Annie's Original Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies
I can’t resist a good old original chocolate chip cookie.
I started baking when I was a kid. My sister and I spent many weekends broadcasting “Kids Cookery” from our kitchen, inspired by the latest section of “Hey Kids Let’s Cook” in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Pretty impressive for kids who didn’t have cable and never watched TV!
Turns out, I never really outgrew my adventures in baking or my experiments in the kitchen. This original chocolate chip cookie recipe was definitely worth all the botched batches to get it just right! I proudly won a blue ribbon at the Washington Town & Country Fair with these chocolate chip cookies back in 1995, and I continue to spread the cookie love whenever I get a chance!
The secret to these cookies is a greater ratio of brown to white sugar, extra vanilla, extra chocolate chips, dark chocolate, room temperature butter, and a specific mixing technique.
Confession of a *wannabe* baker… Every once in a while there may be a “Kids Cookery” encore that broadcasts from the Cavedine Kitchen.
1 cup butter (room temperature)
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups flour
3 cups of dark chocolate chips and/or chopped chocolate
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Add the room temperature butter to a large bowl and beat until light and creamy.
Add the brown and white sugar to the butter mixture and beat until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs and vanilla and continue to beat until the mixture is airy and light.
Continue beating and mix in the salt and baking soda.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and gently add the flour. Mix on low speed until just combined; do not over mix!
Gently stir in 3 cups of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate.
Scoop the cookie dough onto cookie sheets using a mini ice cream scoop.
Bake for 10-15 minutes.
Enjoy and share!
It is graduation season and teacher appreciation week, and I am loving the “Smart Cookie” themes popping up all over Pinterest!
I was getting ready to file all these ideas away for future use (including my nephew’s kindergarten graduation), when I remembered that I get to celebrate and thank my daughter’s teachers this year! I am still getting used to the fact that I have a daughter… it has been 17 months, but it is still amazing to think there is another human… our daughter… living in this house!! It is truly unbelievable to experience how quickly time is flying by and how much we grow everyday.
our smart little cookie
The teachers at my daughter’s daycare have helped us parent-newbies learn so much about Samantha’s capabilities! This little kid is a rockstar because of the socialization and development she gets both at school and with her grandparents. I cannot say thank you enough to those that love and care for her while we are at work.
- I typed the “Thanks…. for making us such” sign using Rosewood and Duality fonts that I downloaded for free from dafont.com, and I printed the sign in brown ink on tan cardstock.
- Then I used my Silhouette to cut both the cookies and the glasses. I used two different shades of brown cardstock for the cookies and black cardstock for the glasses, to provide contrast. If you don’t have a Silhouette, you could easily create the same effect by cutting circles and using a hole punch for the chocolate chips!
- Once I had all my pieces cut, I assembled the Smart Cookies with foam tape to give the images depth. I conveniently placed the glasses over large chocolate chips to give the cookies eyes.
- I taped the sign to the top of a white bakery box and filled it with homemade chocolate chip cookies!
- I also taped the box shut so I wouldn’t eat any cookies.
- And… then I tied the box with bakers twine to make it even more difficult to sneak in and steal a cookie!
Confession of a *wannabe* crafter… This is not an original idea… there are smart cookie inspirations all over Pinterest. Just because an idea isn’t original doesn’t mean it isn’t fantastic! I can’t wait to use and re-use this idea in the years to come!
Happy New Year! Do you all have any fabulous food traditions for the New Year? I chose to stick with my Italian roots… or root… and opted for a steaming bowl of lentil soup on this freezing first day of the new year!
The inspiration for this lentil soup comes from la mamma Italiana and my year as an exchange student in Siracusa, Sicily. The highlight of my year was definitely my amazing host family, but the incredible food was a close second. I realize lentil soup may not be what traditionally comes to mind as you think of scrumptious Sicilian cuisine, but this is the perfect Mediterranean meal to warm up your winter!
Cilantro Lime Slaw
Slaws are often relegated to my sad side category; nothing terrible, yet nothing terribly exciting. As a slaw skeptic, my common BBQ practice is to bypass the slaw in favor of more enticing sides. Why waste coveted paper-plate space on a bowl of shredded cabbage when faced with juicy slices of watermelon or bacon potato salads?!? I recently, however, discovered this cilantro lime slaw and am reconsidering my classification of slaw as a sad side.
This cilantro lime slaw is not only a crunchy and refreshing condiment for pulled pork or fish tacos, it is an amazing side all on its own. I recently served this slaw as the perfect accompaniment for green chili cheeseburgers and a warm Mexican street corn salad, and then piled the leftovers on grilled fish tacos the following night.
Confession of a *wannabe* foodie…. Although this slaw has initiated my conversion, I still don’t love all slaws, but I will now at least give them a try!
Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins
It feels as though this fall continues to remain unseasonably warm in good old Saint Louis. I realize this heat may have more to do with the bun in my oven than extreme global warming in the Midwest, but needless to say, I have been unseasonably slow in my transition to fabulous fall food!
Here’s to hoping that a few of my fall favorites will coax in the cooler temperatures!
These pumpkin apple streusel muffins are a definite family favorite. Although the origin of the recipe is lost in a pre-internet handwritten recipe card, there are now pumpkin apple streusel muffin recipes all over the wonderful World Wide Web.
This recipe, adapted from allrecipes.com, stays true to the original roots of the muffin and definitely delivers fall in one giant bite… regardless of the temperature outside.
Confession of a *wannabe* foodie… Sometimes… you can’t eat just one!
Kale Salad with Avocado, Apricots & Almonds
I claim that I am not a picky eater, which I still hold as true, but I often fall victim to the work-lunch-funk. I seem to instantly transform into the world’s choosiest (that doesn’t sound quite as harsh as picky) eater the minute it is time to decide on lunch for the upcoming week work week. I don’t really like frozen meals or just-add-water soup, I don’t love sandwiches, and it is too hot for my standard winter soups and beans! Needless to say, I am always on the lookout for fun and easy lunch ideas! I saw this recipe on The Kitchn a few days ago and was intrigued. Although this is not the summer-iest of this season’s salads, it is delicious, filling, and holds up well as a work lunch!
Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes
Each summer I wait patiently… or not so patiently… for those large containers of blueberries to miraculously appear at the grocery stores and farmer’s markets at fairly reasonable prices. As I begrudgingly headed to the grocery store, officially marking the end of vacation, I walked through those automatic sliding doors to behold a glorious slight… Blueberries! Lots and lots of blueberries!! I filled the cart with blueberries (not exactly an exaggeration) and began planning the upcoming week(s) of blueberry goodness. First stop… Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes!
Fettuccine with Asparagus, Peas & Bacon
I love pasta. I realize this is nothing extraordinary as most people, at least those worth befriending, also love pasta. It is one of those few dishes that is both delicious and totally justified in every season: spring, summer, fall, and winter. It is also one of those dishes that is often far better made at home as opposed to ordered over-sauced and over-cooked in an everyday restaurant.
Although not the lightest of spring pasta dishes, this recipe is definitely worth it! I did increase the vegetable-to-pasta ratio, from the original recipe, which may not exactly negate the heavy whipping cream or crispy bacon, but it at least helps make the dish look healthy!
Although not blessed with a “grilled cheesus,” we still consider this Glee dinner a success: the ultimate grilled cheese, tater tots, and an ice cold slushy!
This grilled cheese may not be a sign from above, but it sure tastes heaven sent! Slather 2 slices of Companion Peasant Wheat Bread with soft butter or margarine, arrange 2 slices of Cheddar cheese and 2 slices of Monterey Jack cheese Tetris style between the unbuttered sides of bread, and place in a skillet over medium heat. Toast until the bread is crispy and the cheese is completely melted. The Companion Peasant Wheat bread really does make this sandwich incredible. If you live in the Saint Louis area – definitely give this a try!!
Confession of a *wannabe* foodie… Everything on this plate is the same color, the tots are straight from the freezer section, the slushy is from the gas station, and there are no greens, but occasionally… totally worth it!
Salmon with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
The weather in St. Louis is warming up and, although it is May and not August, I am starting to crave tomatoes! I surrendered to my tomato temptation and busted out one of our standard, easy, weeknight favorites… baked salmon with roasted cherry tomatoes. This is a super simple, healthy, and delicious dinner (and the leftovers make an amazing lunch)!
Confession of a Wannabe Foodie… I take the leftover rice, tomatoes, and salmon and mash them together in one bowl… delicious! (more…)