Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 9: Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts

There were two things we could always count on when we walked into our Grandma and Grandpa Caponi's house. First, my grandma would give us a hug and immediately ask: "Are you wearing an undershirt?" Before we could answer, she was tugging on our shirt collars to check.

The second was that Grandma always had homemade cookies (among other things) available for us. And just to be clear, that had to be a HUGE task. My dad is one of six children, all were married and there were 18 of us grandchildren. Today, my cousins and I still can't imagine how crazy family gatherings must have been with all of us running around.
Grandma would sit and watch you enjoy her cookies with the biggest smile on her face. While you had your mouth full, she would start telling you stories about how she would pack cookies in her kids lunches and then would have to send more in the next day because their friends were raving about how delicious they were.

As the years went by we grew up, got married ourselves and starting having our own children. Through it all Grandma was still baking and telling her now great grandchildren the same stories about her cookies. It didn't take my boys long to learn that when they walked into Grandma and Grandpa Caponi's house the first thing Grandma would ask was: "Do you want a cookie?"

I would call my grandma quite often while I was beginning to bake. I would ask her question after question. "How do you get your cookies so perfectly round?" "What flour do you use?" "Why won't my cookies rise like yours?" "Why do you use the mini chocolate chips?"

With each question, she gave me a very simple answer. I would go back, make adjustments and the cookie would be better. I soon realized that as much as we enjoyed talking about her wonderful cookies there was NO WAY she was going to give me all of her secrets all at once.

It wasn't until Christmas 2004 that she finally had a cookie I made and couldn't tell if it was hers or mine....Success!!!

It has been 2 years since my Grandma Caponi passed away. I am so happy that my children got to know her and will always be thankful for what she taught me.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts

2 1/4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup of butter
3/4 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 large eggs (Grandma C tip...If you use smaller eggs, add an additional egg yoke)
1 cup of mini chocolate chips
1 cup of walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Sift dry ingredients together set aside.
Mix butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together.
Add eggs one at a time. Mix well.
Slowly add dry ingredients.
Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
Place rounded teaspoon of dough on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

A great time saving tip is to make extra base dough to use for different cookies. Label and refrigerate the extra dough. When you are ready to bake bring the dough to room temperature and then stir in additional ingredients.

One more day until the Chocolate Chip Cookie winner is revealed! 

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