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!)|
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!|