Rules for chocolate chip cookies:
- Never forget to preheat.
- It's okay to be OCD about measuring ingredients.
- Don't over-mix. The poor flour stiffens if you beat it too much.
- Altitude matters. It took me the longest time to get this through my skull, and I live at 4500 feet above sea level (for high altitudes, increase the oven temperature by about 15-20 degrees, and decrease baking time slightly. This keeps the cookies from drying out).
- Take them out of the oven before they look done. This is the hardest one for me. If I see light brown, I know I'm already too late.
- As soon as they come out, whip out that spatula and take those babies off. They want to hang out on a cooling rack together.
- Warm cookies straight out of the oven are awesome, but I love the awesomeness that comes from cookies covered in plastic wrap overnight. They will melt in your mouth in the morning, and you will be tempted to eat them all for breakfast. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.
adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
In a large mixing bowl beat the shortening and butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add half of the flour, with the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and baking soda. Beat mixture until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract until combined. Beat in the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir in remaining flour. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree F oven 8 to 9 minutes. They need to come out before they look done). Transfer cookies immediately to a wire rack and let them cool. Makes about 60 cookies.