I bake almost everything from scratch. I love finding new recipes and trying them out, changing them to suit my taste. Something about it is cathartic for me. It's kitchen meditation. The way you have to pay attention to what you're doing and get your measurements just right. It allows me to clear my head in a way that's only second to gardening.
Lately, I've been baking chocolate chip cookies. LOTS of chocolate chip cookies. I tried recipes that were labeled "the best" and blended them together, tweaked them in my own little kitchen science experiments and below is the recipe for, by far, THE BEST chocolate chip cookie I've ever made. And like I said, I made A LOT.
Magic ingredient! Hint: It's not Crisco
I've heard of using butter flavored Crisco, but I haven't tried it. It would probably be a good vegetarian option. I figured if lard was good enough for my great grandmother, it's good enough for me! Lard kept the cookies super soft. I hear it's not as bad for you as a lot of artificial stuff too. Seriously, try it! I'm going to see if I can get my next tub from the local farmer's market.
I used these chocolate chips.
I use a cookie scoop. It's not as messy and all the cookies end up the same size and the same "doneness". Look at that huge chocolate chip! Crazy!
Take them out of the oven when the edges start to brown. They'll cook a little more on the cookie sheet OUT of the oven.
Man! Those cookies were good! Enjoy and let me know what you think!
Chocolate Chip Cookies1 cup lard, room temperature (NOT hydrogenated lard! I used Fischer's)1/2 cup granulated sugar1 cup packed brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)2 eggs2 tsp pure vanilla extract (not imitation vanilla flavoring!)2 1/4 cup all purpose flour1/2 tsp salt1 tsp baking soda1 12 ounce bag chocolate chips (I used ghirardelli, but whatever you like is fine)Preheat oven to 350 degrees FMix flour, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl and set asideMix lard with white and brown sugar until creamy, add vanilla and eggs (one at a time) until combinedAdd dry ingredients a little at a time, mix well.Stir in the chocolate chipsDrop by spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets, leave room for them to spread a bit (I use a cookie scoop so they're uniform in size)Bake for 8-10 minutes (mine took 8 minutes)Cool on the cookie sheet for at least 2 minutes before moving to a wire rack.When the cookies are cooled completely, store in a sealed container.