It's way too hot to be working in the garden today, and we have a hike planned for tomorrow, so I decided to bake some cookies to take along. Nothing to use up, just having fun with my basic chocolate chip cookie recipe. I'll guide you through it and give you some more ideas to get your creative cookie side going.
First thing to do is to heat the oven to 350F and line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Start off the cookie dough by creaming together:
1 cup of soft butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of white sugar
Add 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla, scraping the bowl down in between additions.
Measure the dry ingredients into a bowl:
3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt (I leave this out if I'm using salted butter)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
In a separate bowl measure out the additions:
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
Add the dry ingredients to the mixer, and mix until just starting to combine, before adding in the additions
Mix until well combined. I like to use my hands to do the final bit of mixing. You should have a chunky-with-goodness cookie dough, soft enough to portion right away. If it is too soft, place in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Portion out onto the 2 cookie sheest and gently press the balls flat. They should be between 1/4" and 1/2" thick. This makes enough for 26 cookies, unless you prefer yours jumbo sized!
Bake for approximately 12 - 15 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges, and just set in the middle. We like our cookies on the softer side, but feel free to adjust the cooking time to suit your preferences.
Go ahead, grab a glass of milk and head out into the sun with a plate of warm homemade cookies!
The basic recipe does not call for the cranberries, pecans or cinnamon, but why be basic when you can be creative? Some other suggestions:
- white chocolate chips or chunks and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
- make them triple chocolate by using dark, milk and white chocolate chips or chunks
- replace 1/2 cup of the flour with cocoa, add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of hot chili powder, and 1 cup of chocolate chunks
- pistachios, chocolate chips and orange zest
- why not chop up some candied ginger and add that instead of the cranberries?
- sandwhich 2 cookies together with ice cream for an easy dessert
- serve the cookies alongside a glass of milk and liqueur. Dip the rim of the glass in melted chocolate ....who says grown ups can't enjoy cookies and milk?
- chop up your favourite chocolate bar (Skor, Mars, Snickers) and add to the dough instead of chocolate chips
- break the dough into little pieces and freeze, then fold into softened ice cream
- make a variety of different flavoured doughs, divide each into 4 and wrap well. Freeze. These make excellent hostess Christmas gifts. Place in an appropriate box, tie with a ribbon and include some baking instructions.