8 October 2007
Gooey, Homemade, Chocolate Chip Cookies for My Family
One of my family’s favorite treats is homemade, chocolate chip cookies. From the smell of the kitchen to the gooey, hot cookies coming out of the oven, making chocolate chip cookies makes me a hero in my home. As long as there is a gallon of milk in the fridge to go along with this yummy treat, my family is ready for chocolate chip cookies anytime. Oftentimes, my mother and I make the cookies together to enjoy some conversation and time while making a delicious treat. Chocolate chip cookies not only bring my mother and me together, but they provide us with a delightful treat, and they allow us to share them with our entire family once we have our finished product.
Usually my mom and I prepare in advance. We make sure we have enough ingredients between the two of us, and we make a list of missing ingredients to pick up from the grocery store. My mom usually comes to my house to bake. On her way, she stops at the store and brings the needed ingredients as well as the ingredients she had at her own house.
For chocolate chip cookies, one of the many different types of cookies that we bake, we use the popular Toll House cookie recipe found on the back of the bag of chocolate chips. We have found through the years that this recipe is our family’s favorite. Therefore, the most important ingredient is the Toll House chocolate chips! This particular recipe is based on the twelve ounce package that we often use. Depending on our final goal, we may use larger bags of chips, following the directions on the back, or we may double or triple the amount on the back of the twelve ounce bag. For this particular process, the twelve ounce bag recipe is our guideline.
When I know my mom is on the way, I preheat the oven to 350 degrees. The instructions say 375 degrees, but after lots of experience, we know that my oven works better with less heat and more time. Once my mom arrives at my house, we find all of the ingredients and put them on the table. We also make sure to have bowls for mixing, an electric mixer, one or two spatulas, and two spoons for scooping the dough onto the baking sheet. We also use two baking sheets at a time in the oven, so we have four overall, two for prepping while the other two sheets are in the oven. Once the preparations are set, we begin combining the ingredients to make our final product.
First we take a small bowl and combine two and a quarter cups flour, one teaspoon baking soda, and one teaspoon salt. Then, in a separate, larger bowl, we combine two sticks of softened butter, three quarters of a cup of granulated sugar, three quarters of a cup of packed brown sugar, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. Next we take the electric mixer and beat the butter, sugars, and vanilla, slowly adding two large eggs, one at a time. At this point, we take our original, dry mixture and gradually beat it into the wet mixture. Finally, we stir in the quintessential ingredient, the chocolate chips.
We next take our concoction and use spoons to scoop it from the bowl and place rounded drops of cookie dough on the baking sheets. We put twelve spoonfuls of dough on each baking sheet, baking twenty-four cookies at one time. Next we put them in our preheated oven, and we set the timer for ten minutes. Again, the recipe says nine to eleven minutes, but from our extensive experience with my oven, we have learned that ten minutes works the best. While the cookies are baking, we then prepare the two other cookie sheets by placing twelve spoonfuls of cookie dough on each pan. When the timer goes off, we pull the cookie sheets with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies out of the oven, and then we place the two other sheets of cookie dough into the oven. We again set the timer for ten minutes.
While the next batch is baking, we allow the just-baked batch to cool on the sheets for a minute or two. We then use a spatula to loosen the cookies from the baking sheet, and then we place the cookies on my cutting board to cool for about seven to eight minutes. We then clean off the two baking sheets that we had already used. Once they are clean, we put more cookie dough on the sheets to make another twenty-four cookies. As it is approaching the time limit for the cookies in the oven, we take the cookies on the cutting board and place them into Rubbermaid containers for later serving. We repeat this process until we run out of cookie dough.
Although we are not quite finished, once the first batch has cooled, we are tempted to try-out our creation. Both my mother and I feel that a quality assurance check is quite necessary on each batch that comes from the oven, often resulting in a stomach ache by the end of the baking session. We relish the first taste of our gooey, delightful treat of homemade, chocolate chip cookies. They are still warm from the oven, and they simply melt in our mouths. We know we have to save the majority to share with the rest of our family, but we enjoy our tasty treat as a reward for our baking endeavors.
When my husband comes home and my father stops by, we all share some wonderful cookies together, usually accompanied by a tall glass of cold, two percent milk. Both my husband and my father are cookie monsters, and they thoroughly enjoy the treat they are devouring. Our newest addition to the family has only been able to experience this occurrence once, yesterday in fact, when we baked the chocolate chip cookies for my composition students. She is almost six months now, and she licked her lips at the sight and smell of the cookies, hoping she was to receive some of the wonderful treats. She will have to wait until a future baking expedition before she can begin to take part in our family cookie tradition, but I expect she will enjoy this experience as well.
Chocolate chip cookies are a delightful treat anytime. When they are baked homemade, for some reason they seem to be better; maybe it is because of the love inside! It is a tradition I have spent years taking part in with my mother and sharing with my family. I hope to pass this tradition on to my daughter through the years, as our three generations of girls can make and bake these delicious cookies for our family.