There has been much hype about Tate's Cookies as of late on the blogosphere and our store finally received some in stock so I caved and bought a bag of the chocolate chip version. I was so excited to have found them, I think I actually did a mini-jig in the aisle. We raced home and while putting items away, I opened the bag for a pre-dinner snack. I have to say, I am not impressed in the least and I have to wonder if their popularity has more to do with Ina Garten's praise than it does their flavor. Whether it be Paula Deen or Rachel Ray, whenever a food celebrity touts praise of an item and/or brand, it grows to ridiculous popularity due to zealous fans wanting to be just their televised idols. I have to think that after tasting a Tate's cookie, this is the issue as well.
When I think about a chocolate chip cookie, I don't think about a dark colored, thin, super crispy cookie with 3 chocolate chips inside. Seriously, I think I've had potato chips thicker than these cookies. Looks aside though, the flavor was almost burnt tasting and left an overly long lingering buttery feel in my mouth that I just didn't enjoy. Sadly, not appealing on any level to my tastebuds. In fact, hubby had one cookie and hasn't touched them since. That in itself tells me they reek since he practically eats anything and everything, including those yucky seaweed salads, stinky anchovies and super smelly Japanese nori crisp snacks. He's also a sweet-a-holic like me and it is just astounding that there is an open bag of cookies in the house and neither one of us has went back for seconds. At nearly $5.00 for a bag of 12 cookies, I just expected more...especially after all the hub bub about them lately.
I'm trying hard not to be prejudiced BUT my cookies have caused FIGHTS. I once sent my ex-boyfriend home with 2 huge gallon sized Ziploc bags chock full of cookies intended for his parents and brother in Missouri. Those cookies never arrived because he ate them all and a shouting, hateful fight ensued...all over my cookies and how they didn't get any. Terrible words were thrown, hurt feelings were stewing and I had to make and mail a replacement set just to stop the arguing! I have mailed these to 4 states now. They are demanded, asked for as birthday gifts and are expected at family holidays. They are drooled over, coveted and hidden in places to keep them from being stolen. They're seriously chewy, moist and soft. Your teeth sink into each buttery bite filled with dark chocolate chips, semi-sweet chunks and toffee bits. Its just one really great cookie. I'd rather take my money and buy the ingredients and make a few dozen cookies of my own compared to the 12 lack-luster ones from Tate's....any day! (sorry Tate's...I tried.)
So to save you some hard earned cash and give you a no fail, tested, tried and true delicious cookie, I'm sharing my uber secret cookie recipe with you all...which is really honestly no secret at all. I just like to keep random family members in the dark and let them think I'm holding some million dollar cookie recipe in my pocket. Its actually Crisco's butter flavored stick recipe...I've changed just a few minor things but essentially, my fame goes to them. But - we'll just keep it between us, okay? *wink*
Ultimate Triple Threat Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Crisco, tweaked to perfection by me
¾c Crisco Butter shortening OR ¾ stick of Crisco Butter sticks
1¼c packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp vanilla
1 large egg
1¾c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp baking soda
1c semi-sweet chips or chunks
1c dark chocolate chips
1½c toffee chips (brickle)
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine shortening, sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat until well blended. Beat in egg. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into shortening mixture until just blended. Do not overbeat. Stir in chocolate chips, chunks and toffee.
Drop by rounded tablespoons onto lined cookie sheet. Using moist fingers, slightly pat down cookie dough and smooth edges. (I use my cookie scoops for even portioning.)
Bake for 8-10 minutes depending on your oven. Don't skip this next part...cool 2 minutes on baking sheet before removing to parchment lined countertop or cooling rack. (I pull mine out at 9 minutes on the dot so they're still kinda under cooked...they finish to chewy perfection while they're cooling.)
*** My biggest secret tip for you? I use Sweet Dough Flavoring from King Arthur Flour. It gives all my cookies that super bakery smell and extra buttery flavor. I use one teaspoon of this in my chocolate chip cookies. Its totally optional...but once you try it, you'll be thinking of all sorts of stuff you can put it! And a little goes a LONG way. Definitely worth the $7.00...!
You can find it by CLICKING HERE.