Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cookies Again

I have blogged for Segullah without posting here a couple of different months. Sorry to those who are still here, wondering what the heck. Below is a story I wrote for our Relief Society meeting. They asked some of us to bring "A Sweet with a Story". I misunderstood that it should be short and "sweet" and wrote this. No one wanted to read that while standing in line to get dessert. But I thought a few of you might enjoy it here.

Corrigan Chocolate Chip Cookies

by: Heather (Corrigan) Herrick

Preheat oven to 375°

Cream together until almost fluffy

¾ c. white sugar

¾ c. lt. brown sugar

½ c. shortening

½ c. butter (room temperature)


2 eggs (room temperature)

1 tsp. vanilla

Sift together

2 ¾ c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

Turn mixer on low and gradually add flour. You may need to add more flour, a little at a time. You want the dough to cling to the mixer paddle, but not get too tough, so don’t add too much. But if you don’t have enough flour your cookies will be flat and break easily. If dough seems too stiff add a teaspoon of milk at a time until the right consistency.

When flour is combined, add 1 bag chocolate chips (approx. 2 ½ cups). Chopped walnuts optional (about 1/2 - 2/3 cup).

Spoon onto baking sheet, large golf ball sized mounds. Bake about 8-10 minutes, checking at the end. Do not overbake! They will be light on top. Allow to cool a few minutes on the pan, then remove to cool on wire rack.

Corrigan Chocolate Chip Cookies Story

My family is semi-famous for our chocolate chip cookies. I mean, we haven’t won any prizes, our recipe isn’t top-secret, no one’s paid us money to bake them in high numbers and sell them, to tell you the truth it may have just come from the back of a chocolate chip bag at some point, and yet we have a reputation for making good cookies. If there was a ward potluck and everyone was bringing desserts to share, people asked, “Which ones did the Corrigans bring?” And before you knew it, they were gone.

It seems silly really; I mean there’s not anything fancy about a chocolate chip cookie, and yet there are so many people who mess them up. I will allow for you to have differing opinions about what makes a great cookie. Some people like them crunchy, some like them cakey, some like them with only a few chips, some are all about the chocolate. Maybe the Corrigan cookie won’t meet your cookie requirements, it’s okay I won’t be offended. In my humble opinion the best kind is kind of chewy, a little crunch to the outside, warm with some milk.

We didn’t have a set “tradition” about when we made the cookies. But we all learned how and could whip out a batch by the time we were in jr. high. My mom let us help measure, sift the dry ingredients, crack the eggs, spoon them onto the cookie sheets and all that jazz from the time we were small. We have always had a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer and she still keeps our flour and sugar and chocolate chips within arms reach of the mixer. In fact, until I was a missionary I didn’t know you could make cookies without that mixer. I figured it out and whipped out some pretty awesome cookies, mixed by hand to do some of what the Elders in my mission called “Sister Pross” or “Cookie Pross”, always a hit with less-actives and new members.

We usually made a double batch when we did make cookies and the extras were kept in a Tupperware bowl in the treat cupboard. I still remember when my older brother was in high school and he and one of his friends brought a couple of dates back to our house to watch a basketball game. The boys plopped down in front of the TV, yelling and cheering, and the girls sat around the kitchen table eating Corrigan cookies. We had an entire, large Tupperware bowl of them when the night started, and they ate one after the other, laughing and giggling, probably glad the boys weren’t paying attention to them and how many cookies they were eating. Or maybe they didn’t care about that. The next morning when I was helping my mom pack lunches she stood slack-jawed after she opened the almost empty bowl. “Who ate all the cookies?” I told her it was the two girls that Doug and his friend had brought over. She looked at me suspiciously, “They couldn’t have eaten all of these.” Well, she could disbelieve me if she wanted, but I sat there and watched them do it. Maybe the cookies had special powers?

The recipe above is the one passed down from my mom. Now I usually just use all butter instead of half shortening, though it does change the consistency a bit and if I’m really going for the original I stick with the shortening. Also, my mom would NEVER use semi-sweet and that’s my preference. She said it just ruins the cookies if you use anything other than milk chocolate. I’m an adult and they are my calories to splurge on, so I always use semi-sweet (Jacques Torres if I can afford it, but otherwise, good ole Nestle toll-house.) Don’t tell my mom how many times I’ve ruined her recipe. On the other hand, I’ve made it so many times, I think it’s my recipe now. If you’re going to make them, for a good cookie, it’s not just about the ingredients, it’s about the process. One time my sister cried when she and her friend were making cookies and the friend didn’t sift the dry ingredients. I guess it was somehow pounded into us that every little step is important. Baking is a science, after all. So, follow the recipe, all of it, and make some good cookies yourself!


Jaime said...

I totally remember Lori and the sifting. Ha ha. I'll have to make a batch for old time's sake.

Katie Lila said...

I teared up reading this... these cookies are woven into our very souls aren't they. Glad you shared even if the RS didn't appreciate the story, I did. Love you and can't wait for summer, let's make a batch together.

Kathy said...

I'm with Gale...milk chocolate is my favorite. :) But Andrew would totally agree with you...he's all about the semi. Yummy recipe!

Three and Counting said...

Hi...I miss you.