Wedding Season: Dark Brown Sugar Chocolate Chunk Cookies

When I was growing up, my mom would always bake chocolate chip cookies. On a summer afternoon, on a rainy day, for a birthday party, to make ice cream sandwiches my brother loved or just because...

Each time the cookies were in the oven, the house had a distinct warm, vanilla smell. The kind where you walked in the front door and instantly knew chocolate chip cookies were fresh out of the oven. 

Photo courtesy of Jihannah Hogge

Photo courtesy of Jihannah Hogge

I studied abroad in Spain during college, with a señora who knew no English (except the word "McDonald's"), and who baked no cookies. I still remember my mom at the Chicago airport waiting to pick me up and she had just what I requested - a bag of her chocolate chip cookies. I was homesick for them... or maybe I was just homesick for my mom. 

You see, it's a bit what I've talked about on my blog year after year. How sweets and desserts are more than just how they taste. And cookies mean so much more than just a splurge treat. It is about the memories and stories. Stories told through words on blogs and cookbooks. I mean, if there wasn't meaning, each blog would just have a recipe and that's it. No story, no background, no memory. And a whole lot of boring. 

Photo courtesy of Jihannah Hogge

Photo courtesy of Jihannah Hogge

May was a big month for me. I hit the 6-year mark of having this blog...and I got married! So, you could say there were a lot of emotional moments, memories flooding my mind and moments that I cherished and wished would last forever. 

I made 300 of my mom's chocolate chip cookies to serve at my wedding reception in my backyard. I whipped them up one Sunday morning in the kitchen of my childhood home. I made them because why not make one of the most important recipes for one of my most important days?!

You see, my mom and I broke most of the wedding rules about hiring people to do everything for you. Well, mostly because I hate that rule (and just about every other rule or guideline I read on blogs about what you are "supposed to do"). And also because I wanted everything to be "us" and not an image created with what we hoped to be or look like.

 

Photo courtesy of Jihannah Hogge

Photo courtesy of Jihannah Hogge

These cookies symbolize a major part of why I bake now, and why I've been blogging for over 6 years.  

Make a batch and bring them to your next summer cookout or bring a box to work. These cookies always create lots of smiles. :)  Enjoy!     

Dark Brown Sugar Chocolate Chunk Cookies

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Crisco/shortening (or use one more 1/2 cup butter)
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 heaping cups good-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  2. In a mixer, beat the butter and Crisco until it's very creamed together.  (*My has always used Crisco and although I rarely use it now, I always use it in these cookies. It's my secret move to make them so fluffy & chewy... and all around perfect!)
  3. Add the brown sugar and sugar to the butter mixture and beat until creamy. 
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time. Then add the vanilla. Beat to combine.
  5. On a medium or low setting, add the baking soda, salt, and flour.  Don't over-beat! But mix until just combined and the flour is mixed in completely.
  6.  Add in the chocolate chunks.  I always add in a bit more chocolate because I love the cookies full of the chunks. 
  7. Use a cookie scoop and scoop tablespoon-sized dough balls on the cookie sheet. Bake for about 9 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking. 
  8. Take out when the edges are golden and the middle is just about done. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 5-10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  9. Serve or store in an airtight container. You can also freeze the cookies up to 3 months. 

 

Photo courtesy of Jihannah Hogge

Photo courtesy of Jihannah Hogge

The dessert table is probably my favorite part of a wedding...  

At mine, my mom made the carrot cakes which were on the table next to the cookies. That recipe is coming soon!! ;)