This is yet another of those recipes you could make with eyes shut. Simple, yet classic. An old favourite, regardless of how old you are. Crispy on the edges, soft, buttery and chewy in the centre and with white, dark and milk chocolate chips…what’s not to like? Chocolate chip cookies are acceptable at any time of day. Truly. The original recipe actually calls for double the amount below, however I find that provides slighhhhtly too much temptation. They’ll disappear pretty quickly, but that’s not really a bad thing is it? Better than downing half a plate in a sitting – why is it that the regret only hits after you’ve lost count? By all means make a double batch and freeze a bag or two. Just remember that you were warned, when you find yourself stealthily (or so you’d like to think) sneaking a few in the middle of the night.
These chocolate chip cookies take next to no time to prepare…just be sure that your butter is well and truly softened first. Room temperature is a must. When I was younger we always, always used the ancient sunbeam mix-master to prepare the dough, however in recent times I’ve taken a fancy to the good ol’ wooden spoon. There’s something immensely satisfying about working up some decent arm action when creaming the butter and sugar. Therapeutic. I like to think it means I’ve earnt that cookie, or you know, three. Whichever method you use will work a treat – it really boils down to how quickly you want the cookies to go from a bag o’ flour to one crispy, chewy hot mess. Admittedly there may be some cases where you don’t have a choice – these were the first ‘item’ I baked at college. It was three weeks in and I was starting to experience some serious baking withdrawal symptoms. Bad. I promised our college softball team there’d be a big plate of fresh chocolate chip cookies at some point in the near future if we reached a team goal (of which I will not disclose, for the dignity of all members). Facilities in college kitchenettes are, well, sparse. And that’s being kind. It’s testament to this recipe that they still turned out as good as ever (or at least pretty damn close), despite the incredibly ancient, non-fan-forced and heated-most-definitely-only-from-the-bottom-oven. That certifies them as fool proof, wouldn’t you say?
You’re by no means obliged to throw in all three types of chocolate chips. I’m still in habit from a wee child when it was exciting to put in three different colours. And, it meant that when three packets were opened I was allowed to have a chocolate chip from each, rather than just the sole milk one. Some things never change. But childhood traditions aside, go with whatever takes your fancy – and what you have on hand. One thing that’s not an option? Eating one as soon as they’re cool enough to transfer to a wire rack. Crisp, yet warm and soft in the centre with melty pockets of chocolate – if that doesn’t put a huge kiddy grin (and a smear of chocolate or two) on your face, I don’t know what will.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 20 cookies
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
Scant ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
125g unalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup chocolate chips (I used 1/3 milk, 1/3 white & 1/3 dark)
Preheat the oven to 175C. Grease and line two large baking trays.
Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside.
Use an electric mixer or a wooden spoon to beat the butter in a large bowl until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until well incorporated, light and fluffy. Drizzle in the vanilla essence and egg, bit by bit beating well after each addition. Add a teaspoon or so of flour with the egg to prevent the mixture from curdling.
Tip the sifted flour in all at once and beat until combined and no flour remains visible. You should have quite a sticky dough. Stir through the chocolate chips.
Drop tablespoonful’s of the mixture onto the prepared trays, about 3cm apart, and flatten lightly with the palm of your hand. You may wish to dampen your hand with a little cold water to prevent the mixture sticking to it.
Bake for 10 minutes or until just turning golden brown around the edges and still soft to touch. They will appear undercooked but will firm up on cooling.
Set trays on a wire rack and leave to cool for 2 minutes. Then carefully transfer the cookies (they will still be a little fragile at this point) from the pan to the wire rack to cool completely.
Will keep in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 4 days. Also freeze well.
Source: Adapted from Dad’s Holy Recipe Folder – original source unknown.