Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bake Sale Magic

For years now, i have struggled with making the "perfect" chocolate chip cookie. Once in a great while, they'd come out just right.

"Just right" to me means a lot of things combined. I don't want cookies that are too dark. My old oven was notorious for uneven baking. Maybe because it was a piece of crap. I want my cookies to have just the right shape across the top. I don't want everything except the chips or nuts to be flat because they spread too much. I would even refrigerate my dough and still get them. I also don't want my cookies to be too cakey. I want just the right amount of chew, substance, and moistness. This is a very difficult combination for me to get.

You know how Soft Batch™ cookies look so perfect? Well, i wanted to get something close to that, visually, but without all the corn syrup and preservatives.

In fact, baking chocolate chip cookies has become such a frustrating endeavor for me, that i had almost given up.

My son came home earlier in the week and said his Art Club was having a bake sale this weekend, and he'd like to contribute. He asked if he could borrow my baking stuff. I asked him if he even thought he could bake. He said "Well, i thought i'd borrow you, too. You're part of the baking supplies! I can't do this on my own!"

Isn't he cute how he "asks" me for things? Teenagers are so much fun.

I thought all week about what i could bake. I thought about shortbread, but when i think bake sale, i always think about things with chocolate. I just so happened to have several bags of chocolate chip varieties in my freezer. I didn't quite bake as much through the holidays as i expected. He had already asked about Heath bar cookies. So i thought i would give chocolate chip cookies a whirl again and if i had to be up all night with a backup plan, so be it.

Wouldn't you know it... my cookies came out PERFECT. Of course, since i don't get to eat them, they would be. That's how the universe works.

I made Heath Bar Chocolate Chip Cookies for my first batch, and the second bath were what i will just call Chocolate Chip Combo Cookies. I added both white and semi-sweet chips into them.

Now for pictures. So you can drool.

Heath Bar Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Chocolate Chip Combo Cookies!

All packaged and ready for the bake sale!

Now, for the recipe.

I did adapt the recipe for chocolate chip cookies from my Better Homes & Gardens cook book.

This is not my base recipe. I didn't invent it. I just tweaked it. I'll write the recipe out as written in the book, but add my 2 cents in parenthesis.

1/2 butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening or veg. oil (i adapted this to use 1/2 cup applesauce instead)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

The recipe calls for 1 12-ounce package of chocolate chips and 1 1/2 cups chopped and toasted (optional) nuts. But i think that's a lot. And i didn't want nuts. So i added approximately:

For the Heath cookies i added:
1/2 bag (or about 3/4 cup) of Heath Bits
1/2 - 3/4 bag of chocolate chips (i had a partial bag and i just dumped it all in)

For the Chocolate Chip Combos i added:
1/2 - 3/4 bag of chocolate chips
Approximately 1/2 bag of white baking chips

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and shortening (applesauce for me) with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat until mixture is combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour. Stir in chocolate chips and, if desired nuts. (I beat in everything with my stand mixer. Best small kitchen appliance ever.)

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons (i used a small sized ice cream scoop which i read estimates about 2 Tablespoons but i didn't fill it all the way) 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. (I advise against using ungreased cookie sheets. I prefer to line all my cookie pans with parchment paper. It will save you mega amounts of frustration. Seriously.) Bake for 8 or 9 minutes or until the edges are light brown (i took mine promptly out at 8 minutes but ovens vary). Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

We taste tested them (of course) and my husband was over the moon, my daughters were begging for another, and my son will probably buy some of our own cookies at the bake sale. I have to admit, i was rather impressed with them myself.

I think i will make a whole new batch of the Heath cookies today. Not that i need them. But i want them.


  1. Ooh, perfect chocolate chip cookies...yum! I must try your recipe as I've never perfected the perfect cookie.

    1. I hope it works for you too! Knowing you're one of my only followers so far, i should convert my recipes into metric as well. =)