The best, chewy chocolate chips cookies that will bring back memories of grandma's house.
Over ten years ago I was traveling to rural New Mexico to visit my sister. She had just delivered her second baby and I was eager to meet my new niece. It was early April and a freak winter storm blew in, leaving me stranded in the Denver airport. My flight was delayed 4 hours which wouldn't put me into the nearest airport (which was an hour away from my sisters house) till midnight. Her husband was away on business till the next evening and I was too young to rent a car. Feeling overwhelmed, a little devastated and exhausted ,I threw out a "Hail Mary" call to my childhood (and very close) friend's dad.
Now, you need to know two things about this family: First, they are the nicest people in the world. They would give you the shirt off their backs in the freezing rain and not blink an eye. And second, they are a family of hard working cowboys and ranchers.
I knew it would be a long shot to have him come pick me up so late at night. Knowing he would probably need to get up at 5am to get his day started. What I didn't realize (because I was young and oblivious) was that he had already been asleep when I called. Regardless of these two facts, Mr. Sherwood and his dear brother sauntered up the small airport hallway to grab my bags and safely take me to see my sister. I'll never forget the relief I felt seeing those two walk toward me, dressed in denim button ups and cowboy hats. The comfort of sitting in the back of their car listening to Marty Robbins sing "El Paso" (that being a favorite song of my dad's) and knowing that there are good people out in the world that wanted to help and keep me safe.
I told them thank you over and over, asked if I could pay for gas ( I knew they would say no) but otherwise wracked my brain with how to pay them back. The next day I figured I would make them each a plate of cookies- because obviously that's what you do to say thank you, right?
Either way, the recipe I found needed tweaking. I had made cookies a million times by then (probably an exaggeration, but truly made cookies at least once a week since I was 12. So maybe close) and knew how to help thigs along as the dough was struggling to hydrate. I've got a great post on cookie science here if you want to learn more.
I felt kind of silly taking cookies over to each of their homes. Mostly because I'd already bothered them enough but also because it was cookies. Like "Hi, remember me? Who disturbed your sleep, made you drive two hours in one night and now am saying thank you with cookies." Embarrassing.
But of course, they gratefully took the cookies and asked how I was doing. Then I hurried away so not to bother them any more. When I got back to my sister's house I got a call from Mr. G. Sherwood (the brother). "Honey, I need the recipe to these cookies. You see, these taste just like my mom's and I haven't had her cookies in a long time."
Writing this out makes me feel embarrassed. I hate feeling like I am putting on a show or drawing too much attention to myself, but that was the sweetest compliment I had ever received. There was so much emotion in his compliment. Nostalgia is probably my biggest driving emotion. So to hear that I played, even a small role, in brining back good memories was heart touching to say the least.
I gave him the recipe I used and my tweaks. I don't know if he remembers this encounter but for some reason I have never been able to let go of it. Food, especially baked goods have played a huge role in my life. It's what brings us together, how we create memories and how we remember those that aren't with us any more.
I'm grateful I got to be a part of that story and I hope to be able to have more encounters like that.
So what makes these cookies so special? Well for starters, they are no fuss, no chill and no wait time. Truly like how grandma would make them, simple ingredients, simple method, huge results. You can make them in one bowl and you DEFINETLY have all the ingredients in your kitchen.
Classically what makes a cookies super soft is the Crisco. I'm not a huge fan of it BUT no judgement here. Instead I used Avocado Oil, which give the cookie an almost doughy center and it will never dry out or get hard/crisp.
Another way this cookies keeps its chewy, fudgy texture is by using dark brown sugar and lots of it. Over 1 cup of dark brown sugar goes into these cookies. This will help them stay super soft and you won't get an overly crisp exterior.
If you don't have dark brown sugar on hand, that's okay. You can use light brown sugar just know you will get a crispier exterior
If by chance, you have molasses on hand you can add a tablespoon of that to your brown sugar to give it more chew
Other than that these cookies are very straight forward. Just cream, stir, scoop and bake.
I opted to use milk chocolate chips, just because that is how we did it all growing up and it brings back good memories. BUT this is your cookie so you get to decide what type of chocolate chips are used.
And with that, lets get to the recipe:
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 stick (8 TBSP) melted butter
1/3 c mild oil- I used Avocado oil, can use veg/canola oil
1 1/4 c dark brown sugar
1/3 c granulated sugar
2 TBSP milk of choice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 3/4 c flour
1 1/2 c milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 365 * F
To a large mixing bowl add melted butter, oil, sugars and milk. whisk really well till combined and the oil does not separate. This should take about 2 minutes and is important so do not skip.
Then add in eggs and whish again for another 2 minutes. Whisking till all the wet ingredients are full combined and the batter turned a pal color adds air and homogenizes the fats so that it is well incorporated leading to a better bake.
Next add in baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Give that a quick stir just till combined.
Spoon flour directly into the bowl and mix till about 3/4's incorporated. Add in the chocolate chips and mix till no flour streaks are showing.
Dough will look sticky but should hold a loose shape when rolled into a ball.
Scoop out one and a half ounces of cookie dough, shape and place on a light colored baking sheet. Place cookies about 2 inches apart, fitting 12 to each half sheet.
Bake at 365* F for 8 minutes or till tops look set and start forming cracks on the surface.
Let cool for a few minutes and then enjoy.
This recipe makes 24 two ounce cookies. for smaller cookies, bake at 350* F for 8 minutes.