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An important part of celebrating the holiday season is sharing food with friends and family. Many families have special holiday recipes for treats they make only for the Christmas season. One of the basics for Christmas time or year round is chocolate chip cookies. Nothing smells as good on a frosty day as walking into a warm kitchen to the aroma of baking cookies. These can make a great gift. There are endless variations on the basic recipe. The basic recipe will allow you to bake a variety of goodies for the holidays.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients (conversion table)

1 cup (1/2 lb., 2 sticks) unsalted butter (you can use margarine, but butter is better)
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl beat softened butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs and mix well. Add vanilla. In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Gently stir flour mixture into butter/sugar/egg mixture. Add chcolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking pan. Bake until brown, about 9-11 minutes. Remove from baking sheet with a spatula to a rack to cool. They will be very soft when you first take them out of the oven. They will also be very hot. Be careful not to burn your tongue!

Variations

Add 1 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder to the flour mixture.
Add 3 Tbsp. peanut butter to the dough
Use white chocolate or mint chocolate chips
Add 1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or macadamia nuts, or a combination, when you add the chocolate chips
Use M & Ms or Reese's Pieces instead of chocolate chips
Add 1/2 cup cocoa powder to the flour

Try your own variations to find your favorite!



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