Saturday, December 3, 2011

COOKIE CHRONICLES - Craving Chocolate Chips


Hello, Ms. Chips!
What's one of the most popular goodies on your cookie plate year after year?  In our house, it's Chocolate Chip Cookies, hands down.  There's just something very special about them....recalling childhood days of cool cups of milk and crunchy/chewy morsels packed with chocolate bits; a year-round cookie that never falls from favor and is an absolute MUST for the holidays!

There are about a ka-zillion recipes and adaptions - ranging from simple to extraordinary.  Each person, each family has their own likes and dislikes. For the most part, we can agree on one thing...Chocolate Chip Cookies rule!

Someone recently asked the question -  
What's the difference between Toll House and regular Chocolate Chip cookies? 
After some research and with much thanks to the Nestle website, here's the answer:
Chocolate chips ready
They are one in the same!  These cookies were invented in the 1930s by Ruth Wakefield of Cape Cod, who was making a batch of Butter Cookies for the Toll House Inn, the hotel she and her husband operated.  She cut up bits of a Nestle semi-sweet chocolate bar into the Butter dough, thinking they would melt completely, but they didn't.  Instead, those chips became chewy and yummy, retaining their self-hood amid the oven's heat.

The resultant treat was an instant sensation and soon the Nestle company was contacted by Ruth and started making chocolate bits for the home baker with Mrs. Wakefield's recipe on the back.  This is a very abbreviated version of the tale, for a more detailed version go to http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/tollhouse.htm

Choco-Jalapeno Cookies
Through the years I've experimented with and had the opportunity to sample several interpretations of Mrs. Wakefield's invention; including but not limited to Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Raisin Peanut Butter Cookies, Choco-Mint Chip Cookies, Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Chip Candy Cane Cookies (made with chunks of candy canes) and even Chocolate Chip Jalapeno Cookies. Personal favorite? The Jalapeno, of course!  I wonder what Ruth would think of all these variations.

For Christmas baking, I usually stick to the basics.  Plain CC (Chocolate Chip).  Due to dietary considerations I use Splenda.  This year, I'm trying some Crisco Butter flavored vegetable shortening too - no transfat....another dietary adaptation.

Crisco Butter Flavored Shortening
This Chocolate Chip recipe involves use of Crisco's Butter Flavored Vegetable Shortening. Mom used original Crisco in her Chocolate Chip Cookies years ago. She'd use butter or margarine in many of the other cookies, but for some reason always went to Crisco for her 'Chippers.  I remember her teaching me about measuring the stuff into a metal measuring cup.

I'm using "regular" brown sugar here, partially because I couldn't find any Splenda Brown Sugar in my local stores, and partially because I'm not sure how the sugar substitute will work with the Crisco.  I'll do a little research and report my findings to the blog....naturally this will involve a recipe, so stay tuned!

One important thing to remember - If you're hoping to substitute Crisco Butter Flavored shortening for butter or margarine, just follow the suggestion printed right on the product! 


CRISCO CHOCOLATE CHIP 
or TOLL HOUSE COOKIES

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 1/4 cup firm packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup Crisco Butter Flavored Shortening
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips, coarsely chopped

Double spoon method
Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.  Cream Crisco and brown sugar together until light and fluffy, add egg, beat until mixed in, add vanilla and milk. Mix together.  Add to dry ingredients and mix until fully blended. Add chocolate chips a bit at a time, making sure to distribute them easily throughout the dough.  Let dough rest a few moments.

Using the "double spoon" method, put 1/2 to 1 spoon of batter per cookie onto ungreased cookie sheet, spaced about 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies, 11 to 13 minutes for crunchy cookies.  This recipe makes about 3 dozen.  Recipe doubles easily.

As usual, feel free to share your ideas, thoughts, memories and recipes here via the comments box.
And as always....Enjoy!
Crisco Chocolate Chip Cookies


  

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