One of my pet projects over the years has been to perfect the soft chocolate chip cookie that I used to make with that now-evil hyrdrogenated shortening combined with butter. I'm planning at least two recipe experiments, based on the latest Fine Cooking issue, which purports you can make a very soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie using all butter and just a different proportion of brown sugar (more) to white sugar. Sounds logical, but I am very skeptical, so I'm going to try them both out.
I've purchased the Spectrum palm kernel oil non-trans-fat shortening, which this board turned me onto. (Thanks all!). I've used it in several preparations to test it out, and it seems to be a fine product that acts just like Crisco, without that super-dangerous hydrogenated stuff. Now I'm going to try it out in my old "Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Ever", and line it up directly against the Fine Cooking increased-brown-sugar-all-butter recipe.
Nota Bene: For any people thinking to suggest the Cook's Illustrated "Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe", I've already tried it. I was so dissapointed -- and I am a CI subscriber and regular buyer of their cookbooks! It seems to me that every once and a while CI has some spectacular failures. Example: I'd been making the Marth Stewart mashed potato recipe with great success for couple of years (peel and slice russets, boil with salt, rice, then mix with butter, then warm milk, then pepper and nutmeg in a bowl over simmering water = success and deliciousness every time), but I tried the CI mashed potato recipe and what happened? I burned my fingers trying to peel boiled-with-the-skin-on potatoes, then picking small bits of peeling out of the finished product. Please! Madness, I thought. Well their soft CC cookie recipe is like this -- refrigerate the dough, roll in balls, rip apart, reassemble with torn sides up, blah blah blah. Believe me this does NOT help. I've digressed:
Back to my best CC cookie recipe -- I know it was lifted, whole and entire, from one of the fifties versions of the Betty Crocker Cookbook that my mother once had, and now is lost. I don't know exactly which version, which is why I'm asking for chowhound help. It was in a three-ring binder, with colored fanciful art on the front. The inside had black-and-white photos, and some 2-color art. We'd get a kick out of reading the introduction 'Comb you hair and put on cologne, so your husband and children will be more cheerful because you look better." and, for the bored, hobby-less housewife "Be interested, and you'll always be interesting!". To we super-liberated (we thought) seventies kids, this was high humor. This edition also had cardboard dividers with tabs for the different sections (meat, vegetables, cake, cookies, etc)
(My recipe card had water spilled on it which obscured some of the quantities -- this is what I'm asking a fellow/sister Chowhound who has this 50s edition to verify for me -- the question marked quantities)
1 cup shortening
1/3 cup (?) butter
? cup white sugar
? cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour + 1/3 cup
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces chocolate chips.
The rest of the card I can read -- any verification that can be provided will be greatly appreciated! Also, if anyone has a year on this edition, I'll note it and buy my own from EBay or wherever...