For more than 25 years I have used this special cookie recipe to bake delicious chocolate chip cookies. What's so special about chocolate chip cookies you ask? First, it's the carefully chosen ingredients in this recipe that makes grown adults politely ask for more, but second and most importantly, it's how you use the cookies that makes them special. I'm going to share my top secret recipe, baking and storage tips, packaging ideas, free printables, and lots of great recipe variations to try, plus 25 reasons to spread good cookie karma.
Step 1: 1. the Recipe
1 cup (2 sticks) softened un-salted butter
1 cup (2 sticks) softened lightly salted butter
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups Unbleached All-Purpose flour
2 cups milk chocolate chips
2 cups semi-sweet chips
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease your cookie sheet with butter-flavored cooking spray.
Add the butter and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Mix together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and mix on medium speed until fully incorporated. Add salt, baking powder, and vanilla, and mix on medium speed until incorporated. Add the flour, and mix on low until fully incorporated. Add the chocolate chips, and mix on low until incorporated, or mix in by hand with a strong wooden spoon. Scoop each heaping tablespoon of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet, adding 12 dough balls to the sheet. Bake one tray at a time on the center rack in the pre-heated oven for 9-10 minutes. All ovens are a little different, so watch your cookies as they get close to the end of the baking time. I prefer the cookies to be slightly less baked, and cook them until the tops are no longer shiny and the edges just begin to turn golden brown.
1. If you are gifting this in dough form and expect that your recipients will be eating the dough raw, please replace the large eggs in the recipe with an egg substitute such as Eggbeaters just to be safe. In all of my years of making these cookies (I must have made close to a thousand batches by now!) no one has ever gotten sick from the dough, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
I usually use the following brands in my recipe: Land-O-Lakes butter, Domino Sugar, King Arthur Flour, Land-O-Lakes eggs, Tollhouse chips, and Air Bake double cookie sheets. I know that these brands are not available everywhere, and substitutes should work out fine if you pay attention to how you measure your flour, and the texture of the dough. i keep my flour in a canister, and use my 1 cup measuring cup to scoop the flour out which actually is denser (more flour) than if you use a spoon your spoon the flour into your measuring cup. If the dough is so sticky that it has soft peaks when you remove the spoon from the bowl, add a flour in 1/4 cup increments to the batter until you're happy with the results. Too little flour and your cookies will spread out thin on your cookie sheet when you bake them. Too much flour and they'll be shaped more like little mounds when they bake, and taste a bit dry.
3) For Crispy cookies:
If some people in your house like soft gooey cookies, and others like crispy cookies, simply bake your gooey cookies at 375 degrees for 9-10 minutes as usual. When you're ready to bake your crispy cookies, place your lightly greased cookie sheet with 12 rounded dough balls into the oven at 375 degrees and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the oven off, and leave your cookie sheet in the oven until the cookies are a nice golden dark honey brown (not burnt dark maple syrup brown). The amount of time depends on your oven, but I find that around 15-20 minutes more yields a nice crispy cookie.
Step 2: 2. Straight From the Bowl :) and 25 Reasons to Share the Rest of the Batch
And if you're feeling generous, here are a 25 ideas for sharing the rest of the batch:
1. A hostess gift.
2. Visiting friends.
3. A play-date gift for the family your child will be spending the afternoon with.
4. The "I like you a lot" date gift....maybe you can bake them together after your dinner out!
5. School Classroom treats.
6. The "After the Game" treat, which is always a nice way to end the game whether you win or lose!
7. The college student care package. Nothing says "I love you and miss you" like a home-baked cookie.
8. A business thank-you for a special client or boss.
9. A free treat at your craft table to draw customers.
10. The best tasting cookies at the cookie swap.
11. Bake sale or fund raiser.
12. Girl's night in.
13. ...Boy's night in too!
14. For the postman, doorman, dog groomer, hair stylist, mechanic, etc.
15. For the homeless shelter- check first, as many have their own rules for accepting food.
16. The business meeting snack. You're not only smart and a hard worker, you're also a talented cook!
17. The "meet the parents" gift.....says that you're thoughtful and a good catch.
18. Welcome the new neighbors
19. Welcome the neighbors new baby- especially nice as a gift for the baby's siblings as a way to make them feel special.
20. The "I'm sorry" gift.
21. A great gift to send to that old friend or college roommate that you haven't spoken to for years.
22. A hospital visit gift- just check first that your recipient doesn't have any food restrictions.
23. The perfect thank you for the nurses/doctors/veterinarian or staff for taking care of your loved one.
24. An anniversary gift for your parents- Okay, it isn't silver or gold, but at least you remembered!
25. The perfect weekly tradition for any long term project; like a Friday cookie break for the construction crew building your new house, your landscaping crew, your special project team, etc.
I'm sure you can come up with even better reasons to share the good Karma cookies, so let's get going on some fun ideas for variations and packaging!
Step 3: 3. Gift Wrapped Dough With Printable Paper Wraps
1. Divide the cookie dough batch into 4 equal portions. Each portion will yield about 1 dozen cookies.
2. Take an 8" wide piece of Freezer paper, and place it shiny side up on your counter. Fold long edges in about 1/2" to give you a nice clean edge.
3. Place your dough in a tube shape onto the paper
4. Roll the freezer paper around the dough
5. Pinch and twist the ends of the paper tube to close the ends of your paper tube
6. Repeat steps 2-5 with wrapping paper. If using one of the freebie printed designs included in this tutorial, simply download and print it at 100% onto an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper, and use it instead of the wrapping paper as a pretty cover wrap over your freezer paper.
7. Cut ribbon lengths to add decorative ties to the ends of the tube
8. Add a gift tag and a personal note with baking instructions if you like.
Be sure to keep your gift wrapped dough refrigerated until it is time for baking.
Step 4: 4. Tub of Dough
Recycled plastic food containers make an excellent gift package for your dough. This one originally held fresh soup from the market.
Simply clean and dry the container, and fill it with a portion of cookie dough. Add decorative personalized labels and baking instructions, and you're gift is ready to go!
Feel free to use the printable labels I've included. Download the images onto your computer, print onto a piece of 8 1/2" x 11" paper,cut out your shapes, and adhere to the container using double stick tape or water based craft glue., taking care not to get the adhesive inside the food container. You could also print the designs on an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of label paper if you have some. Remember to keep the dough refrigerated until baking time :)
Step 5: 5. Dough Filled Easter Eggs
Clean and dry an empty plastic egg carton and a dozen small plastic Easter eggs.Open and fill each empty plastic Easter egg with one heaping tablespoon of dough. You could also fill a few of the eggs with other candies to mix into the cookie dough before baking, such as M&M's, chocolate kisses, or other flavors of chocolate chips such as peanut butter, white chocolate, or mint. Include baking instructions and a ribbon, and your gift is ready to go! Kids love the fun of adding their choice of candies to the dough before baking to personalize their cookies.
Step 6: 6. Storing, Freezing and Transporting Baked Cookies
Allow the cookies to cool completely on the cookie sheets after baking. Place 12-15 cookies into a one gallon plastic freezer bag, and lay the cookie bag flat on your freezer shelf until frozen. This is an excellent way to store the cookies for up to 3 weeks. It also makes them easier to transport or ship!
To bring them to an event, just take the bag of cookies from the freezer, and place it into a plastic food container. My son takes them to school for class events this way, and they hold up well through the bus trip and the locker jam!
You can download and print the "Yeah Team" label to attach to the top of your cookie container if you like. I'm sure there are well over 100 kids in our community who recognize my well-used cookie container by now!
Shipping your cookies:
Freeze the baked cookies overnight. Individually wrap each cookie in plastic wrap, and pack them into a plastic storage container sized appropriately for the amount of cookies you're shipping. You don't want a lot of extra room in the container so that your cookies don't get knocked around and fall apart during shipment. Place the plastic cookie container inside a cardboard box, again making sure that cookie box fits securely inside the shipping box. I always ship via the fastest post so that they arrive as fresh as possible.
Step 7: Frozen Cookies- a Few Delicious Ideas!
7. Try a frozen cookie straight from the freezer bag- they're deliciously chewy that way! This is my absolute favorite way to eat them.
8. Want a hot cookie? Place your frozen cookie on a microwave safe plate, and microwave for approximately 20 seconds. It'll taste like it just came out of the oven :)
9. Want a hot cookie sundae? Place your frozen cookie in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for approximately 25 seconds. Top with two heaping tablespoons of your favorite flavor of ice cream, a squirt of whipped cream and squeeze of chocolate sauce for a delicious treat!
10. Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches:
2 similar sized baked cookies
1/4 cup of ice cream
mini chocolate chips or chocolate sprinkles
Select 2 frozen cookies that are similar in size. Spoon vanilla ice cream (or any of your favorite flavors) onto the back side of one cookie, smooth it out to cover the entire cookie, and place the second cookie on top of the ice cream. Smoosh (technical term) the two cookies together until the ice cream spreads to the edges, and roll the edges of the cookies/ice cream sandwich in a plate of mini chocolate chips or chocolate sprinkles. To store them, simply wrap each chocolate chip ice cream sandwich in plastic wrap, and place inside a plastic freezer bag in your freezer.
Step 8: 11. Stuffed Cookies and Cookies on a Popsicle Stick
Here's a fun way to liven up a batch of cookies; stuff them with candy middles or you can even bake them on a Popsicle stick! Create your own signature cookie by starting with the Good Karma cookie dough recipe, and stuffing them with your favorite choice of middles. You'll want to pick small or mini sized candies so that your cookies don't end up enormous....or maybe not!
Here are a few suggestions for stuffings:
Peanut butter cups/ or mini peanut butter cups
a section of graham cracker, a square of milk chocolate and a few mini marshmallows
an Oreo or mini oreos
mini chocolate candy bars, such as Snickers, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers ( great way to use your holiday stash)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Lightly spray your cookie sheet with non-stick spray
3. If making stuffed cookies on a Popsicle stick, insert your Popsicle stick into the center of your mini candy. Skip this step if you're simply stuffing your cookies.
4. Use 1- 2 heaping tablespoons of dough to completely enclose and surround your candy with the dough. I found it helpful to make a cookie dough ball, flatten it, then place the candy in the center and smoosh the dough up around it.
I found that the rolos worked easily by placing 1 heaping tablespoon of dough onto the lightly greased cookie sheet in a mounded ball shape, then pressing the rolo down into it and squishing the dough up around the sides and over the top to completely cover the cookie.
5. Place on the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes.
You can place your cookies in a cellophane bag and tie a ribbon. The cookies on a Popsicle stick look especially cute this way!
Step 9: 12. Gift Packaging Idea: Potholders Stuffed With Baked Cookies
You can find plenty of cute potholders in stores if you prefer to buy one, or there are tons of free potholder tutorials online including some terrific ones by other Instructables members
These were a gift that I made for my sister-in-law. Slip a few cookies into cellophane bags, and tie the ends with decorative ribbon or twist ties. Place the cookies inside the potholder pockets. I placed these into a nice gift box and tied it with a ribbon.
Step 10: 13. Gift Packaging Idea: Mocha and a Cookie
Ingredients/ items needed:
Nescafe Taster's Choice Vanilla Instant Coffee
Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets No Sugar Added Hot Chocolate Mix
9.5 oz recycled drink bottle with cap
Piece of woven fabric large enough to cut a 5" circle, and a 10 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangle
coordinating piece of fleece 10 1/2" x 4 1/2"
elastic hair band
Hand sewing needle
A nice multi-purpose treat for an office friend: a fabric pouch to hold a single cookie, attached to a matching drink bottle.
I've made a handy little fabric pouch with an elastic hairband/button closure and a matching cap cover for this 9.5 oz recycled beverage bottle. I'm sure many of you recognize this particular bottle as a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino bottle. The fabric pouch also happens to fit an IPod, or an IPhone once your friend has finished eating the cookie :)
Select one of your favorite empty drink bottles. Remove the labels, then wash and dry both the bottle and the cap.
Low-Fat, Low-Calorie Mocha Coffee Recipe:
Here's a simple recipe for a low fat, low-calorie mocha coffee drink to fill a 9.5 oz bottle:
1 1/4 cups skim milk
1 single serve packet of Nescafe Taster's Choice Vanilla Instant Coffee
1 Teaspoon Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets No Sugar Added Hot Chocolate Mix
Heat the milk in a microwave for 1 minute. Add the instant coffee and hot chocolate mix, stir, and pour into your clean 9.5 oz bottle. Cap & cool in the refrigerator.
Fabric Bottle Cap Topper:
1. Cut out a 5" circle from a piece of fabric.
2. Use a needle and embroidery thread to make large basting stitches around the edge of the fabric circle.
3. Pull the thread to gather the edges until it fits your bottle cap. Tie the two thread ends together into a bow.
Fabric Cookie bag: (You can also search Instructables for many other Ipod/gadget holder tutorials, but this is a simple one)
1. Cut a 10 1/2 " x 4 1/2" rectangle from your printed fabric
2. Cut a 10 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangle from a piece of coordinating fleece
3. Place your fleece right side up on your table.
4. Place your hair band at the center of one of the 4 1/2" ends of your fleece fabric
5. Place your woven fabric right side(printed side) down on top of your fleece and hairband
6. Starting on the 4 1/2" end with the hair band, sew a 1/4" seam around the outer edge of your fabrics. Leave a 3" opening for turning your fabric pocket right-sides out.
7. Turn the pocket right side out. You now have a two layer rectangle with an elastic hairband loop on one end
8. Press flat with a warm steam iron. Top stitch the two 4" wide ends, close to the edge of the fabric.
9. Fold your rectangle in half width-wise so that you now have a 5" x 4" rectangle with your woven print sides out, fleece inside. Stitch your cookie pocket closed by top-stitching close to the edge of the fabric along the 5" long sides
10. Stitch a large button to the top center of the non-looped side of the bag.
11. Place a baked cookie into a cellophane bag, and close with a twist tie.
12. Cover the cap of your filled and chilled Mocha bottle with the cute little fabric cap. Tie the embroidery floss into a bow.
13. Place the bagged cookie into your fabric cookie pocket, loop the elastic hair band over the top of the fabric covered bottle cap.
14. Want your friend to keep and re-use the bottle too? Personalize it with Pebo Vitrea oven bake glass paints, available at craft stores such as Michael's. Simply plan your design, purchase the colors of paint you need. Remove the labels from your bottle, and wash/clean/dry the bottle. If you have sticky residue, try using an adhesive remover such as Goo-gone (re-wash/dry your bottle after using). Follow the manufacturers directions for painting the bottle. Allow to the painted bottle to sit for 24 hours, then bake at
Step 11: 14. Cookies in a Custom Coffee Cup
Meeting a good friend for coffee? Promoting one of your office staff? Need gifts for a family reunion or fund-raising event?
You can bake your own custom coffee cup to match your freshly baked cookies!
Ceramic mug (great ones are available at your local Goodwill store, Thrift store, etc)
Freshly baked cookies
Pebo Porcelaine Paints (available at Michael's and other craft stores)
1. Wash and dry your ceramic mug
2. Paint your design onto your mug using the Pebo Porcelaine Paints- follow directions for the paint, which includes stirring. The individual paint colors can be mixed to create custom colors.
3. Allow your painted mug to dry for 24 hours
4. Bake your mug at 300 degrees for 35 minutes.
5. Place your freshly baked cookies in a cellophane bag, place the bag in your custom mug, and tie with ribbons
Step 12: 15. Plastic Egg Carton Cookie Gift Box
Yes, and last but not least, a great free container for your freshly baked cookies made from two plastic egg carton tops.
Remove the top covers from two plastic egg cartons by cutting along the "hinge" line with scissors. Wash and dry the covers. Fill one with cookies. Top with the other cover. Wrap clear plastic packing tape around the outside, and tie with a bow.
Now go forth armed with a great recipe, baking tips, some fun packaging ideas, and the best of intentions!