My Uncle Jimmy never married “Aunt” Linda. Growing up we just knew her as Linda and we associated her with giant chocolate chip cookies. She never arrived without them. When she didn’t accompany my uncle to family gatherings, she sent a few gallon zip lock bags packed full of them.
Linda was more than reluctant to hand over this recipe. It took years of cajoling to convince her that it should be shared with us.
After about 15 years, Linda moved away, got a new boyfriend and a new family to share her cookies with, but she never abandoned us. She pops up here and there, sometimes sends cookies with my uncle, but most importantly she finally shared her recipe for chocolate chip cookies with my Mom and Aunt.
Both my Aunt and my Mom attempted to make these cookies. They both had failed attempts resulting in a miserable pile of thinly spread cookies that was nowhere near “Aunt” Linda’s. Their wild Italian minds led both of them to one rational conclusion: Linda had sabotaged the recipe in an attempt to continue her secretive cookie legacy. While this gives me something to laugh about – I imagine Linda late at night in her kitchen dreaming up a plan to change the ingredients to result in cookie failure – I had much more confidence in Linda. It was just her oven that I questioned.
I took over the recipe, lowered the oven temp to avoid mass spreading and then reveled as I ate three giant cookies while chatting on the phone with my Mom about how to fix the recipe.
Not long ago I read an article addressing this very matter: why doesn’t my recipe turn out like Grandma’s? Over time, as ingredients, pans, ovens, etc. change, old school recipes need to be adapted with them. So don’t give up on that family recipe – it just might need some modernizing!
- 6 Tbs granulated sugar
- 6 Tbs brown sugar
- ½ cup vegetable shortening (chilled)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Beat sugars and shortening together. Add egg and blend until incorporated.
- Mix baking soda, flour and salt in a bowl. Add to sugar mixture and mix until incorporated.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Place heaping tablespoons of dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Leave plenty of space between them, these cookies will spread to about 5" diameters.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until evenly golden on top.
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