(The BEST) Chocolate Chip Cookies [UPDATED!]

Chocolate Chip CookiesOne of my most requested baked treats are these chocolate chip cookies which are a version of the recipe found over a decade ago on the packaging of the generic Aldi brand chocolate chips! How about that for a recipe source? :)

Modifications are minor. In fact, it might be only the doubling of the vanilla. (But oh, that makes them delicious!) Cook time and temp will vary, too. See instructions below for more on that.

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
3-4 tsp vanilla
5 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1 large bag chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Your oven may vary, so watch carefully to see that the cookies are baking thoroughly without browning the edges too much. This will dry out the cookies, or even “burn” the bottoms (more than you want!). The original recipe instructed the baker to preheat to 375ºF, but this caused the too-quick browning, without thorough baking. So know your oven, and set the temperature accordingly.

Cream butter, shortening and sugars. I like to whip it on high speed for 1 or 2 minutes. Add in eggs and beat again till smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla, then flour and other dry ingredients. Mix together, but not on high speed this time, just until all dry ingredients are worked in. Add chocolate chips (I use a whole 24 oz bag, but you can add as many or as few as you like.)

Spoon out in generous tablespoon-fulls. Eight drops per cookie sheet, one-and-a-half to two inches in diameter. I prefer to bake one tray at a time, allowing for the most even heat distribution. Bake 8-10 minutes, watching carefully for the browning edges and for any moisture to disappear from the middle. Do not over-bake! Once cookies are ready, remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet for a couple minutes. After a short cooling time on the tray, remove to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for at least five to ten minutes before eating (or storing).

Recipe makes approximately five dozen large cookies. And believe me, they go fast! :)


Originally published July 29th, 2013. Updated September 8th, 2014

Amazing Peanut Butter Fudge

I just made this again recently, and quickly remembered why I had saved this recipe! Originally found it somewhere online, under the name “Alpha’s Peanut Butter Fudge”. I made a few modifications, and I believe they improved an already great recipe!

Peanut Butter FudgeIngredients:
2 1/2 cup sugar
5 oz Evaporated Milk
1/2 cup of butter
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
18 oz Peanut Butter
1 tsp Vanilla

In a medium saucepan, dissolve sugar in evaporated milk. Add butter (cut in pieces, if desired) and corn syrup, and, stirring constantly, cook over low heat until butter is melted. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, to soft ball stage. (Using our candy thermometer, this was to 240ºF.)

Remove from heat and mix in peanut butter. Cool to about 120º F and mix in vanilla. Spread in suitable size pan (the larger the pan, the thinner each piece of candy will be). Fudge will still be very soft at this stage; it takes a few hours to set up.

I actually doubled this recipe (because of our large family) … sort of. I forgot to double the peanut butter, but did double everything else, and that was just fabulous. So I would recommend perhaps halving the peanut butter, or if doubling, just use one 18oz jar. Still very peanut buttery … and fantastic!

It took about four hours to cool/set, and then was ready to serve!

Snickerdoodles

snickerdoodles
Ingredients:
1/2 cup of shortening
1/2 cup of butter
2 eggs
2 tsp. cream tartar
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 1/3 cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 salt

Sugar & cinnamon mixture
(for cookies to be rolled in)
2 tbl sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

I’ve been making these quite often lately. They’re delicious, and other than the Cream of Tartar, the ingredients are simple and usually in my cupboards!

Cream shortening, butter, sugar together. I usually beat in the mixer on high until quite fluffy. Add the eggs and beat on high again. Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, & salt and mix well.

Roll into 1″ balls and then drop in the cinnamon/sugar mixture until well coated.

Bake at 350 degrees about 8 – 10 minutes. (I have found that a slightly higher temperature—375ºF, produces slightly crispier edges, which can be nice!)

Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for a minute or two, then remove to a cooling rack. And then… enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies!These cookies are fairly quick and easy, and are a delicious treat! (I know this because they don’t last much longer than it takes to cool them off! They are a hit in the Campbell home!)

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker’s 40th Anniversary Cookbook

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
1 egg
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350ºF. (Recipe says 375ºF, but I have found 350ºF to work better with my oven.)

Mix the first six ingredients together until smooth and then add the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Optional extra ingredients include chopped peanuts and chocolate chips. (And whatever else you might want to throw in!)

The recipe says to chill, but I’ve never found that to be necessary. Roll teaspoon size balls of dough and place on a cookie sheet. Press down to about 1/4″ thick with a fork (making crisscross marks by turning the for 90º) or with any sort of styled press for even more fun-looking cookies! Sprinkle each cookie with white sugar and bake for 9-10 minutes, or until cookies look dry and you can see a slight browning around the bottom edge.

Let them cool for a minute or two on the cookie sheet, and then remove to a baking rack to cool more thoroughly.

Recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Spiced (Mulled) Hot Cider

A favorite beverage this time of year is spiced hot cider. (I think it’s the same as “mulled” cider? Google it…) It’s been a hit at a few gatherings recently, so I thought I’d share it here at food.gregshead.net!

Ingredients
1 Gallon sweet apple cider
1 Cup sugar
1 Orange
8 sticks of cinnamon
a couple dozen whole cloves

I like to heat the cider (and keep it warm) in a crock pot. Pour the cider into your crock pot, mix the sugar into the cider, stirring well. Slice up the orange in quarters and stick the cloves into the orange (this keeps them from floating into your cup!). Drop in the cinnamon sticks and let it come to a slow, simmering boil. (Can use the high setting to heat more quickly, but low will work fine if you have the time.)

Ladle out and enjoy!