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Lemon French Macaroons

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French Macaroons are finicky and tricky little suckers but when they turn out correct they can be oh so good. I have made it my mission lately to figure them out and try to perfect them. The first time I made them 1/2 my batch got feet, the other half didn’t and some cracker :( so I was not going to allow that to be my only try. Since then I have tried a few times, my 2nd attempt was a fail, barely any got feet, they tasted ok but they weren’t as pretty as they were suppose to by. With Easter right around the corner I knew that it was a perfect time to try again, and this time was a success and quite delicious I might add. So if you have never made them before, give this recipe a shot because it is fairly easy compared to some I’ve seen and if you follow the tips you should have success.

I was making lemon cupcakes with lemon and raspberry buttercream so I figured that I would stick to those 2 flavors for my macaroon filling. The raspberry ones I added sprinkles to the outside so you could tell the difference. The lemon ones were divine with the addition of lemon curd!!

What is your favorite flavor macaroon and do you have any special tips?

 

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Lemon French Macaroons

Makes 24 completed sandwich cookies

INGREDIENTS
3 Egg Whites
¼ cup white sugar
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup almond flour
pinch of salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar

LEMON BUTTER CREAM
1/2 cup salted butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 T Fresh Lemon Juice

Store bought Lemon Curd (or you make your own)

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 300F degrees

Beat egg whites until foamy, then add salt, cream of tartar and white sugar for 8-10 mins. TIP: #1 egg whites should be room temp. To create room temp eggs, submerge in warm water for 5 mins.

Whip until they form a peak that stands upright. Think Seattle Space needle.

Then add the food coloring. TIP#2 Color does fade as it cooks, so do a shade or two darker than you want them to be.

TIP#3 Sift almond flour, and powdered sugar. What remains will be the larger lumps of almond pieces. Just discard those, or use them to snack on :) You want a really fine powder mixture to create a smooth and pretty on top to your cookie.

Fold flour/sugar mixture into the egg white mixture. TIP#4 This is where all your hard work can really go wrong. Under mix and your macaroons will be lumpy and cracked when the bake with no feet, over mix and your macaroons will be flat and won’t have feet, the mark of a well-made macaron. In my experience 65-75 turns of your spatula when folding is about the right amount of time.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag.

Pipe out 1 inch rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

TIP#5: tap the pan hard at least 2-3 times to release the air bubbles. This will prevent the tops of your macaroons from cracking.

TIP#6 Let them sit out for 30-60 minutes. This will allow them time to dry out a bit before hitting the hot oven. They should be “tacky” to the touch, but not stick to your fingertips. This is another important step to assuring your macarons develop feet! When they dry out they can’t spread out in the oven, and are forced to rise up. That’s what creates the feet!

Bake for 20 mins. DO NOT UNDER BAKE, even if they look done! Otherwise they will stick to your tray.

Meanwhile mix the buttercream. Whip butter with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Slowly add sugar. Then add 1T Lemon juice or whatever flavor you want!

Transfer to a pastry bag, fitted with a small tip (about ¼ ” in diameter)

Reverse cookie shells on their backs, and pipe a small mound of filling on one of them. Add a dollop of lemon curd. Lastly top with the other shell and Voila!

If not eating right away, keep refrigerated.

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For my Raspberry Buttercream Recipe visit here

 

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French Macaroons, Fool Proof Method

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RECIPE FOR BETH’S FOOLPROOF FRENCH MACAROONS
Makes 24 completed sandwich cookies

INGREDIENTS
3 Egg Whites
¼ cup white sugar
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup almond flour
pinch of salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar

RASPBERRY BUTTER CREAM
1/2 cup salted butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 T Raspberry Jam

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 300F degrees

Beat egg whites until foamy, then add salt, cream of tartar and white sugar for 8-10 mins. TIP: #1 egg whites should be room temp. To create room temp eggs, submerge in warm water for 5 mins.

Whip until they form a peak that stands upright. Think Seattle Space needle.

Then add the food coloring. TIP#2 Color does fade as it cooks, so do a shade or two darker than you want them to be.

TIP#3 Sift almond flour, and powdered sugar. What remains will be the larger lumps of almond pieces. Just discard those, or use them to snack on :) You want a really fine powder mixture to create a smooth and pretty on top to your cookie.

Fold flour/sugar mixture into the egg white mixture. TIP#4 This is where all your hard work can really go wrong. Under mix and your macaroons will be lumpy and cracked when the bake with no feet, over mix and your macaroons will be flat and won’t have feet, the mark of a well-made macaron. In my experience 65-75 turns of your spatula when folding is about the right amount of time. But again, it can be tricky, depends on how strong you are, Ha! So it can take a few tries to get it right. But when you do, the trumpets will blare and you will feel SO accomplished!

Transfer batter to a pastry bag.

Pipe out 1 inch rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

TIP#5: tap the pan hard at least 2-3 times to release the air bubbles. This will prevent the tops of your macaroons from cracking.

TIP#6 Let them sit out for 40-60 minutes. This will allow them time to dry out a bit before hitting the hot oven. They should be “tacky” to the touch, but not stick to your fingertips. This is another important step to assuring your macarons develop feet! When they dry out they can’t spread out in the oven, and are forced to rise up. That’s what creates the feet!

Bake for 20 mins. DO NOT UNDER BAKE, even if they look done! Otherwise they will stick to your tray.

Meanwhile mix the buttercream. Whip butter with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Slowly add sugar. Then add 1T Raspberry Jam or whatever flavor you want!

Transfer to a pastry bag, fitted with a small tip (about ¼ ” in diameter)

Reverse cookie shells on their backs, and pipe a small mound of filling on one of them. Top with the other shell et Voila!

If not eating right away, keep refrigerated.

 

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Recipe From Entertaining With Beth

Easy and Delicious Sugar Cookies that don’t spread

 I came upon this recipe and it claimed to be a non spreading recipe. It had an ingredient that I’d never tried in a sugar cookie before, so i figured i’d give it a shot. I’m so glad I did because I have now found my go to sugar cookie recipe. You use cold butter which  eliminates the step of chilling the dough (still completely optional if you want to) but sometimes when I get the baking urge I want to do it right then, not wait for my butter to sit for hours. This recipe is a non sticky, non crumbly dough. I rolled it out on parchment paper, then slid my parchment on the cookie sheet and baked it to perfection, without the mess on my counter and I didn’t even need any extra flour. I like to under bake my cookies a tad, the recipe called for 12 minutes but I was very happy with the outcome at 10 minutes. I used royal icing this time (recipe below) but buttercream would be equally as delicious. I hope this recipe becomes your go to sugar cookie recipe and I can’t wait to see what you all come up with. Merry Christmas, Enjoy!!
 
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Sugar Cookies
quick, easy, and delicious, THAT DON’T SPREAD!
 
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: about 30 cookies depending on the size
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (optional)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cream together the cold, cubed butter, the granulated sugar, and the salt.
  3. Add in the eggs and vanilla (or other flavorings/extracts).
  4. Add all the flour and cornstarch, and mix on low speed, until fully incorporated and forming a ball.
  5. Roll out to a thickness of 3/8 inch, cut into shapes, and bake for 10 minutes.
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Royal Icing Recipe

Ingredients:

6 oz (3/4 cup) of warm water
5 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 kilogram (2.25 lbs.) powdered icing sugar

*If your meringue powder has no vanilla flavor in it, add a teaspoon of clear vanilla to make it tastier

Directions:

  1. In mixer bowl, pour in the warm water and the meringue powder. Mix it with a whisk by hand until it is frothy and thickened…about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more.
  3. Pour in all the icing sugar at once and place the bowl on the mixer.
  4. Using the paddle attachment on the LOWEST speed, mix slowly for a full 10 minutes. Icing will get thick and creamy.
  5. Cover the bowl with a dampened tea-towel to prevent crusting and drying.
  6. Tint with food coloring or thin the icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency.
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AMAZING TIPS & TRICKS

1) No need to soften the butter

I like to use cold, cubed butter when I make the dough. It also saves the step of chilling the dough before baking, which is another trick a lot of bakers use to help their cookies keep their shape.  If you work quickly, the butter is still pretty cold when it goes into the oven, so the dough holds its shape better and doesn’t get all melty and spread.

2) DON’T use leveling

Now, you may notice that my recipe contains no leavening of any kind.  If you think about the purpose of baking powder in a recipe, it’s to help things puff up and spread out,and be light and fluffy.  Light and fluffy is great in a muffin or a pancake, but thats not what i’m looking for in a cookie.  They are meant to have a little bite to them.  Perhaps they are a little bit heavier, but in this instance, you kinda want that.  These are sturdier and less likely to break easily, so perfect for shipping to loved ones over the holidays.

3) Think Outside the Flavor Box

Flavor is what can make or break a cookie. Too plain, too much…But if your creative you might be pleasantly surprised. Think peppermint in a chocolate cookie, orange with gingerbread, lemon with vanilla…the possibilities are endless. I’d love to hear what you come up with.

4)  The Magic Ingredient

Corn Starch is the magic ingredient! It makes for a more shortbready cookie, but it’s absolutely perfect. Use it in every kind of batch, just sub out a little of the flour for cornstarch, in any recipe.  It’s like magic!

5)  Parchment paper is your best friend

I roll out the dough on the parchment paper, bake on it, cool on it and decorate on it. Less mess, less clean up.

6) Higher Oven Temperature

If you bake the cookies at a higher temperature, this allows them to set up quicker and hold their shape.

 

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies: Cake Mix Version

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Nothing says Christmas more then candy canes. These chocolate peppermint cookies scream holiday time and are super easy to make, perfect for a cookie exchange. These are what I’m bringing to my annual cookie exchange and I’m planning on winning best looking cookie for the 2nd year in a row, so watch out French girls cause these are the 2013 winners!!

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies: Cake Mix Version

Serves 48-60
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Pre-preparable
Occasion Christmas
Easy and delicious peppermint chocolate cookies. Perfect for the holidays or a cookie exchange. FrenchToasty.com has lots of cookie recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1 box devil'd food cake mix
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • white chocolate buttercream frosting (recipe below or a store bought white frosting)
  • crushed candy canes (for topping)

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2
In a large bowl combine cake mix, oil, eggs and peppermint extract until blended.
Step 3
Stir in chocolate chips.
Step 4
Roll into 1" size balls and place 2" apart on sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. (8 minutes for a fudge cookie and 10 for a cake cookie) let cool
Step 5
Mix crushed candy canes with frosting and frost cookies.

Tip: photograph before stacking the cookies…oops

Mexican Wedding Cookies

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I make these cookies several times every holiday season, they are my husbands favorite Christmas cookie. I have even make them in holidays past for the annual cookie exchange I go to every year. They are a super easy cookie to make, as they don’t require too many ingredients and most people have all ingredients already on hand. I have heard of other names for these cookies but I know them as a Mexican Wedding Cookie so that is what I’m sticking with. I could see kids calling them snowball cookies, but what ever the name they are delicious, and you will not be disappointed with this recipe, and neither will your family!!

I would love to hear what your favorite holiday cookie recipe is, so I can try them!

Mexican Wedding Cookie

Serves 48
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Pre-preparable
Occasion Christmas
These cookies are a traditional Christmas cookie. FrenchToasty.com has lots of cookie and holiday recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • powdered sugar (for rolling baked cookies in)

Directions

Step 1
Cream butter and powdered sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla.
Step 2
Whisk flour and salt together and then gradually add to butter mixture. Stir in chopped nuts.
Step 3
Form dough into 1" balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, slightly golden brown.
Step 4
Let cool slightly, while cookies are still warm, roll in additional powdered sugar until evenly coated. Cool cookies completely on wire racks.
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Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

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These cookies are one of my favorite cookies, but I don’t make them all that often, usually only during fall time. Aunt Lorie made these for a few cookie exchanges and finally I got the recipe from her and I’ve been baking them ever since. My daughter today had a ball making the “thumbprints” and filling them with jam, and was eating them faster then I could drizzle the glaze. I left her alone in the kitchen for a few so I could go tend to her baby sister and I thought I was for sure going to find all with one bite out but to my surprise she only ate 1. But lets just say I stopped counting how many we snacked on after that :) My husband loves these cookies also. My favorite jam to use is Raspberry, but I also love strawberry and this time I made some apricot ones that were equally as delicious.

Hope you enjoy!

Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Serves 36
Prep time 1 hour, 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable
These shortbread cookies are delicious with any flavor jam and excellent for holiday cookies. FrenchToasty.com has lots of cookie recipes.

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup jam (raspberry, apricot, strawberry)

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-3 teaspoons water

Directions

Step 1
Combine softened butter, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add flour; beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.
Step 2
Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm.
Step 3
Heat oven to 350°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Make indentation in center of each cookie with thumb (edges may crack slightly). Fill each indentation with about 1/4 teaspoon jam.
Step 4
Bake 12-14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.
Step 5
In a small bowl stir together powdered sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract and enough water to make a thin glaze. Drizzle over cookies. Cool completely.
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Super Soft Snickerdoodle Cookies

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Some people prefer their snickerdoodles to be crunchy but I love a soft chewy one. My husband had my 30th birthday catered by this fantastic restaurant that had the most amazing snickerdoodle cookies I had ever tasted. So since then I have been trying to recreate those. This recipe comes pretty darn close! My daughter loves to help bake so when she asked this morning I had just the perfect recipe in mind.

Super Soft Snickerdoodle Cookies Recipe

Serves 48
Prep time 7 minutes
Cook time 7 minutes
Total time 14 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable
Website The Kitchn
These snickerdoodles are soft and chewy with the aroma and taste of cinnamon. FrenchToasty.com has lots of cookie recipes.

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks, melted and cooled)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Note

Dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, well wrapped. Or frozen in logs.

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Step 2
Melt the butter and let cool to about room temperature.
Step 3
Mix flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt and set aside.
Step 4
Once butter has cooled whisk with eggs and vanilla.
Step 5
Add dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
Step 6
In a shallow bowl mix the 3 cinnamon-sugar topping ingredients. Form dough into small 1 1/2" balls and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on unlined, ungreased baking sheet and flatten slightly.
Step 7
Bake for 7 minutes then remove and let cool for 3-5 minutes, transfer to a cooling rack.
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I also have a recipe for Simple Snickerdoodle Cookies that is quick and delicious if your crunched for time, or just want a super simple cookie!

Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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There is nothing quite like the amazing aroma of cookies baking in the oven. Baking is something that always calms me and makes me feel not a worry in the world. The smell of baking, the satisfying reward of tasting your creation all takes me back to a kid when my mom would bake cookies and I’d get one straight from the oven with a glass of milk. I think my daughter is experiencing the same thing because she always wants to help me bake, and of course get her satisfying reward afterwards.

I love the addition of cloves to this recipe. It gives the cookies that extra something special in taste and makes them smell like the holidays while baking. My husband looked at me a little silly when I said these smell like Christmas…but what does he know :) haha. Just kidding I enjoy baking cookies, because I would say those are my husbands weakness. He will let cupcakes, cakes and chocolate sit on the counter for days, but cookies he always enjoys a few straight from the oven and they are his snacks after dinner.

I would highly recommend you make these cookies because they are just that good. I love soft chewy cookies and these are definitely it. Enjoy!

Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Serves 72
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable
Website Mom On Timeout
These spiced oatmeal cookies are jam packed with flavor. FrenchToasty.com has lots of cookie recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour (you can subsitute all white if you prefer)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves (you could cut back to 1/2 teaspoon if you prefer)
  • 3 cups old fashioned or rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cup raisins

Note

Refrigerate the cookie dough for about 15 minutes before baking, they will bake more evenly. This is not a must but if you have the time and the patience, give it a try. I sometimes pop the first batch in right away and chill the dough while the first batch bakes.

Also if your nervous about the ground cloves, don't be. They give it that extra something and make the cookies smell even more amazing while baking.

These cookies will stay soft and moist for several days, but cookies never last longer then 3 days in my house so not sure how long they stay yummy. Keep them in an airtight container.

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars together in a large mixing bowl.
Step 2
Add in eggs, one at a time until well blended. Then add in vanilla and mix until combined.
Step 3
In a large bowl, combine both flours, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Add to the creamed mixture and stir until just combined.
Step 4
Lastly mix in the oats and raisins. The cookie dough should be nice and thick.
Step 5
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto your cookie sheet. Or you can roll them in a ball in your hand and lightly pat them a little flatter than a round ball.
Step 6
Bake for 10-12 minutes, do not over bake these chewy yum balls.
Step 7
Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack.
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Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

We are trying a Gluten Free diet right now and I have found that you can make any recipe gluten free just swap out regular flour for gluten free and you are good to go. My first baking try was to make classic chocolate chip cookies and they were delicious. I bought this flour at Trader Joes and I was pleasantly surprised. I’m sure there are lots of great brands out there but so far this is all I have sampled. I’d love to hear what your favorite brand is and what your favorite gluten free recipes are.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Serves 36
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Allergy Egg
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable
Website French Toasty
Just because you are gluten intolerant doesn't mean that you can't enjoy this classic American cookie that is enjoyed by all ages and at all occasions. FrenchToasty.com has lots of classic and new cookie recipes.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups Gluten Free Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Step 2
Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs, combine well between each addition. Gradually add the flour mixture, once all combined add the chocolate chips.
Step 3
Drop by rounded teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool and enjoy! But I prefer warm from the oven.
Gluten Free Flour
 Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
 Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
 Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Original NESTLE TOLLHOUSE Chocolate Chip Cookies

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie

This is an American classic cookie that is famous and is enjoyed by all ages at all occasions. This is my go to recipe if I want a delicious classic cookie that I know won’t fail. I would say this is one of the recipes that I have been making the longest, always got the recipe as a kid off the bag of chocolate chips and it never failed me then. I have adapted the recipe a bit only by adding some more flour, my cookies were always coming out flat and too crunchy, so as I adapted the flour they turned soft and chewy how I prefer them.

Holiday time is known for cookies, but these cookies are great all times of the year. So even though the holidays are over, that doesn’t mean no more cookies until next year, so bake these up and enjoy your new year!

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie

Original NESTLÉ TOLLHOUSE Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Serves 60
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 9 minutes
Total time 24 minutes
Allergy Egg
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable
Website Nestle
This classic American cookie is ejoyed by all ages and at all occasions. FrenchToasty.com has lots of classic and new cookie recipes.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks, room temperature)
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Step 2
Add flour, baking soda and salt to a small bowl. Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs, combine well between each addition. Gradually add the flour mixture, once all combined add the chocolate chips.
Step 3
Drop by rounded teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Cool and enjoy!
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie