Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
Welcome to recipe post number TWELVE in this Chocolate Chip Cookie Experiment. Admittedly, the experiment is going a little slower than expected since it’s really turned into more of an every-other-week thing rather than a weekly thing. But, no complaints here! Chocolate chip cookies are my personal favorite dessert after all, so I don’t mind dragging it out a bit 😉
For those of you who are just tuning in… I’m on a quest to find the most perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe ever– even if it takes me a year’s worth of experimenting! So far, my favorites have been:
DoubleTree Hotel Chocolate Chip Cookies– these have been my husband’s favorites too. They are chock full of chips, oats, and walnuts. But my favorite part about these cookies is that the oats and walnuts are not overly detectable. They are blended and chopped very finely, so that they just add a lot of girth to each bite rather than chunks. Love, love, LOVE!
NY Times Quintessential Chocolate Chip Cookies– these are another family favorite. You get a big mouthful of chocolate in every bite of these, which makes them absolutely to die for!
AllRecipes.com #1 CCC– I loved the simplicity of these cookies. It’s basically the same recipe I’ve been using for years, and there’s a reason I’ve held on to it for so long– it’s a good, solid, basic recipe with very little fuss and a lot of great taste.
I enjoyed the recipe from AllRecipes.com so much, that I decided I’d try a recipe from another user-submission-based site: Food.com. While this recipe didn’t have as many reviews as the one from AllRecipes, it did have a 100% positive rating with TONS of comments from people who tried and loved the recipe.
However, upon reading the recipe, I had a few of concerns…. almond extract being one of them. I’m not in love with it, especially in my classic chocolate chips cookies.
Another potential problem: no salt. Weird right? There is NO salt in this recipe, which is very opposite of how I like to make CCC. I usually use extra salt, because I just love that buttery, salty, sweet taste! So, suffice it to say, I was concerned about this.
And lastly….. one word: Crisco. I’ll admit, I’m not one to shy away from Crisco. In fact, for years before I began blogging (and discovered REAL butter), I devotedly used shortening in my favorite cookie recipe. However, since I’ve spent a lot more time in the kitchen and learned more about baking, I’ve become a full-butter convert. Not to mention I know how the majority of my readers feel about Crisco… and it’s not good.
But… this is an experiment after all. And I committed in the start that I would bake the recipes I selected as they are written without making any of my own changes to them. So I decided just to hold my breath and go for it– Crisco and all.
The verdict? These are actually pretty amazing. Almond extract, salt-less, Crisco and all.
I thought these ended up being some of the prettiest cookies I’ve made so far. Perfectly plump in the middle, nicely rounded, and a pretty golden brown on top without burning on the bottom.
And, as promised, they are dreamy soft in the middle (even after they’ve cooled) and crispy on the edges. I didn’t even miss the salt! These are seriously worth setting aside any prejudices you may have (like I did) and giving them a try!
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 (4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding (not the sugar free kind)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Beat together the butter and shortening until blended. Beat in the brown sugar, sugar, pudding mix, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
Add the eggs in, one at a time, mixing after each addition.
Add the flour and baking soda, and mix just until the dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips.
Form 2-tablespoon mounds with the dough and place on a cookie sheet for baking.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Transfer immediately to a wire rack for cooling (if you leave them on the baking sheet, they will continue to bake and won't be as soft in the middle).