the chocolate chip cookie dilemna

my husband excels at many things. alas, baking and cooking are not two of those skills. now, don’t get me wrong. he can make an excellent pancake. and his version of “clams” is yummy, though not remotely associated with any form of seafood i’ve ever eaten.

so when we were married, i gained a new husband – and five beat-up, old recipe cards he’d brought to our marital kitchen. two were his mom’s recipes for crepes and dumplings (neither of which i can duplicate), one was for his version of cheap coffee cake (which i’ve never attempted), and one was for his version of pizza (ingredients included one phone and one checkbook. order take-out. enjoy!)

that’s only four, you say? well, that’s correct. the fifth recipe card created quite a stir, so to speak. i remember flipping to that card and catching my breath as it stared back at me in horror.

chocolate chip cookies.

now, you must understand that i’d been making chocolate chip cookies for a lot longer than i suspect he had. and my choco chip snacks were pretty darn tasty.

actually, better than that.

they were good.

really good.

and here i had this chocolate chip cookie recipe staring at me, expecting me to just switch camps after years of successful cookie baking, just because i’d had a name change.

okay, perhaps that is trite. but, i’d had a long and successful relationship with my chocolate chip cookie recipe, and now this…this imposter, had wiggled it’s little way into my recipe box. what was a cookie girl to do?

well, i did what any baker would do…i filed his card in the back of the box in the hopes it would be forgotten. ah, but as fate would have it, soon after our vows were exchanged, there came an opportunity to bake the dreaded cookie.

so, i made chocolate chip cookies. my recipe. i thought to myself, ‘he’ll never know the difference.’ and my cookies are so good, they’ll make him forget his own recipe.

but the best laid plans….

he ate the cookies up. and then he asked me if i’d remembered to use his recipe, because they didn’t quite taste the way his had.

what?! he hadn’t swooned over my perfect cookie recipe?? that old recipe card didn’t become obsolete by just the mere whiff of my sweet treats? ack! i was caught red-handed! there was nothing to do but ‘fess up to the dastardly act. and in the spirit of marital compromise, to promise to give his cookie recipe a try.

a few weeks later i did just that. i pulled out that sad-looking recipe card stuffed in the back of the box, and i followed the instructions….and i baked a batch of cookies.

not just any batch of cookies. good cookies.

actually, better than good cookies. very good cookies.

alright, i’ll say it. they were better than my original recipe. yes, it’s true. and i’m not just saying that to score cookie points with my hubby. it’s the honest truth. they are tasty, chocolaty, soft, yet firm. and the key step to their success, i believe, is the ‘overnight in the fridge’ step. it’s amazing how the sugars all meld together, and they make the cookie a much smoother, much richer cookie than any i’d ever baked before.

so, along with this outstanding chocolate chip cookie recipe, i offer you a friendly word of advice: if your husband (or wife) provides you with a cookie recipe, give it a try. you may not know what you’re missing!

chocolate chip cookies a la owen
(in his own words)

2 ¼ cups all-porpoise flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
mix those together and set ‘em aside.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 – 2 ½ cups of chocolate chips (e.g., a 12-ounce bag or maybe a little more)

get the ol’ mixer bowl. mix the butter, sugar and vanilla together, then add the eggs and beat them thoroughly. once you’ve done that, then add the flour mixture. don’t dump it all in at once unless you want the whole kitchen to be a horrendous white dusty mess. with that done, the cookie dough is ready; now just add the chocolate chips that you haven’t foolishly eaten yet. put the dough in the refrigerator and leave it there for the night.

the hard part: don’t just eat all the cookie dough now. think salmonella.

the next day, heat the oven up to 375 degrees. put the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet in little cookie-dough lumps. do not eat them yet. put them into the oven for about 10 minutes, or generally speaking until they look like they’re cooked. keep on doing this until you’re out of cookie dough.

now you can eat them.

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