Grilled Pizza, Part One
Grilled Pizza, Part Two

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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These are Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies. You don't need me to tell you how to make them - just get a package of chips, read the recipe and put your butter out to soften. Or use your own recipe, which is just as good or better (is it? want to share it?)

I did, however, think it might be helpful to tell you what I do to maximize my homemade chocolate chip cookieness while minimizing my access to eating, say, twenty cookies in the course of a single afternoon.

Double the recipe. Get a cookie sheet and a spring-loaded, two tablespoon sized ice cream scooper (if you're feeling fancy; otherwise a spoon and your thumb work just fine.) Create as many dough balls as you can and then put the cookie sheets into the freezer for an hour or two. Pop the now frozen cookies off the sheet and store together in a ziploc bag in the freezer for a month or two.

To bake, preheat oven to 350°. Place cookie dough balls (make a couple at a time or make a bunch) with plenty of room between them because they spread a lot when you bake them frozen. Bake 14-16 minutes until the bottoms are just beginning to brown and the tops are no longer wet.     

Notes: I should be ashamed of myself for posting this but it's what I did today and who knows? Maybe it never occurred to you to freeze the dough pre-clumped. Besides, last night we had fried egg sandwiches for dinner: toast, dijon mustard, sliced tomato, egg over easy topped with swiss cheese and then put under the broiler for a minute - delicious but you wouldn't want a picture of it.

Comments

Another way that is more accommodating to having barely any freezer space (what? I am totally going to need those cranberries next Thanksgiving.) is to put the dough into gallon sized ziploc freezer bags, smush it flat until it's a consistent ~1/2 inch thickness, and put it in the freezer. Then the next bake day just peel back the plastic bag (sometimes you have to rip it, but I haven't had a problem with having ripped ziplock in my freezer as cookie dough doesn't stick around long enough to get freezer burn) and use a good knife to cut 1.5 inch square pieces.

While this may keep you from eating 20 cookies in an afternoon, I would be popping those frozen dough balls until they were gone! But it's good to know this could hypothetically be done. :)

That, in fact, did NOT occur to me. To think - a freshly baked cookie whenever I desired one. Or two. Or three.

I never think of the obvious stuff, so, you know, thanks for doing it for me and then telling me about it!

Smarter! Faster! Better!

Thanks Leah. Since Steve and Patrick have put, I kid you not, THIRTY POUNDS of wild mushrooms into the freezer I will be utilizing your space saving strategy next time.

And, Missie, as I understand it cookie dough does not count if it is still frozen.

I have tweaked the Tollhouse recipe. In my house it is for the better, although I certainly don't think it's for everyone. I remove 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and add a 1/2 cup of brown sugar. I also add about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. The cookies are decidedly flatter and chewier, so if you like a chewy cookie.... If you prefer a crispy cookie this is not for you. Oh! Also, do NOT overcook. Pull the cookies out when they are JUST done. They're also really good frozen (but cooked).

It never occurred to me. I never think to freeze anything and I love the Nestle Tollhouse recipe. I have been using it for my cookies since I was a little girl. You suggest freezing a lot of things I would never have thought of.

My favorite recipe is my Mom's:
1-½ cup shortening
¾ cup butter
1-¾ cup sugar
1-¾ cup brown sugar
4 eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
2-¼ tsp baking soda
2-¼ tsp salt
5-¼ cup flour
1 bag chocolate chips-12 oz (I always add more because this seems skimpy)
1 cup walnuts (optional)
*Cream butter, shortening and sugars together. Add eggs and vanilla. In another bowl sift flour with baking soda and salt. Gradually add the flour to the first bowl. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Bake 375˚ for about 10 minutes

This is exactly what I do. There is NOTHING better than a fresh cookie whenever you want one. I also put hazelnuts in half the batter.

Yes, this is a delightful plan as long as you don't love frozen cookie dough. Ahem. Still, I guess either way you're still only eating a few "cookies" at a time.

My mom's recipe uses extra sugar, no salt, and has made her somewhat locally famous (very locally, as in among friends and family). It's also spoiled me for any other chocolate chip cookie - everyone else's taste bland to me. Like Meegan's, the cookies are flatter and chewier, but can't be overcooked. Must be something about all that brown sugar.

I've not done the freezer thing with chocolate chip biscuits, but I do it with my chocolate wafer biscuit. I make it into 2x30cm logs, wrap in cling wrap and freeze. Then I slice and bake as I need to.

Or, some days, you can find me hiding in the freezer with a sharp knife, eating as I slice.

Ahem.

I usually cut the amount of butter/margarine in half and then put the half back in in the form of shortening.
See: 1 cup margarine really equals 1/2 cup of margarine and 1/2 cup of shortening. It gives the cookies a better flavor and makes them much harder to burn. They crisp a little on the outside but are usually chewy on the inside.

Yeah, my problem with freezing cookie dough is that it never makes it out of the freezer except to go straight into my mouth, bypassing the oven.

my favorites (about to make a batch tonight):

here (try using frozen or fresh cranberries instead sometimes)
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Cherry-Chocolate-Chip-Oatmeal-Cookies-4953

and for standard choc chip, all hail linda:
http://www.sundrymourning.com/2008/12/19/stormy-weather-food/

however, i have not yet found the Perfect Chewy Brownie. at least, nothing that approaches the pre-packaged whole foods mix. help?

I actually don't like softening the butter. If you make them with cold butter, your cookies wind up fatter and rounder, little blobs of cookies instead of sleek cookies, and--bizarre at it may sound--that's the way I like them. But I'll have try freezing the dough and see what that does to the final product. Love the ice cream scooper tip, though!

I never would have thought to freeze the cookies in little pre-formed shapes. We freeze 1/2 cup baggies of chopped onions and bell peppers and stuff but not cookies. I think the brillinace is in the obviousness.

So my cookie recipe that my hubby loves is for Chewy Cookies and it goes like this:

2 sticks butter
2 1/4 cups bread flour (but I use AP flour)
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 T milk
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda and set aside. Melt the butter and cream it together with both sugars in the mixer bowl on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, milk and vanilla extract and mix well. Slowly add in the flour mixture until well combined. Stir in the chips.

Chill the dough until cold (I've never tried this from frozen but I guess it would be about the same) and plop onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until light golden around the edges.

These always come out chewy if you don't overcook them and they are soooo yummy.

You all know the trick about putting a piece of bread in with your cookies to keep them soft, yes?

I just assume people know about that because my parents always did it, but maybe not. Anyway, I don't really understand it, but it seems the bread absorbs the staleness somehow. ("i don't know the scientific explanation, but fire made it good.")

I asked a friend for her chocolate chip cookie recipe, because they were SO good, and she said "It's just the recipe on the Tollhouse package." And I told her she was a dirty liar, because I make those all the time and they don't taste like this. It turned out her secret was using butter flavored Crisco instead of butter or margarine. Unless you're one of those people who is morally opposed to anything other than Butter with a capital B, you must try it.

A while back, the NY Times ran an article on making the perfect chocolate chip cookie. It includes such secrets as letting the dough sit overnight in the refrigerator before baking--something that was apparently also done by Ruth Wakefield of the Toll House Inn (the creator of the recipe). If you're interested, the URL for the article is http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/dining/09chip.html

I love you for having fried egg sandwiches for dinner. That is all. :)

Thanks for the tip Julia, it had not occurred to me either! I am not much of a cookie baker (I do cakes and pies, that's my thing)but this makes me want to go bake some cookies right now!

I have found I eat MORE cookies when I freeze dough, because at least in baked cookie form the kids and the hubs are helping. When frozen, it's just me, sneaking gobs after dinner between wiping the counter and starting the dishwasher, jumping when someone catches me and asks, "Mama, what are eating?"
But at least this way I won't be scraping at a chunk of dough in a Rubbermaid with a spoon! Maybe I'll be faster and not get caught.

I like to make oatmeal cookies (from the Quaker box recipe -- with butter) and put chocolate chips in them. Much better than raisins.

Better yet, write the oven temp and baking time on the ziploc bag with a sharpie so you have the info handy when you go to pop them in the oven. Takes lazy to new heights, I know.

Never thought of it! Perhaps because the frozen chocolate chips never even have a chance?

I spent many pre-child years perfecting the Nestle Tollhouse cookie. I do NOT like FLAT cookies... I like 'em lumpy & meaty but moist. I've made these for fund raising auctions, on request, and I kid you not they've brought in $100s. Anyway, it's in the flour. Lots of flour, unbleached is best. A smidge more salt. It is not floury, it is devine. Must try and thank me later.

GENIUS! I had not thought about that before though I have been debating for 2 days on whether or not I felt like making a batch of these...now I'm definitely going to because I don't have to bake them all at once!!! I love you. :D

I've done the dough balls for years, great way to do a dozen at a time. My recipe is similar to the chocolate chip-cherry-oatmeal recipe above EXCEPT that mine is chocolate chunk/sour cherry/oatmeal/pecan with Skors toffee bits mixed in for a great chewy cookie. Usually use Ghiradelli chocolate bars and cut the sour cherries into smaller bits. I buy the Skors bits in Canada - used to be available here but no longer - and Butter Brickle bits simply do not do the trick.

I can find the recipe if any interest.

My favorite recipe is an adaptation of Alton Brown's "muffin method". I use the basic recipe but I melt the butter and then mix in the sugars, eggs and vanilla. I then add that to the dry ingredients that I have mixed together with a wisk ( I am too lazy to sift). After it is done I mix in the chocolate chip, pecans and usually a couple of tablespoons of flax meal ( just to pretend that they are healthy). I then refridgerate for twenty minutes or half an hour ( unless I am making them with my four year old, then we cook the first batch right away and just chill the second batch). I have often frozen half the dough but never in indivdual servings, thanks for the great idea!

The NY times recipe referenced above is great. You don't have to use the fancy chocolates. I just use Nestle chips and chunks.

We use this recipe, although I prefer milk chocolate chips so we alternate:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/the-chewy-recipe/index.html

The original Tollhouse recipe called for chilling the dough for, I think, 36 hours. The Nestle version of the recipe omits this step, for what are probably obvious reasons, but really, it's essential if you are after The Perfect Cookie. At least you need to chill the dough overnight. I read the chemical explanation for what the resting time does once but can't remember--but it really does make a significant difference in the end cookie.

I agree with Vickie who posted above. The recipe from the NYT is the absolute best. It freezes well too. For months!

1. I have a friend who periodically brings me ziploc bags of frozen dough balls. Tho this day, I have never cooked a cookie.

2. I, too, swear by the tollhouse recipe with these additional tricks:
**You must use an airbake ban
**You must undercook them
**You must remember to add salt

OK, I will delurk to share my favorite quick chocolate chip cookie recipe. In high school, our math team coach made them as an enticement to get kids to come in and do calculus on Sunday afternoons--hence the name, "Math Bowl Cookies." As an addendum, they're so good, we won state five years running!

1 box Duncan Hines white cake mix
1 c chocolate chips
1/2 c nuts (if you like)
1/2 c brown sugar
3/4 c oil
1 egg

Mix it all up, plop it on an ungreased pan, bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Then get your pencils ready!

Try putting a rasher or two of crisp bacon in that egg and cheese sandwich. That was my main hangover cure at university, and it worked every time. Mmmmmmmmm. I live in the UK where you just can't get the nice streaky crisp bacon you guys get - I miss it so much on my pancakes ;)

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