What exactly is it about giant, crackly topped chocolate chip cookies that makes them so irresistible ? Is it simply because at the end of the day we eat with our eyes, and the crackles are just so pretty that we can’t help but want to bite into them as soon as humanly possibly? Or is it because we know that lurking just beneath that gorgeous crisp crackle is a soft, chewy cookie, studded with ooey, gooey chocolate and an overall flavour that tastes like childhood?
I think for me it would have to be the latter explanation; nostalgia never fails to capture my heart when it comes to homemade treats.
Every time I bite into a homemade chocolate chip cookie, I am instantly transported back to my childhood home. It’s a cold and rainy afternoon, but my mum and I are cozy in our cramped little kitchen, warm from the heat of the oven and laughing about nothing in particular as we parade around the kitchen in our messy aprons. The counter tops are a mess of recipe books, measuring cups, a container of brown sugar, sticks of unwrapped butter, spills of flour, and a few stray chocolate chips that never quite made it into the mixing bowl.
Suddenly the oven sounds an alarm that what we have been waiting for is finally ready. She wraps a tea towel over her hand and carefully pulls tray of cookies from the hot oven. I follow her and the tray like a hound to where she sets the tray down onto a cooling rack atop of our old wood table. I breath in their glorious chocolatey scent and unable to wait a second longer, I raise my hand just to try and grasp of the cookies. Just as I am about to touch the warm edges of the cookie my heart desires the most, my mum says softly “Careful sweetie, they are still very hot. Let’s wait patiently for another few minutes while they cool a bit, okay?”
It’s like she has asked me to preform the impossible, but somehow I manage to lower my hand back to my side. I stare impatiently at the cookies, blowing on them, and waving my apron at the tray in an effort to cool them down faster; the smell of freshly baked cookies wafting through the air is pure sweet torture.
To keep me occupied my mum asks me to help her tidy the kitchen; so reluctantly, I leave the tray of cookies and join her at the sink to dry the dishes as she washes. She shoots a sly smile my way and hands me the wooden mixing spoon, still covered in a layer of cookie dough to nibble on, while we tag team the dishes – both of us pretending like we aren’t dreaming about eating the whole tray of fresh cookies.
After a few minutes the kitchen is back to its original state and we both look at each other, knowing exactly what the other is thinking. I rush to the kitchen table and take a seat in one of the wooden chairs while my mum pours us a mug of milk to share.
She sits down beside me and hands me the cookie I was reaching for earlier, and takes another for herself. The cookie is still warm in my hands as I break it in half, just so I can watch the melty chocolate ooze as I pull it apart, before I look back at my mom and we each take our first bite together. It’s pure bliss. Nothing short of amazing and in the moment, the best thing I have ever tasted. We savour the rest of our cookies together in silence, stopping to take a sip from the mug of milk every so often.
When we have finished savouring every bite, we both lean back in our chairs, put a hand to our bellies and smile at each other; full and content to just stay in this moment forever.
Those cozy afternoons spent baking a simple batch of chocolate chip cookies with my mum mean everything to me. So whenever I need a little comfort I find myself in the kitchen baking our favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe re-living those precious memories of things I don’t ever want to forget.
I’m realizing now that this was a bit of a long story. So for those of you who are still with me, really all I am hoping for today is that this post resonates with you in some way and inspires you to do something that brings you memories of comfort and joy. Whether that be baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies; reading your favourite book or taking a quiet walk. Just do something that makes you happy, because you deserve it – we all do.
And if baking chocolate cookies is what brings you joy, I have my favourite recipe here for you all below. Happy baking friends <3
Giant Crackly Chocolate Chip Cookies
Things you need…
Makes: 10 large cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp espresso powder (optional)
1 tbsp milk
2 cups all purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup milk chocolate, chopped
How to make…
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees regular or 325 convection if possible. (Convection is my favourite way to bake cookies) Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars until pale and creamy. Add in your egg and beat on high until fluffy. Add in your vanilla, milk and espresso powder; mix on high until combined.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat on low until it starts to come together; increase the speed and beat until completely combined. Beat in your chopped dark chocolate and mix to combine.
Use a large cookie scoop to portion the dough into 10 large balls – and I mean large, they should be about 100g each in size. Distribute them onto two prepared baking sheets & place them in the freezer for a quick 10 minutes each before baking.
Bake the cookies 1 pan at a time. Bake them for 10 minutes, and spin the rack around in your oven.
Let them cook another 4 minutes or so or until the edges are a light golden brown. In total your cookies will bake for about 14-15 minutes. For the purposes of this cookie cake recipe, it’s best if your cookies are a little underbaked, so don’t worry if the centers don’t look quite set, they will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven.
** Tip: If you want to create a crackly top on your cookies use this method: At the 10 minute mark, lift one side of the pan a few inches off the rack and let it fall; repeat this process a couple of times before shutting the oven door and allowing your cookies to continue to cook. You will notice that your puffy cookies will have sunken a little bit – this is what you want. Repeat this process every 2 minutes until your cookies are baked. This is what will create those tasty looking crackles.
Remove your cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely before assembling your cookie cake.