Chocolate Chip Cookies

I gave up chocolate for Lent.  Always a bad idea.  Last night I dreamed about warm, chocolatey brownies.  I know writing a post about chocolate chip cookies won’t help the cravings, but I can’t help indulging just a little bit!

When I lived in New York, I was shamelessly familiar with the city’s multitude of bakeries.  My favorite chocolate chip cookies were those of Levain Bakery in the Upper West Side and City Bakery in the Flatiron District.  The chocolate chip cookie at Levain Bakery is dense, slightly crisp on the outside with a soft, luscious center.  City’s chocolate chip cookie is buttery and chewy with thick chunks of chocolate in every bite.  I love munching on either one of these cookies while wandering through the streets of the city.

I didn’t grow up in NYC, though.  I grew up in a small town in Mississippi eating my mom’s version of nestle tollhouse cookies.  She always used 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening instead of the 2 sticks of butter that the recipe calls for.  I know I am supposed to be Southern, but I can’t bring myself to use shortening.  I’ve created my own version of this cookie, though… it’s gooey, dense, chewy, slightly crispy… best paired with a cold glass of milk!

The recipe…

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 12-oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips, or chocolate of your choice

Preheat oven to 350F
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.
Beat butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract for 1 min. Add granulated sugar and dark brown sugar and cream until fluffy.  Add in eggs 1 at a time and mix thoroughly.  Mix in flour mixture in 1/2 cup increments until fully combined.  Stir in chocolate chips and chill for 30 minutes.
Scoop onto cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.