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Step aside apple pie, cookies sparkle now page 2
Starting from scratch

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PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY EDEL TRIPP/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 7/2/2008

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One recipe with a soft, brown-sugar dough and three different kinds of chocolate chips got a range of comments, including, "nice and gooey," "too gooey" and "I like the gooeyness."

A flat, crispy cookie drew one taster to say, "My favorite. Love the crunchy, thin kind," and another to say, "Too thin. Don't like the crispy kind."

It seems our tastes for what might be the national cookie are as diverse as our views on politics and "American Idol."

Our newsroom seems to be full of thin-cookie-lovers. My co-workers overwhelmingly loved King George resident Shirley Braden's recipe for Brown Sugar Chocolate-Chip Cookies.

But every variety was somebody's favorite.

Spotsylvania resident Margaret Mosher wins the prize for packing the most chocolate into one cookie. Her recipe calls for two to three bags of assorted chips. She's also the cook who suggests adding a splash of Amaretto into the batter with the vanilla.

"I say the real reason for a chocolate-chip cookie is to eat the chocolate chips, not the cookie part!" Mosher wrote.

Me? I'm into the cookie part. My favorite recipe is a bit nontraditional. It comes from "Mama Dip's Kitchen," a cookbook by Mildred Council, aka Mama Dip, one of the best Southern chefs in Chapel Hill, N.C., where I went to school.

Mama Dip adds cocoa powder and pecans to her dough. I love it.

Below, you'll find the four reader recipes I tried. It was tough to choose just a few to make, but if I'd made them all I would have ingested far more raw cookie dough than is healthy.

The four chosen represent very different textures, colors and flavors.

If you'd like to look at all of the recipes submitted, visit fredericksburg.com.

Emily Battle: 540/374-5413
Email: ebattle@freelancestar.com


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EASY, EASY, EASY CHOCOLATE- CHIP COOKIES

Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 8 to 10 minutes Makes about 24 cookies

1 box cake mix of your choosing (we used Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Classic Yellow) cup butter or margarine, softened 2 eggs1 cup chocolate morsels

Procedure: Mix all ingredients together. Drop on cookie sheet in rough tablespoonfuls. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Recipe from: Falmouth resident Wilma Comuntzis

CHOCOLATE CHIP MELT-AWAYS

Prep time: 2O minutes Cook time: 10 to 12 minutes Makes 8 dozen cookies

1 cup butter, softened 1 cup vegetable oil 1 cup sugar 1 cup sifted powdered sugar2 eggs 4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon cream of tartar 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 12-oz. package semisweet chocolate morsels 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans Additional sugar for rolling cookies

Procedure: Combine first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Beat until smooth. Combine flour, soda, cream of tartar and salt. Add to butter mixture; beat until smooth. Stir in vanilla and chocolate morsels. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. Recipe from: King George resident Marie Conner, who found it in Southern Living magazine years ago.

CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES

Prep time: 2O minutes Cook time: 10 to 12 minutes Makes roughly 8 dozen cookies

4 sticks butter, still cold and cut into 1-inch pieces1 cups sugar 2 cups brown sugar1 tablespoon vanilla 3 large eggs 1 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoons baking soda 6 cups all-purpose flour 10 ounces semisweet chocolate chips 10 ounces milk chocolate chips 10 ounces white chocolate chips1 cups favorite nuts, coarsely chopped Cook's note: The author recommends toasting the nuts for 5 minutes at 350 degrees to bring out their flavor.

Procedure: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Put butter in a large mixing bowl and add sugars. Cream on high speed until butter and sugars are fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add to the batter, mixing just until the flour is incorporated. Do not over-mix. Add all the chips and nuts and mix by hand until evenly distributed. Use an ice cream scoop to measure the cookie dough or use a heaping tablespoonful, about the size of a golf ball. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone-coated mat and bake for 10 to 12 minutes for a soft cookie, or 15 minutes for a crisp cookie. Recipe from: A cooking teacher and friend of Stafford resident Verla Monge

BROWN SUGAR CHOCOLATE-CHIP COOKIES

Prep time: about 20 minutes Cook time: 8 to 10 minutes Makes around 3 dozen

2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda teaspoon salt1 cup unsalted butter, softened1 cups firmly packed light brown sugar cup granulated sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract cup semisweet chocolate chips Cook's note: The author leads the King George Celiac and Gluten Intolerance Group. To make these cookies gluten-free, she said, replace the flour with 1 cups finely ground white rice flour, cup cornstarch and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum.

Procedure: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper. Beat butter until smooth. Stir in brown sugar and granulated sugar until well combined and smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla until fluffy. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture slowly until well-combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop two tablespoons of dough for each cookie onto cookie sheet 2 inches apart. The spacing is important, because these spread a lot.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes until set. Let set further on baking sheet for a minute or so after removing from the oven.

Recipe from: King George resident Shirley Braden found this in a magazine years ago. She said she recently discovered that the original author is Alexis Stewart, daughter of Martha Stewart.

Here are some bonus recipes:

  • Minty Flavored Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Secret Ingredient Cookies

  • Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • The Best Chocolate-Chip Cookie Recipe