I know a lot of moms who like to make healthy treats. Think muffins with hidden vegetables or mashed chick peas, or cookies sweetened with applesauce. I can see why you would do this, and I respect their efforts to make snack time healthier. I have to confess, though, that I am not one of those moms. Grating carrots or adding tofu on the sly just sounds like a lot of work to me, and thankfully my children will generally eat fruits and veggies and cheese and so on without any subterfuge. If that weren’t the case, I’d be keeping zucchini in my freezer, too, I’m sure.
When I bake I don’t make any particular gestures towards healthy eating. I make treats, which are understood to be such. These are ‘sometimes foods’, and our favourite sometimes food is chocolate chip cookies. I have made these so many times I have long since given up using a recipe, or for that matter much in the way of measuring cups. I can whip up my chocolate chip cookie recipe by feel wearing a blindfold, more or less.
I think the secret to delicious chocolate chip cookies is not to overthink them. Use few ingredients and don’t get too creative. The perfect chocolate chip cookie is not an artistic creation, it is the simple stuff of childhood, and it is served warm. Or, if you’re like me, eaten in batter form, raw eggs and all.
It is a rare occasion when I make cookies without at least one little helper. Although they’re really not any help at all, truth be told, and I spend more time trying to keep them from eating butter like it’s a snack food than we spend in happy bonding moments. I’m sure I was the same way when I was a kid, though, and I remember baking fondly. So cookie creation becomes a family activity, and it drags on and leaves me more than a little frazzled.
The recipe here is based loosely on a recipe off of a bag of chocolate chips. It has been sufficiently modified by me that I feel comfortable calling it my own creation, although it’s hardly original in any way, shape or form. I’ve also created a gluten-free option, which is really very yummy.
Amber’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
* Gluten-free option
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups yellow or cane sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour – OR – 2 cups gluten-free flour blend + 1 tsp guar or xantham gum
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet)
Making the cookies:
Cream together the butter and sugar, and then add the eggs and vanilla. Beat together until smooth. Add the baking soda and mix well, then add the flour and mix well. Sometimes it can be hard to mix in the flour, and when this happens I use my (clean!) hands. Because, let’s be honest, I am eating generous amounts of the batter anyway, and your hands are better at mixing than a wooden spoon could ever be. Finally, add the chocolate chips and mix one last time.
Drop the batter in balls on the cookie sheet. I like to bake with parchment paper to keep the cookies from sticking, but you can also bake them on an ungreased cookie sheet and they should be fine. I use my hands for this step, too. I’ve found it’s faster just to grab a big hunk of dough and break off small pieces than to try to scoop with a spoon. Make the cookies as large or small as you like, there is no right or wrong here within reason. Bake at 375 F for about 10 minutes.
If you have not made yourself sick eating cookie dough, then now is the time to make yourself sick eating warm cookies. Leave the rest on a cooling rack to, you know, cool. And, if your child likes to ‘help’ like mine, you might want to get out the dustbuster.
Happy cookie making!