The real thing.

The perfect chocolate chip cookie. So classic, yet surprisingly hard to come by.

When I was in school and on sports teams my mom had her faithful recipe she could count on to never, ever fail. Thick, crisp, golden, melting with chocolate chips, never flat. The only issue I ever had with these cookies was that the dough didn’t taste great, which ruined all my bowl-licking fun while she made them. Why didn’t the dough taste good? And what was that magic ingredient that promised success every time? Crisco. Yes. It’s solid saturated state leaves the cookies puffy, soft on the inside and crisp on the outside, rather than thin and flat which often happens in recipes calling for butter.

Now, I hadn’t had a “real” homemade chocolate chip cookie in years I think, since I started baking with much healthier ingredients in order to enjoy without the guilt. I wouldn’t dare bake a batch of cookies with Crisco in my kitchen. However when I saw this “chocolate chip cookie recipe round-up,” a quest to find the best, I mentioned it to my mom and she reminded me of her trusty recipe! I don’t think she had baked them since I’ve been out of school either. I can’t believe I forgot all about these guys—I must have literally pushed them out of my memory for fear that I would give in, bake them and eat a whole cup of Crisco. yuck. And yuck is what came to my mind when she reminded me of this secret ingredient. Would I really get out a tub of saturated fat and dump it in my cookie dough? It’s a well known fact that while making cookies I will eat a quarter of the dough, at least. Ugh. But I wanted to taste and remember that “perfect” chocolate chip cookie from my childhood. Dilemma.

I made them anyway. Exactly as the recipe called for, no “healthy substitutions” (okay.. I used a litttttle less sugar than it demanded..) and man was it hard. The reason I gave in is because we’re having a 3rd of July picnic on Sunday and I figured I could set them out for everyone else to devour! But that doesn’t solve the problem of ingesting half the dough while making them.. and then of course testing one or two or three right out of the oven.. =P

Anyway, it was worth it. They are perfect, just as I remember. The other secret ingredient is almond extract, which lends a lovely aroma and depth of flavor. This may be the last time I make “real” chocolate chip cookies in a loooooong time, so let’s just hope I don’t enjoy them so much that they’re gone before the picnic! (note: this could seriously happen.)

P.s.: I was pleasantly surprised when examining the Crisco label that it in fact has 50% less saturated fat than butter and 0g trans fat. Who knew!

Mom’s secret cookie recipe

1 cup white whole wheat or whole wheat flour

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour

1 t baking soda

1 t salt

1 cup Crisco shortening

¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup dark brown sugar

½ t vanilla extract

½ t almond extract

2 eggs

12-oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flours, baking soda and salt in small bowl and et aside. Cream granulated and brown sugar into shortening. Add vanilla, almond extracts and eggs. Mix until smooth. Add flour mixture slowly and mix until even color. Add chocolate chips and mix evenly. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden and beautiful. Place a double layer of paper towels on countertops. Remove cookies from oven and (while hot) place them on the paper towels (the excess fat will be drawn out into towels). Cool for a few minutes… then dunk into a glass of milk and indulge!

Note: The cookie dough may not taste great or flavorful, but that’s just because of the Crisco. They’re much better when baked! Also, the original recipe calls for butterscotch chips along with the chocolate, which I highly recommend :]

-micha

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