(perforated lines -- you can't resist 'em)

(*how* many calories?)
Today's topic was inspired by Lisa, of Speaking Confidentially.
She asked if I had a cookie recipe.
"Ha!" I said. I did.
I do.
-- Saturday, December 4, 1999 --



12:57 a.m. Hey! I have an idea! Let's bake cookies, shall we?

I have become somewhat famous for a certain cookie that I make around this time of year. It's the humble chocolate-chip cookie -- nothing fancy -- and this recipe is only slightly changed from its home base in the Silver Palate cookbook.

The first one, not the second. A worthy edition to your cookbook library and I think it's ok to reprint my version of it here -- I mean, the WHOLE WORLD has taken my recipes and put them all over the web and sometimes they give me credit and sometimes they don't and am I bitter? Am I complaining?

Have I not found a way to go on with my life in spite of the nefarious thievery of my life's work? Well, not exactly my life's work -- more like my life's housework, but still. It's the principle of the thing. You'd think these people would write to me, link to me, give me some credit here, but noooooooo ...

So I've turned to more humble weapons in my quest for world domination. To whit: these cookies. They are mouth-meltingly delicious, a hug from the inside out. I make a million of them this time of year and hand them out with abandon.

People who eat them have never forgotten them and every year it's more, more, more. So, to make my life easier, here's my version of more, more, more: if more people have this recipe, there will be more time for me to do other things during the holiday season -- like research exercise equipment -- which I'm more than likely to need soon.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Choco-rocko-socko Chips

2 sticks regular salted butter
1 cup light or brown sugar, packed really tight
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
bag o' chips


(Don't argue with me. These ingredients are nonnegotiable. Butter, not margarine; sugar, loads of sugar; and yes, salt.)

I make this whole thing very easy on myself. I take a big bowl, throw in the butter, put it in the microwave for a minute or so, and melt the butter. Let it cool on the counter for a few minutes.

Then, dump in the sugar, eggs, vanilla. You can do it the old way and cream the softened butter with a beater, etc., but why bother? These are cookies, not angel food cake. And if you're a guy or a young girl and you don't know what "cream the butter" means, see below.*

Once you've got the buttery mixture nicely stirred so the sugar's all distributed evenly, measure out the flour by half-cup increments and add it gradually: gently tap in a half-cup of flour, stir, add baking soda and salt, half-cup, stir ... until all the flour is added. You don't have to sift the flour either -- these are cookies, people -- not brioche.

Finally, throw in the chips. At least one entire bag, maybe more.

Take out two spoons -- and use one to scoop a little mixture out and the other to push it off the spoon and onto the cookie sheet. Open a second bag of chips and sprinkle some more into the bowl if you notice a spoonful trying to get out without a chip.

Make 12 little plops, evenly spaced. Might as well be neat. At this point, you're looking for something to like about yourself because after eating 900 of these cookies, you will begin to question your very foundations.

Unless you've got the world's cruddiest cookie sheets, you don't need to grease the sheet. The dough will spread as it cooks. Bake at 325-350 degrees (depending on your oven) and don't let the beauties get too dark. The smell will entrance you and you will be hyper-alert. You can take them out when they're a medium brown and let them firm up and cool for a few minutes before nudging them off the cookie sheet.

Since I don't really like chocolate, I always make some plain ones for myself -- depending on what level of diet I happen to be on. You could, of course, add nuts to the mixture if you are so inclined -- but why?

Additional note:

If you eat any of the dough, you could get salmonella from the raw eggs, but it's worth it. It's one of the best doughs you'll have the pleasure to lick, and I am a connoisseur of raw dough. Gnocchi dough, nice pastry dough rolled up with butter and sugar and cinnamon; Bisquick dough from the shortcake recipe ...

Let me know how they turn out. In January, we're all going on a diet together.

* When a recipe tells you to "cream" butter, what it means is that you must find a way to whip it until it's all smooth and creamy, like ... thick yellow cream.

So, you take it out of the fridge, unwrap it from the paper it comes in, put it in a bowl and either have at it with a wooden spoon, a hand-mixer, a Cuisinart, or a Braun wand blender, depending on the century you live in and your economic status.


Merely press the tree.

(little tree)

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