Food You Can Eat: 19th Century Chocolate Chip Cookies

The other mid-century cuisine

This is why God made milk.

First things first:  When my New Best Friend taught me how to make baklava, she also gave me this chocolate chip cookie recipe, which originated with her great-grandmother, who was born somewhere in the mid-19th Century.  So, obviously, I had to make these as soon as I finished shoving a ½ sheet cake pan’s worth of baklava down my gaping maw.

A caveat before we get started:  Two, caveats, really.  The first is that chocolate chips didn’t exist when this recipe first came into being.  She very likely used a broken-up chocolate bar.  But, this is the Modern Age, and we have Technology and I’m not afraid to use it.  The second is that I couldn’t find a single serving cup of plain yogurt at my grocery store—only the giant tubs.  Yes, there were single servings of that wallpaper paste being passed off as yogurt, but the recipe specifically forbids it, because Great Grandma was a kind and just woman.  So, I used sour cream instead.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 Sticks of Butter

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 Cup Plain Yogurt (Not Greek!), or Sour Cream

1 tsp. Baking Soda

4 Cups Flour

1 Pkg. Chocolate Chips

Cream the butter and sugars, adding the white sugar in a steady stream and then the brown sugar roughly a tablespoon at a time.  Don’t be lazy and just dump it all in there.  Then add the eggs and vanilla.

While the butter is creaming, mix the baking soda into the yogurt or sour cream and set aside for a few minutes.  It will bubble up.

Add the yogurt and the flour into the butter mixture and mix until combined.  Then add the chocolate chips and mix well.

Drop by the tablespoon onto a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. 

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 15-19 minutes.  These cookies hold their shape and will take a long time to bake properly.

These are really very good.  They’re not the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever had, but they have a nice flavor and texture, and they stay soft even after cooling—which is a must for a good cookie.

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When you can walk its length, and leave no trace, you will have learned.

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