Everyone has a recipe that's been in their family for ages, be it an actual family recipe or one that's been given to you by a friend. This recipe for chocolate chip cookies is from a friend of my mom's, and had been by go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe before I wanted to branch out and find which version I liked the best. My search is far from over, and I'll always be curious enough to try out different versions and techniques, but going back to basics (with a few new tricks I've discovered) has shown me that sometimes the best is what you've always had.
What's different about these cookies from all others? For one, the use of all brown sugar instead of part granulated sugar, which lends a chewier texture and more flavors of caramel. Secondly, two spices are present, cinnamon and ginger, which lends a depth to the caramel without totally dominating. Thirdly, you roll the cookie balls in confectioners' sugar before baking. This really adds more flavor than you'd think. The original recipe also states to let the dough chill for at least an hour, and though it's probably more because it prevents the cookies from spreading out too much, it's funny considering the current trend of letting the dough rest to develop the flavors.
My changes were relatively minor, and I feel they help improve an already delicious cookie instead of differing the heart of the recipe. For half the flour I used bread flour, I replace half the butter with shortening (gasp all you want, cry in terror, it's just that I never could get these cookies not to overly spread until I used half shortening, though feel free to use all butter), added one teaspoon of instant espresso powder and increased the salt by a quarter teaspoons. Also, I sprinkled a bit of kosher salt on top of the cookie balls, too.
These cookies are every bit, and more, as delicious a chocolate chip cookie as any other. Their simplicity is what really shines through, and the texture just can't be beat. The spices really make the cookies, though the confectioners' coating the lingers in spots on the baked cookies makes for a delicious bite.
Try them out and see what you think for yourself!
Recipe after the jump
Print this recipe
Recipe adapted from a family friend
Makes about 48 small cookies
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup confectioners' sugar, and more if needed
additional coarse salt
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours with baking soda, spices, and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat the shortening and butter with the brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the egg and beat to mix, followed by the vanilla and espresso. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture just until combined, then stir in the chocolate chips until blended. Transfer dough to a container and chill for at least two hours.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the confectioners' sugar in a wide, shallow bowl or pie pan and place next to baking sheet. Portion out rounded tablespoons of cookie dough to fill sheet. Roll into balls, then roll until completely coated in sugar. Using the back of a spoon or your thumb, make a shallow indent on the top of the balls and sprinkle a few grains of coarse salt on top.
- Bake for 11 minutes, until tops are just set and edges are barely beginning to brown. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack, cookies still on baking sheet, and let cool for 10 minutes before transferring cookies from the sheet to the rack to completely cool. Repeat process with remaining dough.