Happy Birthday Mar Mar!!!

My little sister Maria turns 18 today!!! In honor of her birthday, I decided to make chocolate chip cookies. Maria makes the best chocolate chip cookies.

Growing up, we made the Nestlé Toll House recipe together often. It was our go-to activity during summers.  I love tradition and held the classic back-of-the-bag recipe dear to my heart. When Maria decided she had a new favorite recipe, I was appalled. Why mess with perfection?

I was wrong. In a side-by-side comparison, the recipes appear to be very similar. Standard choco chip cookie ingredients in both. However, the subtle measurement discrepancies such as a quarter cup more of flour or a twelfth cup less of both sugars create a completely new cookie.. and a delicious one too.

There is nothing fancy to these cookies. They’re sweet, have a high chocolate to cookie ratio, and keep their fluff even after they cool. I even refrained from sprinkling sea salt on top because simply said, they are good on their own.

This recipe is taken from Baking for All Occasions: A Treasury of Recipes for Everyday Celebrations by Flo Braker. When Maria first got this book, she was obsessed. But I have to admit, she has created fabulous desserts because of it.

Happy birthday Maria.
I love you and can’t wait to have you in New York. Get ready for our future kitchen extravaganzas in the hood.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 
**I made the dough the night before baking them. After reading a New York Times article claiming cookies to be better after the dough has had time to sit (up to 36 hours), I tested the theory in my college apartment. I drew the same conclusion as the Times. The taste becomes richer, with “notes of caramel and hints of toffee.” Don’t worry when you see the dough become drier on the second or third day. The cookies will not be dry! Quest for the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie- NYTimes.com
***Sometimes baking the cookies immediately after putting together the dough is part of the magical baking experience, so by all means, go for it!


2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional- I didn’t use)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts, or a combination (optional- I didn’t use)


    Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350. 


With electronic mixer, combine the flour, sugars, salt, cinnamon (if using), and baking soda and mix on lowest speed just until blended. Add butter and continue to mix on low speed just until small, moist crumbs form (they are larger than crumbs that dont clump together) that look similar to streusel, about 1 min. Add the egg and vanilla and eat on low speed until a cohesive dough begins to form. Increase speed to medium just as you add the chips and nuts (optional) and beat until incorporated into the dough, 20 or 30 seconds. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop 1 1/2 inch diameter balls of dough and space them about an inch apart. bake for 10 to 13 mins until undersides are golden. 

Eat at least one warm cookie with a glass of milk. 

(Thomas made a cookie fish)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
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