I used to have so much more time to bake. And I truly LOVE to bake. But not the fancy stuff. My goal has always been to focus on the basics. To practice and perfect just a few All American favorites. So that when I have to entertain, whether it’s a family barbecue full of littles or an adult sit-down dinner party, I’ll have a few “tried and trues” right there in my back pocket. Kinks already worked out. The list of basic recipes that I’ve been busy refining for decades now include a mocha ice cream cake, chocolate mousse pie, loaded cookie bars, carrot cake, and of course, the perfect chocolate chip cookie.
FOR THE LOVE OF BAKING
For those bakers out there. There’s nothing like dedicating a few hours to pouring your love into a sweet treat that you know will be appreciated by family and friends in the coming day. I find it incredibly cathartic. It’s something that I’ve REALLY missed these last couple years with not many people gathering. Of course, I could bake for the boys. But I know darn well who will eat most of it.
(If you love to bake too, be sure to check out how much fun we had learning how to bake and braid challah last year at our ladies’ challah bake! For something a little sweeter, check out my very favorite Apple Crisp recipe made with local love!)
Although it wasn’t part of my own mom’s nightly rotation of homemade desserts, I always LOVED when friends’ mothers put out a plate of delicious Toll House® cookies. And after 20 years of making them for my own family, I’ve learned a few things about what shortcuts I CAN and cannot get away with. More importantly, I’ve made a couple of modifications that bring this already awesome recipe to the next level. If you learn to bake ONE thing and want to nail it every time, this recipe’s for you.
BETTER THAN TOLL HOUSE® COOKIES
- 2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 sticks SALTED butter at room temp (I use this in place of salt)
- 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
- 3/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 3 c. Nestlé® Toll House® Semi-Sweet morsels (this is cup more than TH recipe)
Preheat oven to 375°F and set rack to the center. In bowl whisk together flour and baking soda. In large bowl or mixer, beat the butter with both sugars and vanilla. Add two eggs. Beat in flour mixture. Add one cup at a time of chocolate chips.
Drop mounds (I use a small cookie scooper) of dough onto cookie sheet and space evenly. The Toll House® recipe calls for a 9 to 11 minute bake time. I take it out at 9 minutes every time for a chewy, “stays fresh for days” batch. Let cool slightly before cooling completely on a wire rack.
LESSONS IN SELF CONTROL
I’ll be honest with you. I have to put these away because it is VERY hard for me not to casually take one. Or two. Or three when passing. And although this batch of close to 4 dozen was made just 48 hours prior to writing this, there are only a handful left. And I’m confident that the speed in which these are consumed will increase further as more boys enter their teen years.
Now it’s your turn. Give ’em a try. I bet they don’t last very long in your house either.