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The best ever chocolate chip cookies

chocolate chip cookies shorteningchocolate chip cookies butter

PHOTO A                   PHOTO B

Cookies made with shortening    Cookies made with butter

My Chocolate Chip Cookies are always a hit, and never last very long. Although they can be made using vanilla extract, it is the pure vanilla bean that sets these babies apart from the crowd. Really, I'm not kidding. I don't usually like chocolate chip cookies, but when you put vanilla bean in them I want to EAT THEM ALL!

In addition to the vanilla extract vs. bean change, you can also make this recipe using butter flavoured vegetable shortening (photo A) or butter (photo B). As you can see, there is a big difference between cookies made using shortening versus butter. Shortening creates lighter fluffier cookies with height. Chocolate chips tend to float on the top of the cookie and are easily visible on the surface. Butter gives a darker, richer, chewier cookie. Chocolate chips sink to the bottom of the cookie and cannot be easily identified. This is only a problem if you put these babies beside similar cookies containing other flavoured chips or raisins. I personally use shortening as I like the lighter, thicker cookie. But take your pick! Either way the cookies are divine!


Ingredients

  • 2.5c (625 mL) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1.5c (325 mL) butter or butter flavoured shortening
  • 4 tbsp (60 mL) milk or soy milk
  • 2 large egg
  • 10 grade A vanilla beans, split -- OR--
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) fine sea salt*
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 3.5 c (875 mL) all purpose flour
  • 3 c (750 mL) milk-chocolate chips**^

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C)
  2. Cream sugar and butter/shortening together at a low speed, when light and creamy add vanilla, eggs and milk/soy milk. Blend until uniform.
  3. Mix together salt, baking soda and flour. Mix into liquid mixture until just blended. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Drop by the tablespoon full onto cool ungreased cookie sheets, or sheets lined with parchment paper. Space about 1.5 inches (4 cm) apart.
  5. Bake 8 minutes for chewy cookies (pictured above) or 12 minutes for crispy cookies.
  6. Let stand on cookie sheet 1-2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
  7. Let cool completely before storing for up to 3 days at room temperature or 3 months in the freezer.
Notes *may be omitted if using salted butter ** semi-sweet, dark chocolate white chocolate, and butterscotch chips can also be used in this recipe. This recipe has not be tested using candy coated chocolate. ^ Extra chocolate chips (and other additions, such as pecans, walnuts etc.) and can be added as long as the total amount of additions does exceed 4 cups. Cookies do not hold together if too many extra ingredients are added.
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