Friday, February 28, 2014

chocolate chip cookies

I think chocolate chip cookies are one of the first things I learned how to bake on my own.  You know the Toll House recipe?  Mmmmm!  Well a few years back I graduated to Sonlight chocolate chip cookies.  Sonlight is a Christian camp in Pagosa Springs that I never actually attended as a camper, (though Katie did, twice!) I spent time there in the fall for women's retreats.  But it doesn't matter what you are showing up for, Mary almost always makes chocolate chip cookies to welcome you.  And they are the best!  After I talked about these cookies for a couple of years a friend finally copied the recipe out of her Sonlight cookbook and gave it to me.  I have never looked back and I now share the goodness with you!

The recipe makes a lot, so I scoop the cookies onto a wax lined baking sheet and set them in the fridge to harden.  Then store them in tupperware in the freezer for up to a month.  And when the craving hits for warm, chocolat-y goodness, I set a few out to thaw.  It's almost like having one of those insta food things on the Enterprise from Star Trek.  Accept instead of asking the computer for chocolate chip cookies, I ask my Whirpool.

Sonlight's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 c. margarine (I sub in unsalted butter)
1 1/4 c. shortening (I use Spectrum organic shortening, it's non-hydrogenated) 
1/4 c. white sugar
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
4 tsp. baking soda*
2 tsp. salt
5 c. flour
2 packages chocolate chips (I use 3 cups of chips)

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the margarine, shortening and sugars.  Add vanilla and eggs.  In a separate mixing bowl combine dry ingredients, and gradually stir into the sugar mixture.  Mix in chocolate chips.

Bake for 8 minutes at 350.  Be sure to remove cookies from the oven when they are just set.  If you bake until a dark golden brown the cookies will not stay soft.**

*This recipe is adjusted to the altitude of Sonlight, about 8,000 feet.  You'll get different results at lower altitudes.  To bake these at a lower altitude, first try reducing the amount of baking soda, and increasing the amount of white sugar.  Here in Austin, I've found 3 1/2 tsp. of baking soda, no sugar adjustment, is fine.

**I do bake mine longer, about 12 minutes till they are a light brown.  I have no issues with them staying soft.

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