A Chocolate Chip Triptych

chocolate chip cookie

I love homemade chocolate chip cookies. You love homemade chocolate chip cookies. Everybody does. If you grew up in the US, they were probably part of your childhood. If you didn’t get the real thing until adulthood, then I envy your first taste of a warm, melting chocolate chip cookie. It’s still one of life’s great pleasures for me.

There are a few conflicting histories of the chocolate chip cookie, but everyone agrees that it was invented by Ruth Wakefield of the Toll House Inn in 1933, and popularized during World War II, when families shipped boxes to soldiers overseas. It became an American classic, and today the recipe is printed on bags of Nestlé chocolate chips.

Here’s the original recipe; it’s pretty much in the public domain at this point, so here, go crazy. I’ll follow that with two worthy variations, one of which is gluten-free.

Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies

* 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 large eggs
* 1 (12 ounce) package chocolate chips
* 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1. PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F.
2. COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
3. BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

There you go. Simplicity itself. Although, personally, I never let all of them cool completely!

The following recipe is one I made the other day for my friend Peter, who was kind enough to spend his day off driving me to a far-off emergency room last week when I was in pain. I used some of the tips from this old-school website, and they served me well. The cinnamon is very subtle– some of my tasters noticed a difference, but weren’t sure what it was until I told them. Changes and additions are in bold.

Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cinnamon

* 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup butter or margarine, melted
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 2 large eggs
* 1 (12 ounce) package chocolate chips
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F.
2. COMBINE flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
3. BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Finally, this is the recipe Joe used to make for me regularly when I was on a gluten-free diet. These come out more cakey and less crispy, and indistinguishable from the wheaty version.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

* 2 3/4 cups gluten-free flour (we used Mr. Ritts‘ mix)
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 large eggs
* 1 (12 ounce) package chocolate chips

1. PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F.
2. COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture only until mixed in– DO NOT OVERMIX. Stir in chocolate chips . Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
3. BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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One Response to “A Chocolate Chip Triptych”

  1. zendenizen Says:

    I have never attempted to bake cookies. Sometimes I just simulate the effect by microwaving store bought chocolate cookies until the chips are slightly melty, haha.


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