The Secret Ingredient

By Dominique Browning, January/February 2010

Author Dominique Browning’s essay on the healing powers of friends and family.

"It's not that these cookies don't look totally amazing, it's just that I don't know if I can bring myself to use 2 sticks of butter in a cookie recipe. Does Eating Well have a lighter version? If not, perhaps I can adjust it. "

Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Caroline Cunningham

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 generous tablespoon vanilla extract

Mix well.*

Add 2 large eggs.
Mix well.

1 cup, plus 1/3 cup, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour **
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Mix all dry ingredients together, then add to batter and mix well. Add one large (12-ounce) package of chocolate chips. Mix again.
Lightly grease a cookie sheet (you only have to do this for the first batch) with unsalted butter. Put 12 tablespoon-size dollops*** onto tray and bake at 350°F until golden brown. Allow to cool on tray for a minute before removing to a rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining batter. Enjoy!

Notes from the EatingWell Test Kitchen:

We baked 2 batches of these delicious and buttery cookies in our Test Kitchen and offer the following tips:

*Use an electric mixer when the recipe instructs you to “Mix”—use medium to high speed when mixing butter, sugar and vanilla, medium speed when adding eggs and low speed when adding the dry ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

**When measuring the flour, dip the measuring cup (or spoon) into the flour canister or bag, fill the cup and then level off the top. This method of measuring fills the cup with a little more flour than using the EatingWell method of spooning the flour into the measuring cup.

***We had more success when we baked only 6 cookies per tray. When we scooped 12 level tablespoons of dough onto one tray, all the cookies ran together into one large, thin sheet of “cookie.” Our cookies took 9 to 10 minutes to achieve a golden-brown result.

Final note: These cookies do not have a typical chocolate chip cookie appearance or texture. Because they use about 1 cup flour less than other chocolate chip cookie recipes, they are very thin and almost lacy looking.

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