Chocolate chip cookies from the in-laws (anytime)

February 21, 2008

My mother-in-law doesn’t cook or bake much — and if I had raised eight kids, I wouldn’t either! But she did pass down two family favorite recipes that have a cherished place in my recipe file. One is for a Minnesota classic, wild rice hotdish. The other is for an American classic, chocolate chip cookies. In both cases, hers are among the best I’ve ever tasted.

Actually, in the case of the cookies, I don’t recall tasting hers … she was done baking by the time I got to know son #7. But every now and again my father-in-law would get the munchies for these cookies and mix up a batch with his hands (he said he hated to use electric mixers). So, if your kids are into squishing cookie dough around, I can vouch for the fact that the recipe below works extremely well when made without the use of any mixing implements other than fingers.

And because M. doesn’t like chocolate, I’m also including a link here to his favorite “chocolate” chip cookies — Blueberry, White Chocolate and Ginger Cookies. They’re very healthy (low calorie, low carb, low sodium, good for the heart, etc.) and VERY tasty. Just be sure to eat them quickly (or freeze the extras), because they tend to dry out after a couple of days.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar1/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup + 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. soda

1 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy, then add the egg and vanilla, beating until well blended. Combine the flour, salt and soda and add them all together; mix thoroughly. Stir in the chips and nuts, if using. Drop the batter from teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until slightly brown. For softer cookies, immediately remove them to a covered container lined with paper towels (separate the layers with waxed paper so the cookies don’t stick together). For crunchier cookies, cool them thoroughly on a wire rack before storing. Makes about three dozen.

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