It’s About the Cookies!

You know the kind we really eat and not try to get rid of from the internet.

Since the chocolate chip is the all-American favorite by far, I was intrigued to find out how it came to be from Sunday Morning on CBS:

 Let the Chips Fall

‘Tis the season for cookies! According to the NPD Group, a third of all the cookies we make from scratch are baked during the month of December. And there’s one we love more than all the others: the chocolate chip cookie. From its origin at the Toll House Inn in the 1930s, the chocolate chip cookie has gone on to become the most popular cookie in America, in every age group.

Since you’ve now learned about the original Tollhouse recipe, here is a fine tuned version we can’t wait to eat.

it's actually about the chocolate AND the flour

Behind the scenes, it is one of the grand chocolate chip cookie recipes that some of the high-end supermarkets sell. I say make them yourself using whatever ‘Local’ ingredients are available (eggs, butter, flour possibly?) and save the money for so many other holiday goodies you can’t make.

The following recipe is entitled Secret, but it’s not the recipe because it is easily found if you know what you’re looking for.



The classified tip is the use of the unique wheat flours Chef Torres employs. So here’s what I did: I made it with spelt flour instead of the bread flour while still using the pastry flour. Because I have been loving the spelt flour results in baking, it has come to be one of my favorites and I know it’s grown locally in the mid-Atlantic region. Actually there is a bit of a spelt flour revival when I have conversations with those hip young farmers who are instrumental in bringing back crops so lacking in this area. The ancient grain has gained popularity as a dietary grain due to its nutty flavor, high protein and nutrition content.

Jacques Torres’s Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes 4 dozen

1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon pastry flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour (Rita used spelt flour here)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 pound good quality dark chocolate, chopped coarsely (Rita used part bittersweet)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside. Don’t grease the baking sheets because this might cause extra spreading.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add vanilla, then add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate; mix until well combined.

Using a 4-ounce scoop for larger cookies or a 1-ounce scoop for smaller cookies, (I used a very generously rounded tablespoon) scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, about 20 minutes for larger cookies and about 15 minutes for smaller cookies. If you use a rounded tablespoon, check your cookies at 12 minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

If you use a very generously rounded tablespoon or a 1 scoop, you’ll get about 4 dozen cookies.

Here’s our PS in a heartfelt form of art:

“The Fabric of our lives is bound in the food that we eat and the way we sit down to eat.”

The farmer in the photo actually grew those olives as well as the produce.


by Illustrator and Author, Maira Kalman