Best Ever Chocolate Cookies!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (125 mL) butter
1/2 cup (125 mL) shortening
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp (15 mL) vanilla
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
2 cups (500 mL) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (250 mL) chopped walnuts or pecans

Preparation:

Note: This recipe was first published more than a decade ago. Research since then has shown that shortening contains trans fats, which can increase the risk of heart disease. An alternative is to substitute butter for the shortening, as in the variation below; however, the cookie will have a crisper texture.

1. In bowl, beat butter and shortening; gradually beat in granulated and brown sugars until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt, and stir into butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls (15 mL), about 2 inches (5 cm) apart, onto parchment paper-lined or greased rimless baking sheets. With fork, flatten to 1/2 inch (1 cm) thickness. Bake in 375F (190°C) oven for 15 minutes or until edges are golden and centres are still slightly underbaked. Let cool on pans on racks for 5 minutes. Transfer to racks; let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Layer between waxed paper in airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.

Variations:
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies: Omit shortening; increase butter to 1 cup (250 mL) and flour to 2-3/4 cups (675 mL). Bake in 350F (180C) oven for 8 to 12 minutes.

Reverse Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Substitute cocoa powder for 1/3 cup (75 mL) of the flour, sifting with flour before adding to batter; use white chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate chips. Bake as directed.

Chocolate Chip Ice-Cream Sandwiches:
Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls (50 mL) onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Flatten slightly with fork. Bake in 375F (190C) oven for 15 minutes or until golden. Let cool on pans on racks for 3 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool completely. Spread about 1/2 cup (125 mL) slightly softened ice cream on bottom of each of 4 cookies; top each with second cookie and roll in mini candy-coated chocolates. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze in airtight container for at least 4 hours or until firm.

Tip:
To make a giant chocolate chip cookie "greeting card," press dough onto parchment paper-lined 12-inch (30 cm) pizza pan. Bake in centre of 375F (190C) oven for 25 minutes or until golden. Let cool on rack. Pipe greeting on top with melted chocolate.

Servings: 50 cookies

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