Wednesday, November 21, 2007

chocolate chip cookies – beating out tate’s

they were flat and crunchy on parchment paper

To be honest, this cookie making experience seems so far away, I have a hard time recalling the vividness of the excitement. I’ve been meaning to write about it for days now, or maybe over a week, but with work and a 4-day bar mitzvah event, I’ve been otherwise detained. I do know that when we first tasted the cookies, I did a little dance around our kitchen with a victorious “Take that, Tate’s!!” feeling pretty successful, particularly given my recent cooking flops.

Not only did I manage to produce a cookie that was delicious beyond words, it tasted far better than my favorite cookies made by Tate’s! And it wasn’t even their recipe, which by the way, is seriously flawed – as I came across a few blogs that bemoaned the fact that the cookies came out tasting like anything but Tate’s packaged ones you can get in the store. It also didn’t help that KS’s younger sister mentioned the very same problem she had with the recipe, proclaiming those cookies mushy and gross. Now, I may not want to partake in any Chips Ahoy, but let me tell you, a cookie has to be seriously disgusting for me to complain about it!

on silpat they were a bit thicker

So, back to the cookie that made it all better – thank you, Martha Stewart, yet again. Really, it was like a miracle, as if the skies parted, the clouds lifted and I heard angels sing and trumpets play. It was the first time I tried a cookie I made and thought to myself, “There’s a living that can be made in this!” Unfortunately for you, I got so carried away with making, baking and tasting the cookies, that the pictures for this recipe are seriously lacking. For which I am sorry. A bit.

Having said all this, there’s the expected regular disclaimer. I mean, how do you like your cookies? Do you prefer them to be chewy or crispy? On the thicker side, or thin and lacy like? My cookie tastes have shifted over the years and with chocolate chip cookies, I now strongly prefer a thin, lacy, buttery cookie to a thicker, chewier one. If you are also one of those people, this cookie is for you. If, however, you’re in the thicker, chewier cookie camp, do not despair, for there is a way for you to use the same recipe and get the cookie you prefer. Read on!

This discovery was made by pure accident, as most discoveries are. For one reason or another, and frankly I can’t remember why, I baked a portion of the cookies using a Silpat cookie sheet and a portion using parchment paper. The Silpat batch was thicker and chewier – tasty, but we preferred the parchment paper batch, which was the thin, lacy, buttery cookie that melted in our mouths. This is the cookie I was after, and KS proclaimed that these were my best cookies yet – a high praise from a guy who tells me straight if I’ve over-salted the soup yet again. Unfortunately, unlike the last time, he couldn’t come up with a sexy name for the cookie, and so it’ll remain the good ol’ chocolate chip cookie.


Lexi’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from The Martha Stewart Cookbook

1 lb (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 375F degrees.

2. Cream the butter in a large bowl until smooth; add the brown and granulated sugars. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until well blended.

3. In another large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Bea t this into the butter mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.

4. Drop 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter onto nonstick baking sheets, 2 inches apart.** Bake for 8 minutes until golden brown.**

5. Remove the cookies from the baking sheets and cool on a rack.

* What I like to do is roll the 2-3 tbsp into a perfectly shaped ball. This way, when the cookie bakes, it becomes this perfect little circle. No, I’m not at all OCD. Why do you ask?

** I decided to bake them for close to 13-14 minutes – they were soooo crispy and good. Maybe it’s because my oven is wimpy and doesn’t get as hot as Martha’s?

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6 Comments

  • 1
    Dana said:

    Looks yummy! Isn’t there something about a GOOD chocolate chip cookie that just makes life a little better??

    November 21, 2007 3:09 pm
  • 2
    Rich said:

    There is nothing better than a good chocolate chip cookie, right out of the oven!
    Unfortunatly, we have all come to expect a litle more from your post’s and thier accompanying photo’s. I’m afraid there’s only one way to remedy this situation. Go make some more cookies!
    Actually, the photo’s are not bad. they look yummy. Just tryin to give you an excuse to make more cookies! ….As if and excuse to make cookies is EVER needed.

    December 5, 2007 6:43 pm
  • 3
    radish said:

    Haha, Rich – trust me, there’ll be cookies coming. I just need to get a little bit of a break with work – I’ve been a slave to the office every night and working from home in the evenings! The cookies were veeeeeery good – but I would recommend making them in small batches, and freezing the rest – they taste WAY better straight out of the oven!

    December 6, 2007 4:20 pm
  • 4
    Liz said:

    Can you recommend a good semisweet chocolate chip. Do you know what chips Tate’s uses? I loved your recipe but Nestles Tollhouse chips don’t taste right and neither do the Ghiradelli brand.

    February 12, 2008 7:11 am
  • 5
    Joan said:

    I made these cookies this past week–they were delicious! I love how crispy and buttery they turned out. I used to like chewy choc chip cookies but the thin kind are now my favorite. Next time I might try miniature choc chips since the regular ones looked out of proportion to the cookie just a bit. I put them in a container too soon after baking but I recrisped them and they turned out perfect again. Thank you!!

    November 2, 2008 10:08 pm
  • 6
    lise said:

    Greetings – I love your site and have made a number of things with great success…but these cookies were a disaster. Crispy would be a polite way of describing my result. I changed the temp and only cooked them 1/2 the time and still got nothing but flat burned cookies – suggestions? many thanks!

    October 5, 2009 6:47 am

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