Growing up in the woods of Tracyton, Washington, my mom would make peanutbutter, snickerdoodle, no-bake, spritz…but they never got the same gratitude from my Dad that chocolate chip cookies did. Dad, and coincidentally Santa, LOVED chocolate chip cookies. Nothing else even came close.
So as soon as I could use a spatula to mix dough, I started making cookies for my Dad. New Years Eve of 1992 I was 11 years old–and made chocolate chip cookies from a box mix all night long in to the new year. I went through four giant boxes of mix and made over 350 cookies that night. My mom gasped at the sight of her kitchen in the morning; Dad stopped asking for chocolate chip cookies for a while after that. Mom told him he should have enough to last him until the next year. I think we froze them…
What I learned from that experience is that it is nice to have some control over your ingredients. The only thing I had to add to the box mix was water. No eggs, no oil, nothing but water. This was unsatisfactory; I wanted more chocolate chips than what came in the box. I wanted chocolate with chips of cookie, not the other way around. But as a kid, with no car and no skills beyond mixing in water and spooning dough on to a cookie sheet, I wasn’t really in a position to make decisions about ingredients.
Today, with three inches of fluffy white stuff already on the ground and another three forecast, I took out two sticks of butter to soften and got to work. It’s cookie weather.
While all chocolate chip cookies are good, not many are great. These, however, are great. They even have the beautiful cracks on the top that you find on those fancy-schmancy bakery cookies. Also like fancy-schmancy bakery cookies, I used chunks of chocolate instead of chips…because when you’re an adult you get to make decisions like that.
This recipe is modified from one at allrecipes.com
**To make Dairy-Free: Swap the butter for Earth Balance and the chocolate chunks for Enjoy Life Mega Chunks
- 1 cup butter, softened**
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons hot water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks (chips are ok, too, but chunks are so much more substantial)**
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water and dissolve. Add salt to hot water baking soda mix. Add to batter. Stir in flour, chocolate chunks and nuts. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
- Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned. It took me about 14 minutes in the oven, so watch the cookies after about 9 minutes.