Jason and I got back from our travels through France and Spain last weekend, and I've been so exhausted that I've done nothing but sleep this past week. I have a mountain of photos to go through, and a long list of recipes that I want to try my hand at re-creating and telling you about, but as I mentioned in my last post, I'm still running on a time delay, which is why this weekend I will finally be doing my December holiday gift baking. But then, oh my, do I have some stories for you. So I hope you bear with me in the interim.
I chose to post this recipe not because I think the world needs a new chocolate chip cookie recipe (which it doesn't, and which this isn't; it's off the back of a Trader's Joe's bag, I just added pretzels), but because I had a craving for these back in December and for one full weekend did nothing but bake variations of the classic chocolate chip cookie. I found out a few things: 1) You really can't mess up the chocolate chip cookie. Underbaked. Overbaked. Baked just right. They all taste wonderful. 2) As is common knowledge, sweet and salty go very well together. 3) Everyone that I baked these cookies for really enjoyed them. I mean, really really enjoyed them. Because chocolate chip cookies are just one of those comfort foods that make you happy deep deep down, where we're all made up of chocolate and sugar and flour.
Adapted from the back of a bag of Trader Joe's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour *
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 12-oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pretzels
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2) Combine flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. Combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, softened butter, and vanilla - beat until creamy. Add eggs and beat. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and chopped pretzels.
3) **Drop mixture by rounded spoonfuls onto non-greased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until you feel they're done.
*Cookie spread (how much your cookie does/doesn't spread when baking) is an often discussed cookie topic. It's affected by a few factors, one of which is the type of flour used. A high protein flour (i.e. bread flour) absorbs more liquid, thus less cookie spread. A lower protein flour (i.e. most all-purpose flours) absorb less liquid resulting in a wetter batter and more cookie spread. I experimented with my cookie batches and discovered that I liked to use 1 cup bread flour + 1-1/4 cup all-purpose for a fuller cookie.
**Chilling chocolate chip cookie dough for 24 to 36 hours prior to baking allows the dough to rest and the flavors to meld. If you have the patience to wait, you may want to try experimenting with this. Also, keep unused cookie dough in the refrigerator in between baking batches.