Fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies are like a hug for most folks. They certainly are for me. Some of my favorite memories are of making these cookies with my daughters, and I'll bet a lot of families have the same cooking-baking memories. Gather your ingredients, grab a glass of milk and get ready to take your taste buds on a trip down memory lane with this recipe for Brick House on Main's Chocolate Chip Cookies.
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened (Do NOT use any kind of "spread". They won't work.)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 T honey - helps the cookies stay chewy. For a crispy cookie, omit honey & increase granulated sugar to 1/2 cup.
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. espresso powder or Starbucks VIA (intensifies the flavor of the chocolate chips)
The Tasty Bits: 1/2 cup (or more) of chocolate chips or any other flavor of chip. 1/2 cup of anything else you like: chopped walnuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, almonds or pecans*; Craisins or raisins or other dried fruit; shredded coconut.
Preheat oven to 375°.
In mixing bowl or bowl of stand mixer, add butter, both sugars and honey. Beat for several minutes until butter is light and creamy and the sugars are well incorporated.
You may mix this completely by hand if you don't have an electric mixer. This batch was made completely by hand.
Add egg and vanilla, then mix for another minute until well blended.
Sift dry ingredients into a separate bowl. If you don't have a sifter, use a wire whisk or a fork to mix everything. You want the baking soda, baking powder & salt to be well distributed into the flour.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and use a spoon or spatula to stir until well blended. If using a mixer, beat on low for about a minute or two until flour is all incorporated into the mixture. You may want to add the dry ingredients a bit at a time, so you don't have an eruption of flour all over the counter when the mixer blades hit it. Trust me. Voice of experience here. It's only funny when it happens to other people.
Once the dough is mixed, it's time to add the goodies. Use your imagination. What do you like?
Mix just until the goodies are well distributed, then scoop heaping teaspoons of dough onto greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Leave at least 2" between cookies. They will spread out as they bake.
Bake at 375° for 7-9 minutes, or until golden brown. If you like a crisp cookie, bake for another minute or two. Makes 3-4 dozen. I like fresh cookies, so I don't bake all of them at once. This dough keeps well in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 2 months . If freezing, shape dough into balls & freeze on a cookie sheet. Then pop the frozen cookies into an airtight container & store in the freezer until ready to use. When ready to bake, pull out as many as you need, allow to defrost on cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes, then bake as usual.
*Unsalted nuts, please. Raw (unroasted) nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc.) are much better if you toast them before adding them to the dough. Preheat oven to 375°, spread nuts out on a cookie sheet & bake for 6-8 minutes, stirring them at least once during baking time. Allow to cool before adding to the dough. Do not walk away from the oven during cooking time. There's a fine line between lovely, perfectly toasted nuts and the bitter, charred remains of nuts. I like to toast an entire bag of nuts at a time. Once they're cool, they will stay crisp for months in an airtight container or in the freezer.