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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Simple Enough Chocolate Chip Cookies

Given the way things have been lately I think we need a lighter subject for today... 

Simple Enough:

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. – Albert Einstein (often attributed)

Ever tried looking up the recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies? You’re immediately overwhelmed with too many choices, options, variations. You are stifled by indecision because of the Tyranny of Choice.

When you do finally pick one, you find yourself confused as the information you need is buried under pages of pictures and ads. Just when you reach the bottom (where the information is usually located, you are blocked by a pop-up asking for your email address. All you wanted was to make some cookies.

Finally, you toss the phone in your pocket, and head out to the store to buy pre-made cookie dough, because who needs this mess?

At Simple Enough we aim to make one thing very simple.

There are many books that can give you details to sift through, leaving you overwhelmed and confused. We want to teach you one thing, and make complicated things Simple Enough. Therefore, we interview someone who’s done ONE thing very well, have them teach it to us, and then we’ll teach it to you. We hope you enjoy this edition.

Simple Enough: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Resident Expert:

My friend Theresa is not a “baker” by trade, as in, she doesn’t own her own bakery….. YET. But she bakes constantly, consistently, and it’s in her heart to do it at a moment’s notice. I’ve seen her bake a thousand cookies for a theater show, out of her own pocket, just for the cast and crew, because she “had to” take care of her people. It’s her ministry and lifestyle. She does it really well. Anytime I’m lucky enough to have one, I feel guilty, like I should have paid to get this quality.

So imagine my giddy heart, when I dropped by one evening and she threw together Chocolate Chip cookies from scratch in moments while absent mindedly doing three other things.

I was floored, when she opened the cabinet, I could tell I was in the presence of a regular baker, there were multiple packages of Chocolate Chips, Nuts, and other cookie ingredients. As she pulled out a mixer and began tossing things together like she’d done (no doubt) a thousand times before, I was shocked at how easy she made it look. I always thought it seemed like it would be “hard” to make cookies from scratch.

As I watched, I said “Wait… so you do that first?” She nodded, and pointed, and directed, “I’ve been doing it wrong my whole life!”

“The directions are on the package,” She said, eyebrow tilted in disbelief at my silliness.

I picked up the package of Chocolate Chips, read them carefully, “The way you do it isn’t on here…” I read them again, “Not exactly.”

Later that week, I tried it and it came out exactly the way they had at her house. I was amazed. All my life I’ve been buying the packages of pre-made mix from the store thinking it was so “hard” to make them from scratch. Now I realize I can make them with almost no effort, and they’ll be twice as much dough for half the cost and they’ll be ten times as good!


Here’s what you’ll need:

Mixer: You can use a bowl with a hand whisk and spoon, but if you have a mixer, I beg you to use it. It’s part of what makes this so effortless.

Mixer Attachment: Use the Paddle not the whisk.

Spatula: For scraping the edges throughout the process.

Measuring Cups and Measuring Spoons.

Cookie Sheet, lined with foil, parchment or reusable cookie sheet liners.


The Wets

Butter 2 Sticks

White Granulated Sugar ¾ Cup

Brown Sugar ¾ Cup

Pure Vanilla 1 teaspoon (imitation Vanilla, a great big heap of it)

Eggs 2

The Dries

Flour 2 ½ Cups (less flour or more, depends on how cakey you want them, experiment). If I overshoot, I sometimes think it out with a dash of milk or more butter. 

Baking Soda 1 Teaspoon

Salt 1 Teaspoon

Chocolate Chips 1 package (or more? He he)

Bonus: Torani Peppermint Syrup


Here’s where I went wrong. Most recipe’s I’ve seen, have you combine the dry ingredients and then mix the wet in. Here’s what she taught me. It sounds like a lot to think about until you actually do it. Then it’s actually very simple. The mixer does all the work.

Preheat the oven to 350* F

Crème The Wets

Put two sticks of softened room temperature butter into the mixer, with the Granulated White Sugar and Brown Sugar.

Turn the mixer on low and let it beat around for a while.

Use your spatula to scrape the sides and Paddle. Get it all down into the bottom, and start the mixer again, this time a little higher speed.

Add the Vanilla and Eggs

Repeat the process of scraping and mixing until the final product is a smooth

Add the Dries

Add the Flour, Baking Soda, and Salt

Use the lowest setting on the mixer until it’s well mixed, then move to a higher speed.

Continue to turn the mixer off, scrape the sides and paddle, then turn it back on until fully mixed.

Note: Looking for a consistency of tacky but not sticky dough. If the mixer feels too wet, add a little additional flour (1/4 cup at a time), until it gets to the consistency you like. The wetness may vary depending on how much vanilla or peppermint or other extras you add.

Once fully mixed to the right consistency, add the chocolate chips and go for another round of mixing.

Take the Paddle off, lay it aside.

Note: They say not to eat raw dough. Raw eggs may contain salmonella.

Spoon large lumps onto the lined cookie sheet, keeping a little space between each. The larger the cookie, the more space between because it’ll spread out as it bakes.


For a softer inside, a little less done in the middle (how I prefer it), bake a little less long.

For a dryer cookie, a little more done in the middle, add some time.

Alternate Recipes:

Try adding Peppermint Syrup, by Torani (like you see at the coffee stands)

Try adding over fun items, nuts, mint chips, peanut butter chips, to add other flavors.

1 comment:

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