There are plenty of superlative chocolate chip cookie recipes for the baking. But perhaps the best chocolate chip cookie is simply the one you conjure in your food memory. Polka-dotted with semisweet chips from the classic yellow bag or studded with chunks of almost-too-bitter bittersweet artisanal chocolate. Your cookie of choice might be made by Freihofer’s or available nationwide in the blue resealable Nabisco bag. It’s possible you align yourself with the Entenmann’s box on top of the fridge in your grandmother’s kitchen. Maybe there’s a neighborhood bakery that sells a crispy-chewy version by the quarter pound, tucking them into a waxy bag before handing it over the counter. Some folks have not so fond all-nighter memories associated with a certain dough boy and cylinders of slice ‘n bake.
Whether you swear by walnuts in the mix or opt for nut free, chocolate chip cookies are often the first cookies many of us learn to bake from scratch. Today’s kitchens are well equipped with cookie scoops and parchment paper, but plenty of us learned to maneuver teaspoons of dough onto buttered cookie sheets, carefully removing them from the oven while clutching a potholder. (Odds are the potholder was something woven during an arts and crafts class.) I think we can all agree that the most challenging parts of the process were a) not eating the raw cookie dough and b) waiting for the cookies to cool before diving in.
The happy accident of adding semi-sweet chocolate bar pieces to a classic butter drop cookie is Ruth Graves Wakefield’s doing. For many of us who turn to the brown sugar/butter cookie for solace and sustenance, it is often our undoing, but worth every bite.
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