Oreos might be up there on the list, but I would bet that American’s No. 1 favorite cookie is a homemade chocolate chip cookie. In our family, Laurel, my daughter-in-law, and my granddaughter, Clara, don’t like nuts in theirs, so when I make them I have to make a double batch, nuts in one, no-nuts in the other. When I was baking these I began to wonder just how many chocolate chip cookies I have made in my years at the stove. Since I began cooking when I was about 5 and I have more than one foot into those “golden” years, I would guess it must be up in the thousands, or even hundreds of thousands. And, you know what, I still lick the raw dough off the beaters and I still test the first batch out of the oven. I don’t think that my basic recipe has changed much over the years except I now use bittersweet chocolate chips.
When friends were visiting for the weekend, the only request I got was “would you please make some chocolate chip cookies” so, being a good hostess, that is exactly what I did to welcome them.
Makes about 2 dozen
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
As many bittersweet chocolate bits as you like, I generally use about 3 cups
1½ cups to 2 cups toasted pecans or walnuts
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
If you don’t have nonstick cookie sheets, lightly coat 2 sheets with nonstick spray or cover them with parchment paper or reusable silicon pan liners. Set aside.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder together. Set aside.
Combine the butter with the dark and granulated sugar in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat on medium until light and slightly airy. Beat in the vanilla, followed by the eggs. When well-blended, add the flour mixture, a bit at a time, beating to blend.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate bits and nuts until evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Using a tablespoon, drop the dough onto the prepared pans by the heaping spoonful, leaving about 2-inches between each one.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 12 minutes or until slightly crisp around the edges, golden on top, and still a bit soft in the center. Remove from the oven and let rest on the pan for 3 minutes.
Using a spatula, transfer to wire racks to cool, but test one hot, runny chocolate cookie to make sure you should keep baking the remainder.