When I was little and my mother baked cookies, my brother and I used to squabble over who got to lick the bowl and who had dibs on the mixer paddles. I forget now which was better, but I do remember who got what was quite important to two small sugar-deprived boys. There always was a square glass jar on the counter and often as not it was full of cookies. Peanut butter with the crossed fork design into the top, cinnamon-brown sugar, double chocolate-chocolate chip, straight chocolate chip, sugar cookies; there was a lot of baking going on, it seems in hindsight. Perhaps we weren’t as sugar-deprived as we thought. Over the years I’ve left behind my need for sweets of most types. My weakness is for stinky cheeses, lovely cured meats, and the more savory things, although my fuel for backcountry adventure remains large quantities of Snickers. Still, sometimes I do need the house to smell like a warm oven full of Tollhouse goodness and have stacks of cooling cookies spread about the kitchen. Once they’re out of the oven, and I’ve burned my tongue and the roof of my mouth badly enough while they are fresh and soft, I am sated and the bounty generally goes to friends and co-workers. A cookie or three may get crumbled into a glass of milk when no one is watching, and chocolate-chip cookies dunked in coffee are a vastly underrated breakfast. Some might even end up reheated in the microwave, turned into little ice cream sandwiches and be eaten dripping over the sink, but none of this counts. As I said, I don’t like sweets.
2 1/4 cups AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter, melted
1 light cup superfine sugar
1 packed cup brown sugar
2 tbs vanilla extract (not the “flavoring”)
2 large eggs
1 full package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts (or pecans/walnuts/etc.)
Whisk the flour and backing soda together. In another bowl, mix the butter, sugar, and brown sugar together until blended. Slowly add the vanilla (yes, this is a lot compared to the recipe on the back of the Tollhouse bag) and the eggs to the bowl while mixing continuously on a low speed. Once well blended, begin adding the flour mixture a half cup a time, mixing continuously. Add in the chocolate and whatever your flavor of nut, and mix till even distributed. Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 for at least 15 minutes, and dollop about a tablespoon of cooled dough at a time onto a dry cookie sheet. Not too close together, as you want to leave enough space for them to spread out while cooking. Bake for 8-10 minutes until they are just starting to brown for softer cookies, and a bit longer for crunchier ones. Always start with a cool/cold cookie sheet.