One day, in eighth grade PE class, I had some left-over cookies in a bag and I gave them to my PE teacher. She told me I didn't have to bother dressing out that day. Now, the women in my family loathe PE. I love watching sports and supporting athletes, but I despise PE. When you have no athletic ability and the teacher makes the losing team run laps with no extra time to get dressed, you come to dislike the class. Needless to say, that teacher got a lot more cookies over the course of that school year and I got a few extra "no-dress" days, I'll admit.
That being said, the following recipe is not Mama's. Really, after all that build-up! I'm just not ready to release it and honestly, I can't duplicate her results with it. She swore by Winn-Dixie's Superbrand margarine. I know purists say butter, and I am normally in the purist camp, but there is something about margarine and shortening that gives cookies just the right texture and crumb. I usually like a combination of half margarine (I like Imperial)/shortening (always Crisco) and half butter. Butter for the taste, the other for the texture, just like my pie crust. I really think the hand-written copy of the recipe I found in her cookbook has something missing.
No, this is a more standard chocolate chip recipe, but it's the BEST I've ever tasted. I beat the sugar and fats in my mixer, but then I stir in the rest by hand. It makes a difference, I think. The dough freezes beautifully, as do the baked cookies. There is no reason to buy frozen dough!
So here's The-Not-THE-Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe from Pillsbury's The Complete Book of Baking:
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts or sunflower seed kernels
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugars, and shortening; beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; blend well. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in chips and nuts. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 for 8 to 10 min. or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets.* Cool on baking racks.
*This is an IMPORTANT step. Cookies continue cooking on the sheet for that minute. That's why you remove the cookies from the oven just right before they are the right color.
Yield: 4 doz. cookies