I began baking--really getting serious about baking--my junior year of college when my two roommates/favorite taste-testers and I had an adorable house right off of campus with a big new kitchen. I also had a football team that was ready to take care of any leftovers of my creations. This kept us from gorging..too too often :]
I began my baking journey with one purpose in mind: to make my grandma and great-grandma who had passed on a few years before proud of me.
We're Italian. Great-grandma came over to America from Avellino in 1909 when she was 8 years-old with her mother and three sisters to meet her father who had already been here for a while.
She passed away my freshman year of high school, but right up until that point she was the most amazing cook and baker you could imagine. Her basement was COVERED in hangers laden with homemade pasta, cut with a knife, and you were to NEVER touch it. Ever. But I always tried.
My grandma took after her and was a phenomenal cook and baker as well. Best kitchen tag team. I want(ed) to be able to carry on the tradition of their famous edibles.
[There was only one failure that I can recall in all of my great-grandma's kitchen-goddessness. The Christmas before she passed away, she made gingerbread cookies for the family. When we went to eat them, they smelled of gingerbread...and peanut butter...and were solid as a rock. My dad nearly cracked a crown when trying to bite into one. I slammed mine on the table (when she wasn't there) and it didn't produce any crumbs. Pretty sure she just combined the two recipes...but not sure of how that leads to concrete.]
Of all of the recipes I have and have made throughout the years, this one recipe is my most popular go-to that I can make with my eyes shut. It is not a family recipe, but rather one that I have found and adapted myself...and I am guaranteed absolutely no left-overs when taken anywhere. ....
The Best Fool-proof Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe EVER!
Makes about 2 dozen, really depending on what size scoop you use.
I have done everything from a tablespoon measure to a 2 ounce measure. It all works.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and heat oven to 300*.
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon instant coffee or espresso
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 12 ounce package (or 2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy.
Add in egg and espresso/coffee powder and blend.
In a separate bowl, mix all other dry ingredients (but not the chocolate) with a whisk.
With mixer on low, slowly add dry mixture into butter mixture until just incorporated.
Add in chocolate chips. Then for good measure, add in a few more.
Blend until combined and no dry ingredients can be seen.
Scoop out cookie dough using a tablespoon measure or a cookie dough scoop and place about an inch and a half apart on the prepared cookie sheet. (the ultimate goal is for uniform shape and size here).
Gently press down on dough with your palm to flatten slightly.
Bake for 20 minutes in the center of the oven.
Let cool one minute and then remove from cookie sheet onto a wire cooling rack.
The key to these extremely chocolaty tasting cookies is not the amount of chocolate you put in, but the instant coffee or espresso powder. You don't taste the coffee, but it really intensifies the chocolate flavor!! Ssshhhh! No one has to know your secret!