The Best Ever

I can’t do it! Oh, but I’m gonna… yep, I’m going to do it! Whew! Now that I’ve got that settled, I will tell you what I’m going to do…

I’m going to share my chocolate chip cookie recipe with you. That’s right, THE chocolate chip cookie recipe! Also otherwise known as breakfast bars. Somewhere along the road the name of these cookies changed to Breakfast Bars. The reason? So we can eat them for breakfast without feeling guilty (that, of course, was Jason’s idea!).

Now I know everyone has their own cookie recipe that is the “best”. Everyone thinks their mom’s recipe is better than any other. Jason and I even had this argument when we got married. He thought his mom’s was the best and naturally I thought my mom’s was the best. Well, that was before we combined our powers and made ours the best ever!

cookie 1

You may not believe me but this recipe is so well known by our friends here in Tennessee that in some instances we aren’t even invited on outings unless we bring the cookies. And, if we make them for ourselves and anyone else hears about it, we quickly don’t have any left. I’m telling you, these are that good! It’s at least worth a shot to see if you like them as much as we do.

The origin of this recipe is somewhat unknown to me. I know that my Grandma found it somewhere and then it was, of course, passed down to my Mom. The beauty of it is the women in my family cook without measuring. So, when my Grandma makes them (the “same” recipe mind you) they taste different than when my Mom makes them and different yet again when I make them. Actually, they taste different every time anyone makes them because there is no accurate measurements involved.

cookie 2

When I got married, my Mom bestowed the recipe to me. Since the recipe isn’t very accurate, I quickly found out that I would need to do some of my own tweaking to make them taste how I remembered and thus the trial and error began. Although there was some experimenting involved, I decided to be the first to actually write down my findings and it is now a recipe that can be followed by anyone! Then with a few expert modifications made by Jason, we now have a brilliant chocolate chip cookie recipe that I find myself dreaming about.

Here you go you lucky readers:

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (a.k.a Breakfast Bars)

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup shortening
3 eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups oatmeal (not instant)
1/2 package semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 package milk chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven first! 375 degrees
2. Mix together first four ingredients
3. Add eggs, beat well
4. Add flour (a cup at a time mixing each time), baking soda and salt, mix well
5. Add oatmeal and chocolate chips, mix well
6. Separate dough into the size of a golf ball and place on the cookie sheet
7. Bake 8-8 1/2 minutes (9 minutes if the dough has been refrigerated)

cookie 3

A few hints and reasons for some of the instructions: under bake the cookies! I prefer soft cookies and if you take them out when the center is underdone they will stay soft and oh-so-good! One of the biggest mistakes we make is we let them go too long because they don’t look done. Just trust me on this one, they will firm up as they grow colder. The instructions for timing are based on our oven which is a convection oven, you may have to adjust your timing (but not temperature) for your oven.

They are best when baked at the same time as they are made but often (I should say almost every time) we refrigerate the dough and bake them later. The reason is because we LOVE cookie dough almost as much as the baked cookies. So we snack for a bit and then bake them. I know, I know, raw eggs and all that. But we don’t care. We love our dough!

The other thing is the chocolate chips. This was all Jason’s doing and added such an important taste factor. We realized that all semi sweet was too bitter and all milk chocolate was too sweet. When they are mixed together, you don’t even realize you have some of each because the flavors just blend perfectly. So make sure you use 1/2 semi and 1/2 milk!

So, there you have it! Now go make some chocolate chip cookies. And shame on you who make cookies from pre-made dough. These literally take 15 minutes to whip up not including bake time. And they are worth it :) Now that you are in on the secret, enjoy!