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  • Writer's pictureChef Michael

Cookies and Quarantine

With so much uncertainty and change in our world right now, there’s no better time to focus on comfort, and familiarity. Now if that includes chocolate chip cookies, all the better! There’s something comforting, inviting and warm about fresh baked cookies that draws you in and touches all your senses. It’s time for a comfort food pick me up!

I’m one of those people that is never happy with one way of doing anything and that includes my chocolate chip cookie recipe. I’ve probably tinkered with this for 30 years and probably will for another 30! The original recipe came from the famous Neiman Marcus cookie. Never heard of the famous Neiman Marcus cookie? It comes with a story:

Because it’s an urban legend passed down, the particulars seem to be different depending on who you talk but the most common version I’ve heard is a woman and her daughter were having lunch at the old department store Neiman Marcus. (Yes, back in the ‘olden’ days, places like Neiman Marcus and Woolworths had lunch counters…).For dessert, they ordered the famous chocolate chip cookies and were so delighted with them that the mom asked for the recipe. The waitress offered up the recipe for ‘two fifty’. Upon receiving her bill in the mail, the woman noticed in addition to some purchases, she was charged not $2.50 but $250.00 for the recipe! She was so angry after being told the company would not refund her money that she published the recipe for all to use! As urban legends go, this is a doozy and not at all true but fun none the less!

I’ve found this recipe is a good base for many of the cookies I make. Like a sauce base or basic bread recipe, a good cookie dough base can be adapted to suit whatever direction you want to go. Dark chocolate, white chocolate, nuts, cranberries, etc. are all fantastic adaptations of the original. Have fun with it and make it your own! Here’s the base recipe:

Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes 12-18 cookies)


½ cup unsalted butter

¾ cup brown sugar

3 Tbs white sugar

1 large egg

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 ¾ cup flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375F

In a bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream together butter and sugars until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to your butter mixture and mix until well combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir until incorporated.

Drop by 2oz scoop or heaping tablespoon onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave about 2” between each cookie. Press lightly with your fingers or the back of a spoon to flatten the top.

Bake about 10 minutes or until the cookies begin to look dry on the top and are light brown on the bottom. Remove from the oven and cool 2 minutes on the pan before moving the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!

Try this variation:

Substitute 1 cup white chocolate chips and ¾ cup of cranberries for the chocolate chips. Yum!

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