The crinkly, cellophane-wrapped bag of Golden Oreos appeared to have been pushed into its spot on the third shelf down in our pantry, almost as if someone intended the bag to not be seen on first glance. The canary yellow bag of cookies perched on top of some baking supplies – a box of graham crackers, a container of cocoa, and a clear plastic bin filled with different varieties of chocolate bars and chocolate chips. I grabbed the bag of cookies from the shelf. It was lighter than it should be, having been opened and then resealed by someone wanting a sweet snack.
I found my husband nearby, in the kitchen. I shoved the bag towards him, holding the specimen up so he could see it clearly. ”What are these?” I asked him, accusingly.
“Cookies,” he said, a look of innocence on his face. “They’re for the kids’ lunch boxes. And I have one sometimes. Occasionally.”
I shook my head, disgusted and disappointed. How could he buy storebought cookies when he knows that I like to bake them. I thought of the bags filled with homemade cookie dough balls in our freezer. I had been betrayed. I had been cheated on, and with Golden Oreos, no less. Not even the original, chocolate Oreos.
After irrationally forbidding my husband to buy any more packaged cookies, ever again, not EVER, I set to work in the kitchen. My goal? To perfect a chocolate chip cookie of my own. This would be the best darn chocolate chip cookie, and it would be forever more the lunch box treat of choice. Or at least for the next week, whichever came first.
There are lots of chocolate chip cookie recipes out there. If you do a Google search, you will find no less than 29 million hits. Jennie’s chocolate chip cookies are pretty great, but I can’t find those chocolate discs around here with any reliability, so I knew that my recipe would use regular chocolate chips. And while I love these chocolatey chocolate chip cookies and these oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, I wanted something more like the classic Toll-House chocolate chip cookie.
I fiddled with the amounts of flour, the ratio of brown sugar to white sugar, and the amount of chocolate chips. I tinkered with the amount of butter and with the baking times. And finally, after testing several batches (and trashing one entirely) I found it, the recipe that met my picky criteria.
These chocolate chip cookies are just what I was looking for – filled with plenty of chocolate chips, chewy in the middle, and with golden, crispy edges. They got rave reviews from the children, and despite the fact that they’d liked every other version, too, I convinced them that these were the best of the batches.
Being the smart children they are, they nodded obediently.
Did the cookies become the favorite lunch box treat? They did. And we have more in the freezer, just ready to be baked. I feel good knowing exactly what ingredients went into making these cookies, exactly what ingredients are going into my children’s mouths.
Did we ditch the Oreos? Eh, sort of. For the most part.
Because every now and then, when the moon and stars align, even I get a craving for an Oreo. But only the original one, the chocolate Oreo.
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: About 3-1/2 dozen cookies
If you're looking for that ideal after school snack or lunch box treat, this is it. These cookies are chocolatey and chewy in the middle and nice and crisp around the edges. Just what you want from your chocolate chip cookie, right? You're welcome.
You can prepare the dough in advance and have cookies in minutes, whenever you like. To freeze, prepare dough and shape into balls. Freeze the dough balls on a cookie sheet, then transfer the frozen balls to a freezer bag. when you're ready to bake them, pull out the amount you want and bake for an additional 2-3 minutes.
3 cups (12.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (6 ounces) packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place oven rack in middle position.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a hand-held mixer) beat together butter and sugar until creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in vanilla, then beat in eggs, one at a time. Gradually add in the flour, beating until just mixed, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in chocolate chips.
Place rounded tablespoons of dough, measuring about 1-1/2 inches in diameter, on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 1-1/2 inches between cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies turn golden on the edges.