The STORM OF THE CENTURY turned out to be the storm of the week here in the St. Louis area. We did get 3 inches of sleet, which was pretty impressive, but no blizzards or cannibalism or major citywide chaos of any kind like the weathercasters were predicting. Frankly, I was disappointed. BRANG IT, I kept saying whilst beating my chest with my fists. C’mon Mother Effin’ Nature, BRANG! IT! She, rightly so, chose not to take me on in all of my badassness.
It was enough winter weather to cancel school today, though. (Flurries are enough to close school around here, so that’s not saying much.)Which means that for the umpteenth time this year, the boys are home. What makes it different today is that Russ is home too. He decided to take a vacation day to avoid driving on the sleet-covered roads and the extreme cold that came along with the sleet.
The three of them cooked up a plan that cookies should be made. HAD to be made. In order for the survival of the family, cookies were needed. (Actually, Ike wanted a pie. Alas, I have no butter to make pie crust [please do not speak to me about making pie crust with shortening, I will not hear of it. And yes, I know your grandma's pie crust was the best ever and SHE used shortening, I just prefer butter. End of discussion. Also, I have nothing against shortening as you will see momentarily if I can ever find my way out of all of these parenthesis and brackets...])
So, everyone washed their hands and we all began the cookie making. The recipe I use is from the Butter Flavored Crisco container. See, I like the shortening. I like the butter flavoring. I know that some of you may scoff at Crisco. I know that some of you will freak out that it is butter *flavored*. I care not. I only know that these cookies are the softest, best chocolate chip cookies ever. I rarely tell people the truth when they get all crazy over them. I never want to admit that they are made with Crisco. But now, the secret is out and you can think of me what you will.
Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 3/4 stick Crisco® Baking Sticks Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening
- OR 3/4 cup Crisco® Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening
- 1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 3/4 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 (6 oz.) package semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (optional)
HEAT oven to 375ºF.
COMBINE shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Beat in egg. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into shortening mixture until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
DROP by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.
BAKE 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies, or 11 to 13 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet on a cooling rack. Remove cookies to rack to cool completely.
TIP* If nuts are omitted, add an additional 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.
I never put nuts in the cookies I make only because no one here wants nuts in his or her cookies. You do what rocks your socks off. The only other advice I would give is to beat the shortening, brown sugar, milk, vanilla and egg until they are fluffy. Then only beat the flour in until blended using the lowest speed on your mixer, or do it by hand. Overmixing the dry into the wet leads to flat cookies. Oh and, chewy all the way here at this house, so 8 minutes and then they are out of the oven.
And now, I must do the work that I am supposed to be doing but am totally procrastinating on by posting here.
Happy Groundhog Day!
P.S. Cook-a-Doodle Doo can be bought here. It seriously is a great book. Seriously. With a recipe for strawberry shortcake at the end. Can’t beat it!