Rivaling Recipes: Chocolate Chip Cookies

I just got back from a run in the snow. It proved to be quite a challenge, and my typical pace was forced to retard to what my dad fondly refers to as a "pitter-patter run". I know I wasn't able to get a great workout, but there's nothing quite like breathing in the fresh (and quite frigid) air to wake you up. And receiving questioning looks from bundled up neighbors shoveling their walkway is quite priceless as well.
I don't have a photo of me running in snow, but here's my sister Karrin!
Here's some of my favorite cold-weather running buddies, although without snow in this photo. (Sisters Karrin and Kirsten, and dad, last Tday around Lake Harriet). 

And the best part of all, when I got home I was inspired to write a blog post about cookies!
(well, although it is the season, I wasn't actually thinking about Christmas cookies. I know I should be craving gingerbread men and snowballs, but tonight I'm feeling another type of cookie!)

Wondering how cookies came to mind while dodging snow banks and avoiding the ice? You see, I have a strange gift: I see food in the landscape. Yup, I told you it was strange. But some of my family and friends can attest to the fact that I'll comment on the covered hay bales that resemble mozzarella balls as we drive down the road;

the smooth, wind-whipped coating to a snow-covered field that simply screams meringue pie (picture this photo at sunset when the snow picks up a yellow tint);

or the mashed potatoes tracks churned up under the tires of a truck (can't you just see where a hand mixer went to work making them all fluffy? Mmm, grab some butter!);

or the toasted-wheat topping to a field of snow (I'm sensing a snow-theme here) that is reminiscent of something edible, but I haven't quite figure out what ...

But my favorite is the slightly churned chunks of snow that are just starting to show flecks of dirt, that without fail, always brings to mind chocolate chip cookie dough. What can I say, I guess I like to eat!

Take a look outside (or the next time it snows) and I'm sure you'll start to get a cookie craving too! (edges of roadways are usually a good place to look).

And to accommodate your next craving I'll leave you prepared with two new recipes to try out! For the last few years we've been devoted to my aunt's The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe. It really is simply perfect: light and soft, will not harden (thanks to a ton of butter!), with a perfect hint of vanilla.

But in my last Whole Living Magazine (see how we scored a year's subscription for free!) I was tempted to test out another recipe. This one beckoned to me with its whole wheat flour, craggy figure, and big chunks of chocolate. And boy did it live up to my expectation!

These are two very different cookies that are both worth dying for trying! Test them out for yourself and let me know which one wins your heart! I know they both won me over : )

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie
From Sonia Sykora, as my sisters and I affectionately referred to as the Chocolate-Chocolate-Chip Lady in our younger days.

1 cup cold butter cut into chunks
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt (optional)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla (sometimes I do 2!)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 bag semisweet chocolate baking chips
(optional 2 cups walnuts, chopped)

Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and salt until creamy and no butter flecks remain. Beat in eggs and vanilla until blended. Add flour and baking soda and beat until blended. With a spoon, stir in chocolate chips (and walnuts, if desired).

Roll into balls (approx 1 1/2 inch-diameter, or 2 1/2 Tablespoons). You are supposed to chill the balls for several hours before baking -- we can never wait that long.

Place on cookie sheet -- flaten and wait about 30 minutes until room temp -- of if you skipped the chilling part like we do you're ready to bake!

400 degrees. 8-10 minutes. Golden brown all around the edges but center is still pale. Ensuring you don't over bake is crucial to making the perfect cookie. You may not think they are done, but they firm up when the cool.

Whole-Wheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies
From Whole Living Magazine, December 2010, p. 111
(although I simplified the directions)

3 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt

8 oz. (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup brown sugar (they suggest dark, but I used light)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped into 1/4 and 1/2 inch pieces (I used Ghirardelli. I believe the better the chocolate, the better the cookies)

Mix dry ingredients into large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix butter and sugars until just blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is combined. Mix in vanilla. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and blend on low until just combined. Add chocolate and mix on low until evenly combined.
The directions recommend finishing your mixing outside of the bowl on a work surface with your hands, but I think as long as you don't overmix it, you can keep everything in the bowl. Scoop mounds of dough (about 3 Tab) onto baking sheet, with 3 inches between them, about 6/sheet. Bake at 350 for 16-20 minutes. They recommend rotating sheets halfway through, but I haven't done that. Remove from tray as soon as you can to cool, since the chocolate chunks might stick to the cookie sheet. Another option to avoid this is placing a sheet of parchment paper underneath the cookies before baking. Cookies are best eaten warm from the oven or later that same day. They will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

I like to make the dough and freeze it in balls in little baggies so I can pop a couple in the oven whenever I have a hankering!

My friend Jenna, over at Through Mommy Goggles, has yet another wonderful chocolate chip cookie recipe I've been meaning to try -- this one featuring oatmeal! Head on over there if you haven't yet gotten your fill of chocolate chip cookies!

All photos mine, except for the covered hay bales, taken from here

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I best get baking! Thanks for the post. And I'll be sure to look for the cookie dough in the snow next time I'm driving in snow. No snow in NJ yet!


Thanks for joining in the conversation!

Follow @ Instagram

Back to Top