I’ve always thought the quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie was a bit silly. I mean, most people just love the one they’re with, right?
For years, I’ve ignored new recipes for chocolate chip cookies, because the cookies I grew up with, the recipe I’ve had memorized since I was 11, had no need for improvement. The cookies were soft, the chips were melty, and the flavor was rich and rounded. What more could a girl ask for?
I’ll tell you: butter. My beloved chocolate chip cookies have a Crisco base…and as I’ve become more invested in baking, I’ve also grown to realize that baking with shortening is not a virtue unless you are lactose intolerant or vegan. And I quickly discovered that replacing the Crisco with butter 1:1 resulted in a flat, sticky mess.
So what’s a girl to do?
When I was about to graduate college a few years ago, I realized two things with great dismay: 1) although I claimed to be an excellent cook/baker, the only recipe I really knew was for chocolate chip cookies; and 2) I was about to move out of my parents’ house, away from my mother’s stash of cookbooks and easy access to all my childhood favorites. How would I get cookie dough truffles once I lived hours away from my mother? How would I ever figure out the secret to making a clump-less roux?
So I set about collecting all of the recipes I knew I couldn’t live without, the things I knew I would one day need to make for my own children. I gathered together my favorite chicken recipes, the recipes for a dozen or more church potluck bar cookies…and I set out on my own.
But did I bother to bake/roast/sauté anything in my newly minted recipe binder?
I’ll give you three guesses.