“A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand”
This month I’m off to the States and within minutes I’ll be back to my childhood. I was brought up in Montreal, Canada with crispy bacon…pecan pie… soft ice cream… Betty Crocker cake mixes…. brownies… and chocolate chip cookies as culinary staples. You can get all those things (not quite as good of course) in the USA.
These chocolate chip cookies are a version of a stained, creased, greased, and much loved recipe found in an old cookery book belonging to my mother, and dating from the time we were living there. It remains the best recipe I’ve tried and tested over the years.
This cookie dough freezes very successfully. If you cook from frozen the cookies will be less crispy.. .. softer, but you will have to bake for longer. The dough also keeps for a week or so in the fridge – a good thing as chilled dough results in a richer, more interesting flavour.
However, everyone has their own preferences when it comes to chocolate chip cookies.
- If you like them gooey – add more flour
- If you like them crispy but with a soft centre use half bicarbonate of soda and half baking powder
- Use half butter and half margarine for a slightly more professional texture (personally I think this is at the expense of the flavour and I don’t think it’s worth it)
- If you want a more caramelly, richer flavour use all soft brown sugar
The absolutely best recipe for chocolate chip cookies
- 220g/8 oz/half a brick of butter (unsalted)
- 150g/6 oz/¾ cup golden caster sugar
- 220g/8 oz/1 cup soft brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 280g/10 oz/2 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 200g/7 oz/1¾ cups plain chocolate chips, or good quality chocolate chopped up to chocolate chip size.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (no less or they will not go golden)
- In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugars together with an electric whisk until they become a bit fluffy
- Add the eggs and the vanilla paste and mix in
- Sift in the flour, the bicarbonate of soda and the salt into the mix, and mix
- Add the chocolate chips
- Form into round cookies about ¼” (1 cm) thick and around 3” (7 cm) diameter
- Bake for about eight minutes
You could listen to the liquid-chocolatey-voiced Halie Loren singing Sway at the Upstairs Jazz Bar and Grill in Montreal while you mix and stir and lick.