The other day I woke up with the urge to bake; it may have had something to do with the freelance writing piece I was avoiding, or maybe it was because The Guy was home for the day too and he loves cookies. Whatever it was, I had a strong urge to make chocolate chip cookies. After the wonderful success with Christopher Kimball's fudgy brownies I knew I would have to try his classic chocolate chip cookies. I was thrilled to find that this recipe, like the other one, didn't require an electric mixer or any ingredients I didn't already have (we had some Crisco in the cabinet from a while back; we don't use it often, but it stays good for a very long time, so it's good to have). Kimball's notes about the process of creating these cookies mention wanting cookies that puffed up and stayed moist inside while getting crunchy around the edges, and that's exactly what these did. He also wanted a cookie that wasn't so sweet that it sent you running for a cup of milk. For my taste they were still very sweet and went very well with a cold glass of milk, but then that's what a chocolate chip cookie is supposed to taste like.
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie
1/4 cup Crisco
8 tbsp unsalted butter, softened but still firm
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
10 ounces chocolate chips
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Beat the Crisco and butter in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon until pretty smooth but with a few harder pieces (about 1 minute). Add the sugars and stir until well blended. Add the egg, egg white, and vanilla and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the batter and mix together until smooth. Add the chips and fold in.
2. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. For large cookies, place heaping tablespoons of dough on the paper with 1.5 inches between the outer edges of the balls of dough. Shape the dough quickly with your hand so that each spoonful is compact and not too spread out.
3. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned. Rotate pan front to back halfway through baking; do not overcook.
4. Slide parchment paper onto wire racks to cool. Repeat as needed with fresh sheets of parchment paper.
(Note: don't overcook, or they'll be hard as rocks.)
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