Friday, August 12, 2011

Togetherness is…Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been on the lookout for ways to get Nathan involved in more of my daily activities and let him “help” me around the house with some meaningful tasks.  He’s been “helping” me sweep by holding the dustpan steady, using his own broom and stepping in and around my dust piles.  Okay, so I didn’t need help with that last one.  But I did need some help making chocolate chip cookies.


I mixed the wet ingredients in the stand mixer and Nathan combined and mixed the dry ingredients himself by hand.  I snapped some fun photos and learned a thing or two about making the best chocolate chip cookies ever.  Scroll down for my secrets to baking perfect, fluffy, tall, soft chocolate chip cookies -- the best ones you'll ever have!

After adding just his first ingredient he knew what we were doing here, and immediately reached for the other measuring cups I'd already prefilled.  He was on a mission!


I love how intent and focused he was.

We did a little tasting.

 
A nosy intruder joined us only to get grabbed at by a toddler.

See where the intruder is now?  (In the background, on the countertop!)

Uh oh.
 

Nathan knows something's not right here... See the little face peeking from the cabinet?

Ready for the goods?  Here are my secrets to baking perfect, fluffy, tall, soft chocolate chip cookies -- the best ones you'll ever have!   (I’m sorry to report that none of these involve a cute little boy with too-long-hair):

1. Start with this recipe from Better Homes & Gardens.  Or, at least choose a recipe that takes equal amounts of butter and vegetable shortening and uses more brown sugar than white sugar.

2. Refrigerate the dough for two to three hours before baking.  This gets you a nice, tall cookie that doesn’t spread out very much as it bakes.  (Better Homes & Gardens didn’t tell you that in the recipe, did they?  Who’s better now?)

3. Bake batches of cookies on one cookie sheet at a time, placing cookie sheet on the middle rack of your oven.  Put the dough back in the fridge until you’re ready to spoon out the next batch.  Make these cookies bigger than you think they should be – big, rounded teaspoonfuls (think almost ping-pong ball sized) are perfect for this recipe.

4. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper for easy cookie removal and even easier clean up. 

5. Let your cookies cool for one to two minutes before transferring them onto a cooling rack. This lets them set without overcooking them. 

6. These cookies don’t last more than a few days before going stale.  The good news is there are two ways to combat this, and one of them is not “eat them as fast as you can” – I’ve tried it, and although it works, I don’t necessarily recommend it! 

A)      You can freeze the cookies in batches with great results.
B)      You can bake about half of the dough and leave the other half of the dough covered in the fridge for no more than three days. Bake the rest when you’re good and ready—this got me two fresh batches of cookies in one week without all the extra time, energy and cleanup.  Needless to say, I like this solution the best!

They're best enjoyed with local, hormone-free milk.

The veggies are there because we were trying to be...healthy.  Yeah, that's right!

Enjoy!

24 comments:

  1. What a great little helper! Did the cat get in the cupboard? and the cookies look awesome!

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  2. Mmmmm....sounds great. Our togetherness activity this morning was banana almond butter muffins. (http://craftymomsshare.blogspot.com/2011/08/saturday-baking-banana-almond-butter.html) Chocolate cookies sound really good to though. Thanks for the hints.

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  3. i had no idea about the refrigerating them first! i am not sure i would be able to wait, but i will TRY next time!

    :)
    jen

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  4. Thanks for the tips! My chocolate chip cookies usually always come out tall and fluffy... until lately. I couldn't figure out why they were coming out chewier than usual, but I think it must be the fact that I wasn't chilling the dough like I usually do. Thank you for helping me figure that one out. ;)

    Thanks for sharing with So Sweet Sundays! :)

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  5. Oh what a great post! Love that your little one is helping so well - and so funny to see the cat in your kitchen cupboard!! :)

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

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  6. Hi,blog hopping and following from Savvy HomeMade Monday. Please check out my blog and would love a follow back. Thanks

    http://freedelicacies.blogspot.com

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  7. Awesome day! Love the cat! Thanks for joining my Planet Weidknecht Weekend Hop!

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  8. Thanks for sharing your cookie tips. I'm always looking for ways to perfect mine. I will have to try your suggestions next time.

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  9. After seeing this delicious photo, I am going into the kitchen to make cookies. Mmmm

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  10. What fun! I want a chocolate Chip cookie now! Newest follower here! Would love a follow back!

    http://sewsweetbabyblog.blogspot.com/

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  11. This is great. I have a recipe I love (which fits your recommendations), but I bet these tips will make them wonderful! And I'm already planning to make some tomorrow. Yum!

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  12. "Who's better now?" Bahaha! That's awesome. Will try these. And I'll make sure to leave my veggies on the counter too. (It makes the cookis healthier, right? I thought so...) {: Great tips!

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  13. Love all your cookie tips! I need to be more patient in letting my dough cool in the fridge before baking. hahaha!

    We just checked out "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie" at the library and this would be an excellent activity to go along with that book. Thanks for sharing!

    I'm your newest follower coming over from Beneath the Rowan Tree link party. I would love if you'd come by my blog to say hello and follow back. :)

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  14. Thanks for linking to the Creating Success Worldwide blog hop too!! Hope you'll come back again next week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

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  15. i love backing with my little girl! :) your right it is family togetherness!

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  16. Those cookies look so good. My daughter learned to stop and bake cookies with her kids when life was seeming a little out of control. She looked at it as a way to refocus and concentrate on the importance of their relationship.

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  17. Nice post - very good tips. I insist on one baking sheet in the oven at a time... period, despite my hubby telling me that's what convection ovens are for. Nope, nope, nope... they're great for roasting meat, but not so good for baking cakes or cookies, unless you want to mess around with rotating pans which I'd rather not be bothered with.

    :)
    ButterYum

    PS - love the little ones, both of them >^..^<

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  18. Your little one is too cute and those look oh so yummy! Thanks for sharing!

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  19. Love those pictures! Naughty kitty! And I'm always on the lookout for a good cookie recipe that I can freeze. Thanks for sharing :)

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  20. These look so yummy!! And your little guy is soo cute! ;) Thanks for linking up to Think Pink Sundays! I featured you today - http://www.flamingotoes.com/2011/08/crush-of-the-week-think-pink-features-19/

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  21. Thank you so much for linking up at Savvy HomeMade Monday, Kelly. I hope you will party again tomorrow!

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  22. Thanks so much for your hints. I linked to your post in my blog post today. I love my recipe, but keeping it in the fridge helped it to bake up perfectly. Thanks so much!

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  23. Love your cookies. Thanks for linking up at Bacon Time, I am going to feature these too on Friday.

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