Tell me those don't say HoHoHo.
Kip makes really good chocolate chip cookies. One of the great things about them is that if you add M&M's they're instantly appropriate for any occasion. Thus, in true man fashion Kip has managed to take one great recipe and make it useful for pretty much anything. That way he only has to know how to cook one cookie. Really well. As opposed to me. In true woman fashion, I keep trying different Christmas cookie recipes obsessively and often trying 3 or 4 variations on a theme--caramel, sea salt, peanut butter, wheeee. (More on that tomorrow.) I'm not saying either way is better. Both yield pretty awesome results most of the time. Though I will say this: The man way tends to be a little more reliable and sometimes less frustrating. Kip's cookies--they're good every time.
A few notes displaying my ego and various points of marital discord:
1. This recipe is adapted from my sister Katie's recipe. Katie's recipe kicks butt. However, in it she replaces half the butter with shortening. We don't usually have shortening; I am generally opposed to it. I just love that buttery taste especially when the edges are just browning and...yum. But. But The shortening does give the cookies just a bit more volume when cooked as well as a slightly nicer bite when you bite in (and as I said I dislike shortening, so I hate to admit this, but it's true). I believe it also makes the cookies keep better. Kip's are amazing the first day, but lose life quickly thereafter. Fortunately, we eat them at a rate where they don't need to keep too much life for too long.
2. If you want to use all butter, but don't plan to eat 48 cookies in a day (you prudent person you), you can a) freeze the cooked cookies as soon as they're cool (they freeze wonderfully) or b) keep the dough in the fridge and make more fresh ones when the mood strikes, or c) roll into balls and freeze in a freezer bag; then you can whip them out and make them whenever you like. You'll need to add a few minutes baking time to the frozen ones (probably 4-6 minutes).
3. Kip cooks his cookies for about 10 minutes (and he makes them large). They tend to be very blond--too blond, in fact, for me (not that I wouldn't eat them if there were a gun to my head or anything). It's just that if I'm going to eat mostly raw cookies, I'll just take the dough. I like mine cooked 1-1 1/2 minutes longer so the edges have a bit of brown--I think this really brings out the buttery flavor--you can practically feel all the buttery-ness bursting between your teeth. However, this is not an excuse for overbaking. This recipe (or any recipe) overbaked just isn't that great--a bit of brown on the edges is all you need.
4. If you replace 1/2 C of the flour with 1/2 C oat flour (grind some oats in the blender if you don't have oat flour), it adds a really nice flavor/texture/touch (do you see how I'm trying to edge in on Kip's recipe here--ego manifested).
5. If you use margarine, you will have a flat lifeless cookie and might as well go eat a piece of whole wheat bread. Stick some chocolate chips in the bread if it makes you feel better, but don't waste your time or calories making cookies with margarine. Once when we had a yard sale, the kids wanted to sell cookies. We bought margarine specifically for this purpose--to make them as cheaply as possible and thus increase our bottom line. It was an interesting life lesson for me. They were ugly--they lost all the form the butter or butter/shortening cookies have and were smooth and sort of thin at the edges. They were gross--no flavor, bad texture. This is what the food industry does. If I want to eat cookies food industry style, I should just go to the lovely WalMart bakery and help myself. I was embarrassed to put our margarine patties out, but we did anyway. And the kids sold a few, but only because our children are adorable. Life lesson learned: If you're going to make a cookie, make a cookie. Make it good. Make it pretty. Spend the extra $.50 (that's how much we saved by using margarine). And enjoy it.
6. Kip would say don't skimp on the chocolate chips. However, I have to confess that if you use less or don't even use them at all (Heresay!Blasphemy!Divorce!), these cookies are still wicked good. (Please don't tell Kip I said so.)
7. Another holiday variation, courtesy of my sister Katie. Skip the chocolate chips entirely and frost the plain cookies in green and red/pink. Again, wicked good (shhh).
Kip's Chocolate Chip and M&M Cookies
1 C butter
1 C brown sugar (packed)
1 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 bag chocolate chips
1/2 bag M&M's
Preheat to 375. Cream butter, sugars, and vanilla. Add and mix in eggs. Sift, then add flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir in chocolate chips and M&M's. Bake 8-12 minutes until barely golden. DON'T OVERBAKE AND DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT USING MARGARINE.