The Quest for the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

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Cookies are a mainstay in the average American home. Homemade cookies in the grandma tin represent all that is domestic security to me and winter is an ideal time to fill the house with extra oven warmth and the fragrance that only baking cookies can produce.

Yesterday I baked chocolate chip cookies with toffee and they turned out so well, I have to ration how many I eat. The classic Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie is probably the standard for this favorite, but I prefer the recipe on the Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate chip bag, and Hershey’s chips are usually about thirty cents less expensive than Nestle. Add half a bag of toffee chips and a cup of chopped pecans and they are to-die-for…but I had to learn the “secret” to chocolate chip cookies. I read an article that claimed the original Tollhouse recipe included chilling the dough before baking, which I have found makes all the difference. Cookies made with butter have a tendency to be too flat if the dough is not chilled.

Success really is in the details. Using Airbake cookie sheets ensure even baking and I also use Silpat liners on my cookie sheets. A cookie scoop also saves time and your cookies will be perfectly uniform in size. My family prefers cookies that have a nice chew, so I usually remove them from the oven when they appear a bit under-done. [The Hershey recipe calls for 8 to 10 minutes of baking time; I removed them after 10 minutes but they still appeared underdone in the center.] Leave them on the cookie sheet on top of the oven for about five minutes and they will continue baking on the hot sheet. The edges will be slightly crisp and the centers chewy. Yum!

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About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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