No-Fuss Chocolate Chip Cookies
The weather has been really, really strange. Yesterday it was 91 degrees all day. It was almost sweltering when I went out mid-afternoon to run to the post office.
And then last night, as I went to visit my man-friend in a lightweight billowy maxi dress (it was on me, not him), I was suddenly greeted by a chill in the air we don’t often get here in Los Angeles. A friend posted a photo on his Instagram feed of the current weather from his iPhone: 31 degrees?!
I don’t know what’s going on, or how it’s possible to have a 60 degree temperature change within 8 hours in LA, but whatever.
The man-friend and his roomies were up to no good when I arrived. They were plotting something. The 3 of them encircled me and gave me the puppy-dog eyes they always do when I come by late at night and they are hungry again after consuming several (!) large pizzas hours earlier. The roommates ran off to the store and I worked on the business’ books with C. On a side note, he got a new desktop PC with Windows 8 and it’s freakishly hard to navigate.
The boys returned a while later with maybe 34 bags of groceries, only one of which interested me (eww Tampico “juice” and Celeste $1 pizzas): the bag with flour and chocolate chips. I set to work, knowing these dudes needed cookies like yesterday.
I have several “keeper” chocolate chip cookie recipes in the ol’ notebook, but there’s one I always go to when there are beefy corn-fed transplants drooling behind me. The Nestle Toll House cookie is one we’ve all grown up on and it conjures memories of standing behind my mother, impatiently demanding bites of raw cookie dough. Because when you’re a kid, it’s impossible to wait another 10 minutes for the cookies to come out of the oven. Impossible.
I’ve had some qualms with the Toll House recipe over the years though. They never tasted like what my mother used to set in front of me with a tall glass of milk. She followed the recipe word for word, and they were just perfect–everything one could want in a cookie. Whenever I would make them through my early 20s, something was just… missing. I don’t know if it was something in my mother’s technique, or if it’s just like everything else that tasted amazing as a child but is flat and disappointing 20 years later (hello Kraft Mac’n’Cheese and Pop Tarts).
After cycling through every newfangled chocolate chip cookie around–ones with 48 hour rests in the refrigerator, browned butter, bread flour, 3 different types of expensive chocolate, etc.–I have other favorites, but these simple cookies make an appearance at least once a month. They are easy with no strange ingredients or rest time. And they make people smile.
I’ve modified them slightly here by halving the recipe (because you’d think 30 cookies would be enough for 3 people), doubling the vanilla, and subsequently adding a bit more flour. This is how I always make the Toll House recipe, though I usually add some chocolate chunks to boot.
The men were happy and devoured the entire batch in under an hour and then promptly began asking when I might be baking again. Luckily, they let me take a few cookies home with me to photograph and maybe–or maybe not–consume with coffee this morning for breakfast.
No-Fuss Chocolate Chip Cookies Makes 30
Slightly adapted from the classic Nestle Toll House recipe
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup chocolate chips
1. Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.
2. Cream butter with both sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
3. Add flour mix to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2″ apart. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Let cool on sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.