Baking in My Blood

I just reread the title and realized it sounds a bit like a horror film involving a hot oven, a mix master and chocolate chips. Sadly – or maybe not – my life isn’t quite that interesting. My life is, however, hugely influenced by maternal influence, especially when it comes to baking.

Baking is a really big deal in our family. Until I got to college and learned of the guilty pleasure of “break and bake” cookies, the idea of pre-prepared cookie dough was unthinkable! In fact, until recently, I didn’t realize that spending an afternoon baking three or four or five different batches of cookies was considered insane. There is such a repertoire of “must haves” at any given family function, that I cannot possibly do them justice in one blog. We’ve got peanut butter and chocolate bars, brown sugar cookies with a pecan pressed on the top, cinnamon and sugar coffee rolls, apricot rugelach, “cupeecakes” with cream cheese and chocolate… the list goes on and on. And this blog may be just the motivation I need to start attempting to replicate grandma’s masterpieces. But that’s a story for a different day.

In any case, there’s a lot of pressure when I bake. But when R asked me if I would make cookies for his housewarming party this weekend, I took on the challenge. Having recently moved, my ingredients on-hand were limited, but my trusty back-of-the-bag recipe was just fine. It had been a while since I’d seriously baked (again, those “break and bake” cookies in college were the epitome of laziness), so I wasn’t sure how these would fare.

What I ended up with was a beautiful batch of chocolate chip cookies – not too chewy, not too dry. Let’s just say R’s family devoured them. (I think his mom is also secretly relieved that her son won’t starve if we end up together.) Even my mom and grandma (yes, the potential machatunim were there too!) thought they were up to par.

I know I got off easy with this one, so I promise to take on more challenging cookie endeavors in the future. That is, if my grandma will share the recipe with me.

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies



2 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 C. (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 C. granulated sugar
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 C. (12-oz. pkg.) chocolate chips



Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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