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.
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.
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.
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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- 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!)
- Add the brown sugar and sugar to the butter mixture and beat until creamy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time. Then add the vanilla. Beat to combine.
- 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.
- Add in the chocolate chunks. I always add in a bit more chocolate because I love the cookies full of the chunks.
- Use a cookie scoop and scoop tablespoon-sized dough balls on the cookie sheet. Bake for about 9 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking.
- 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.
- Serve or store in an airtight container. You can also freeze the cookies up to 3 months.
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. Check out that recipe here!