Chocolate Chip Cookies

Three printable recipe pics & some reflections

Chocolate chip cookies fit best under the heading “I like my Momma’s best”. Still, no matter who bakes them, chocolate chip cookies are an all-American favorite treat. I’ve baked the same recipe since around 1970. It’s from a Betty Crocker recipe book, circa 1969 or so. This recipe has been a staple throughout the life of our family.

This is it with probably some adjustments that I’ve likely made over the years.  I’ll tell you everything that I’ve learned, and with that, I think this recipe is a ‘no fail’ thing.

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whisk together and set aside

  • 3 C flour
  • 1 t soda
  • 1 t salt

Blend and cream together

  • 1 1/3 C shortening (like Crisco)
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla

Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. 

Fold or beat into the dough

  • 11+ ounce package of your preference of chocolate chips.
  • 1 C chopped of pecans are optional and I don’t use those.

Place heaping tablespoon balls of dough on prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart. Using a sugar-dipped cookie press to press down lightly on the top of each dough ball.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-11 minutes.

Allow the cookies to rest until they are set (not fall apart soft).

Many recipes call for semi-sweet chocolate chips. Somewhere along the way I chose to exclusively use milk chocolate chips. I’ve always secretly thought that milk chocolate chips were the reason for the “Yum!” remarks that these cookies always get. You may even leave out the chocolate chips,  and go ahead and stir some variety of fun chips or candies in the place of chocolate chips. They’ll be fun for your cookie-eaters, but you’ll still like chocolate chips better. 

My granddaughter decided she wanted to try dark chocolate chips and also semi-sweet chocolate chips. She has settled on semi-sweet chocolate chips as her choice. She also prefers not to press the cookies before baking. I love that my granddaughter has the confidence to do things her own way.  Sometimes, I learn new things from her.  Most of the time, though, she still wants me to do the baking.

I enjoy baking big cookies, and this dough makes any size I want.  Three or four tablespoons of dough rolled into one and pressed down to bake makes a fun treat when you want a small gift for someone.  Cookie dough pressed 1/2 or less inch deep into a pizza pan bakes well, and the baked cookie is easily decorated for celebrations.  My family has decided, though, that two-tablespoon dipper-sized cookies are the best choice. It turns out that everyone in the family prefers a stack of three cookies instead of one big cookie.

Here’s the best thing about chocolate chip cookies–the dough. Yes! The basic brown sugar cookie dough! It’s so adaptable. They’re not chocolate chip cookies until you put the chocolate chips in. They get their identity from what goes into them. Cookies are whatever gets stirred into them. This brown sugar based Chocolate Chip Cookie dough has lent itself kindly to some of my favorite object lessons. I’ve often baked a batch without chocolate chips in them. When served, someone soon observes, “These aren’t chocolate chip cookies,” or “There’s no chocolate chips in these cookies.”  I get to explain that I have not put the chips in, so it’s easy to see that what gets put into them is what makes them what they are. From this, I get two life lesson thoughts. For one thing, it is important that we are consistently careful about what we ‘put into’ others.  It affects who they bake up to be.  Also, we need to make wise choices about what we take in. Will it be milk chocolate chips or semi-sweet? I once stirred BB’s into some cookie dough. They were not edible of course, and you should not try that at home. This was to illustrate that the things we take in, even if small and not seen, might potentially damage us or our future and even make us useless.  I personally love brown sugar cookies with nothing in them.  But the ones baked with chocolate chips in them are always chosen first. And that’s my favorite object lesson of all. When you put good things into your life, life tastes best. 

Because of the chips, many of the cookies will not be perfectly shaped. Some will have dips and dives along the border, and always the cookies will have settled with irregularities across the top. These imperfections are evidence that, even when carefully measured and hand rolled, no two cookies will be exactly the same. No two people are exactly the same either. And quite likely,  some cookies will not seem to perfectly match the batch when set among the rest. Some will be a little different size or shape. Even so, they all taste the same, because they’re all made with the same ingredients. They’re all good for eating. In some ways, people are like this too. None are perfect, but they’re all made of the same stuff. There will be people, just like cookies, that we might not choose. But, they are all the same on the inside, and they all deserve to be enjoyed. Each is delicious in its own way.

The key to lip-smacking cookies is simply about the baking; not too long. More than anything else, this is important. These cookies do not need to brown except just on the edge. When one or two have begun to brown on the edge, that’s enough. Take them out of the oven.  Let them rest for a few minutes, then transfer them off the sheet. I don’t use a cooling rack. I like for them to cool on a hard surface on top of parchment or a clean paper towel.

Classic cookie recipe card for you to save to your phone or print if you’d like

OK. That all said, it brings me to the reason I decided to do a bit of experimenting. This has been on my mind for a long time. I have heard that people do not readily digest shortening, that is hydrogenated vegetable oil like Crisco. I’m sure that many others know more about this than I do. I’m content to let others be the expert on that. But, if that is correct, then I wonder if I could help my family be a little bit healthier if I cut the shortening and used butter instead. Nutritionists also teach that there is more fat in butter than there is in shortening. So, my question is, “Would it be okay to change my all-time classic cookie recipe for one that uses butter in the place of shortening? Isn’t digestibility better than less fat content if it isn’t digested and becomes toxic in the body?

Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Beat together until creamed

  • 2/3 C brown sugar
  • 2/3 C sugar
  • 8 T softened butter
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t almond extract
  • 1 t vinegar
  • 1 t soda

Beat in 1 egg

Mix in 2 C flour and then 2 C chocolate chips (your choice)

Place two-tablespoon-size balls of dough on a prepared baking sheet, two inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

For this recipe, I use semi-sweet chocolate chips. I don’t press the dough balls, because butter-based doughs are more likely to spread as they bake. I do not chill the batter before I start baking, but I do put the dough balls in the refrigerator between baking batches.

My family enjoyed these cookies and nobody misses the old Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies. It’s a good swap for better digestibility.  

Butter Cookie Recipe

Well, I never! would have never! thought to put almond extract or vinegar in chocolate chip cookies. I got the idea off the world-wide web. Several friends along with our family sampled these cookies. Nobody mentioned either the flavorings nor the vinegar.

New! Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mix together until creamed

  • 2/3 C brown sugar
  • 2/3 C sugar
  • 8 T softened butter
  • 1/2 C shortening
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t almond extract
  • 1 t vinegar
  • 1 t soda

Mix in 1 egg

Add in 2 1/2 C flour

Fold or mix in 2 C your choice chocolate chips (Of course, I chose 11+ ounces milk chocolate chips.)

Place two-tablespoon-sized dips of dough on a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Let the cookies rest before moving them from the baking sheet.  These cookies tasted great, and had half as much shortening in them.  They were ‘prettier’ cookies than those from all butter dough.


NEW! Cookie Recipe


Whether baked with butter or shortening, here’s to all good things in cookies and in life.  That’s just like people. What you are; who you are; your identity depends upon what you put inside yourself.  That carries a thought for parents also. Our kids get an idea of who they are from what we put into them. It’s NOT all in the dough. Some things come from without.

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