Growing up the only chocolate chip cookie recipe I knew came on the back of a bag of Toll House morsels. And let’s be honest: that recipe stands the test of time. Simple, no fuss, and tasty. As a kid I’d hang around the kitchen while my brother would stir together a batch with a friend, anxiously waiting to lick the spoon. Back then nobody feared raw egg (even Orange Julius threw it into their smoothies at the mall to get that amazing froth), and the only possible repercussions were sticky fingers or fewer cookies in the end.
Until I hit my 20’s, I was perfectly content with getting my cookie dough fix from a refrigerated tube of Pillsbury. Even though I knew better, salmonella never deterred me (and still doesn’t.) I’m certainly glad there’s no way to go back and count how many times girlfriends and I would devour the whole thing in a night. Never baking it, we would get down to the end and squeeze what remained out of the plastic like it was the dregs of the toothpaste, but so much more delicious. Admittedly, I feel a little ill looking back on that.
Jump ahead a few years, and my baking obsession kicked into gear full swing. Pre-made dough became a thing of my past, because I learned how quickly I could throw together a batch from ingredients I typically keep at home. I tried recipes from favorite cookbooks (the one in “Best Recipes” from America’s Test Kitchen was my go-to for years,) the classic Neiman Marcus one that went viral long before social media made “like” and “share” buttons, and whatever popped out from my online searches.
But when a friend brought hot from the oven chocolate chip cookies to our book club on a cold night back in 2011, I took one bite and knew there had to be a winning recipe behind it. (Okay, so it wasn’t one bite. It was more like 47 bites because I could not stop eating them!) Deb at Smitten Kitchen had done it again. Her “Chewy Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies” found its way into my binder of “keepers,” and I haven’t looked back….