough. If you look at today's cookies, you will see how flat they are. I really should have added a bit more flour to make for more rise in the cookies ... my bad! They taste great, but they're too flat for my aesthetic. Dang! I must be rusty! I'll just have to practice more over the coming weeks!
In the meantime, here's that basic chocolate chip cookie dough recipe ... like you need it. Just in case, though!
Basic Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough - Add-Ins Up To You!
Preheat oven to 365°F - bake cookies for about 10 minutes
1 stick (8 tbsp.) margarine
1 stick (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter
¾ c. light brown sugar¾ c. white granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
Making the Cookies:
1. Combine the sugars in a deep batter bowl and smash together to break up the brown sugar lumps.
2. Add the vanilla extract and the eggs and beat until smooth.
3. Whisk the baking soda and salt into the flour and add all at once, stirring to make a smooth dough.
4. Fold in you add- ins:
Add-ins – use some of these or be inventive and come up with your own!
¾ c. chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts are all good)
12 oz. bag chocolate chips – your favorites
¾ c. chopped dried fruit – dried cherries, apricots,
Heath Bar bits are killer, too!
5. Place by rounded teaspoonsful on ungreased baking sheets and bake.
6. Remove from the cookie sheets immediately upon removing from the oven and cool on a flat foil-lined surface.
Yield: 2 ½ to 3 dozen cookies