Photo by fritish
When it comes to comfort-food cravings, chocolate chip cookies float right to the top of my list. Since May 15 is National Chocolate Chip Day, I thought I’d enumerate just a few of the reasons why this ingredient is one of the most beloved.
More than a delicious mix-in, the chocolate chip is an example of a great result from an idea that didn’t quite pan out the way it was envisioned. The story, the way my mother tells it, is that a woman was going to make chocolate cookies, but didn’t have the right chocolate. Thinking outside the box, she chopped up some other chocolate and tossed it in the dough, assuming that the chocolate would melt and disperse itself evenly throughout. Though the intended result wasn’t achieved, a delicious product of ingenuity was born!
Inspired by this story, I’ve used all sorts of alternative sweets in lieu of chips: Cadbury Mini Eggs, hand-chopped Swiss chocolate, M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, and once, candy corn (whose outcome was not as delicious or successful as I had hoped). Since necessity is the mother of all invention, there are now recipes for vegan, gluten-free, and even sugar-free chocolate chip cookies. This way, not even dietary restrictions can keep us all from enjoying them hot from the oven with a glass of milk straight out of the fridge.
The only thing I enjoy as much as eating chocolate chip cookies is baking them. Now that the temperature is starting to climb, I have moved from baking cookies in the oven (which heats up the whole house), to using the toaster oven for those urgent I’m-having-a-craving times. As far as ingredients are concerned, I always use butter and eggs (as opposed to their more-healthful but less-delicious alternatives); I’d rather eat fewer cookies that taste better. I also prefer to grease my baking sheets with butter (as opposed to a nonstick cooking spray), mostly because we always have butter on hand for baking, but also because I don’t like the taste of the cooking spray.
To avoid a tedious and lengthy clean-up process, while the stand mixer is beating the wet mixture “until creamy” and while the eggs are being “beaten well,” I put away the ingredients that have already been used. Once the first sheet of cookies have gone into the oven, I start to clean up the mixing bowls, assisted by anyone who has volunteered for the coveted task of licking the batter off of the beaters. This way, once the cookies are adequately cooled, the kitchen has also been cleaned up and the dishes are done.
What is your favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies?
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