So…raise your hand if you’ve ever found yourself volunteering (or volunteered) at the last minute to bake something sweet for your child’s school, a church potluck, or a bake sale?
The only problem is, that last minute part meant that you were a little short on time or ingredients and you found yourself tempted to repackage some brownies from the bakery section of the grocery store and call it a day (hypothetically speaking, or course).
Well, this need not be a problem ever again! Enter your new BFF: a homemade mix that will allow you to whip up a batch of fresh chocolate chip cookies faster than you could otherwise zip to the grocery store and back.
Now, of course, you can already buy bags of cookie mix in the baking aisle, right next to the boxed cake mixes. Heck, you can even buy refrigerated, pre-formed cookie dough that you just have to pull apart and pop in the oven. But if you like the idea of controlling your own ingredients while still maintaining the advantage of speed and convenience, homemade mixes are the way to go. Throwing together a mix takes no longer than making a single batch of said recipe, but it saves you the time of pulling ingredients out of cabinets, measuring out everything, and cleaning all of the utensils multiple times down the road. Now tell me…how can you argue with that?
My family has been reaping the advantages of this post over the past week because I did lots of research and experimentation — AKA, I baked dozens upon dozens of chocolate chip cookies — in order to get this cookie mix just right. After basing my multiple trials on different recipes and various methods, I think I finally came up with a winner. You see, I’ve been stocking my pantry for awhile now with various homemade mixes, but I had yet to put together a homemade cookie mix. So this new recipe is going to be a timesaver for me as much as I hope it is for you!
In the spirit of full disclosure, the photos here are representative of one of my earlier trials. I took all of these pictures thinking I had found my final recipe, but then I wasn’t happy with how the cookies were already starting to dry out by the next day. So I went back to the drawing board with the recipe, but I didn’t have the time or energy to take a bunch of pictures again. My three children and my sanity thank you for your understanding… 😉
Suffice it to say that the cookies that result from this mix don’t spread out as much as the ones in the above pictures. They end up being thicker and, as a result, slightly smaller. But they also end up chewier and don’t dry out so quickly, and that’s what I was ultimately going for. Just for comparison’s sake, here’s a picture of some unbaked and baked cookies from the new and improved recipe.
Can you see how much thicker and more textured they are? Also keep in mind that I didn’t stud the tops of this batch with extra chocolate chips for more photogenic cookies. That’s a trick for you if you’re ever interested in your chocolate chip cookies looking “pretty,” with whole chocolate chips peppering the tops, as opposed to all of the chips being buried within the cookie dough.
All I did to get the below look was stick five or six chocolate chips on top of each ball of dough before popping them in the oven. As the cookies spread out, so did the chocolate chips, and the final result was bakery-looking cookies. Of course, this was just for aesthetics and entirely unnecessary…these cookies are equally yummy either way.
Melt your butter over low heat on the stove or at reduced power in the microwave so that it doesn’t get too hot. You don’t want your butter to be overly warm when you make your cookie dough, and by not heating it up too much to begin with, you save yourself the time of waiting for it to cool.
As for the eggs, I know it’s a pain to use a whole egg plus one yolk, but it really does make for a chewier cookie that remains moist over time. I experimented with two whole eggs and the cookies did, indeed, dry out more quickly.
Some of you have already seen me wax poetic about my favorite type of vanilla extract, and in my opinion, chocolate chip cookies are another one of those recipes that really benefits from a high quality variety of this ingredient.
Another key to making these cookies chewy (aside from not overbaking) is to allow the cookies to cool completely on the pan. If you don’t have enough cookie sheets to do so, at least let the cookies cool as long as possible on the pan, and then perhaps consider removing them to a large plate or other solid surface (rather than a cooling rack) to finish cooling.
Also, this baking mix tends to get compacted while sitting in the pantry and most of the chocolate chips may migrate towards the bottom, so for best results, be sure to stir/fluff up the baking mix before measuring it out.
Finally, measure out 4 scant cups of mix to make your batch of cookies. Any more and your cookie dough will be too crumbly. You can always stir in a tad more melted butter if you end up using a bit too much dry mix. My dough was slightly crumbly when I mixed it together but it held together just fine when I rolled it into balls and flattened them out on my cookie sheet.
I’m so excited to have this homemade chocolate chip cookie mix in my arsenal that I can hardly wait for the next time I’m called upon to do some last-minute baking! Waiting for them to bake is by far the longest part of making these cookies, and that suits my busy schedule just perfectly.
Adapted from Baking Illustrated.
More homemade baking mixes…