A Stack of Prairie Pantry Cookies amid small piles of Chocolate Chips and Flour.

PRAIRIE PANTRY COOKIES

Deliciously Simple

The chocolate chip cookie is one of the most recognizable treats in North America. If you’ve never actually had one, you’ve at least heard of it. But, how did it become so renowned?

Its popularity can be traced back to the 1930s when Ruth Wakefield, the owner of the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts, created the first chocolate chip cookie.

The Toll House chocolate chip cookie was born in Ruth’s humble kitchen, using some newly purchased chocolate bars, which she chopped into small bits to make them go farther.

The expectation was that the chocolate would melt and create an all-chocolate cookie. Instead, the chocolate pieces retained their shape, giving birth to the iconic chocolate chip cookie we know today.

Ruth’s creation quickly gained popularity and the recipe was published in a Boston newspaper. Nestle saw the opportunity and struck a deal with Ruth, leading to the creation of Nestle Toll House chocolate chips.

The simplicity and deliciousness of the chocolate chip cookie resonated with people, and it became a staple in households across the country. Today, the chocolate chip cookie remains a classic and timeless treat enjoyed by people of all ages, solidifying its status as a culinary icon.

THE REIMAGINED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE

In today’s world, the tradition of seeking inspiration from ordinary objects and experiences remains as relevant as ever. This age-old practice empowers home bakers to infuse their unique flair into classic recipes like the beloved chocolate chip cookie.

As individuals delve into their kitchens, they embark on a culinary journey filled with creativity, nostalgia, and the delightful essence of chocolate.

In the heart of the Manitoba prairie, a similar spark of inspiration ignited, beckoning to warm up my cozy kitchen amidst the chill of the day. Here, the air is saturated with the scents of heritage, recollections, and the irresistible aroma of chocolate.

This infusion of tradition and innovation not only tantalizes the taste buds but also weaves a tapestry of shared experiences and newfound delights within the community.

COOKIE VARIATIONS

Pantry cookies are a delightful treat that can be easily whipped up using ingredients commonly found in your pantry. These versatile cookies can be customized to suit your taste preferences, whether you like them chewy, crispy, loaded with chocolate chips, or filled with nuts and dried fruits.

A basic pantry cookie recipe typically includes flour, sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, and vanilla extract, but you can get creative by adding in ingredients like oats, coconut flakes, cinnamon, or even a sprinkle of sea salt for an extra flavor boost.

To make pantry cookies, simply cream together the butter and sugar, then mix in the eggs and vanilla extract. Gradually add the dry ingredients until a dough forms, then fold in any additional mix-ins of your choice. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet and bake until golden brown.

The beauty of pantry cookies is that you can experiment with different flavors and textures based on what you have on hand, making them a perfect go-to dessert for any occasion. So next time you’re craving something sweet, raid your pantry and whip up a batch of delicious cookies to enjoy!

Total Prep Time:
35 min

Servings in Recipe:
12

Serving Size:
2 cookies

Calories Per Serving:
363

Total Prep Time: 45 min


Servings in Recipe: 12


Serving Size: 2 cookies


Calories Per Serving: 363

A Stack of Prairie Pantry Cookies amid small piles of Chocolate Chips and Flour.

PRAIRIE PANTRY COOKIES

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup granular sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup quick-cook oats
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
A Grouping of Prairie Pantry Cookies Ingredients. Chocolate Chips, Nuts and Oats.
A Grouping of Prairie Pantry Cookies Ingredients. Chocolate Chips, Nuts and Oats.

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350F/180C
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, whip butter and sugars together, until light in color and creamy. The longer you beat them, the lighter and creamier the mixture gets.
  • Crack in both eggs and as they spread across the butter and sugar mixture, dribble in the vanilla extract.
  • Combine all this on medium speed in your mixer, or by hand, until all return to that creamy, dreamy consistency.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients. Flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient mixture until that magical cookie dough begins to form.
  • In the same bowl that you used to mix your dry ingredients, stir oats, chocolate chips and walnuts together until all are evenly combined.
  • Add the entire amount to your soft dough and slowly fold together (on a slow speed with the dough attachment, if using a stand mixer).
  • Using two large spoons or a medium-sized dough scoop, drop dollops of your heavenly mixture (that already smells good!) onto parchment-covered baking sheets. Dollops should be placed at least 2 inches apart to allow for spreading during baking.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, rotating each baking sheet 180 degrees, halfway through.
  • Once done, remove the baking sheets from the oven and inhale that intoxicating chocolate aroma that has become the stuff of legend.
  • Place cookies on a wire rack or paper towels to cool.
  • Sample one immediately and luxuriate in your freshly baked, chocolate-chip achievement.
  • Store the rest in your cookie jar and enjoy the bliss.

PRAIRIE PANTRY COOKIES FAQ

Why do chocolate chip cookies harden so fast?

Chocolate chip cookies tend to harden quickly due to the process of moisture loss within the cookie. When freshly baked, the cookies are warm and retain a higher level of moisture content. As they cool down, the moisture evaporates, causing the cookies to become drier and harder.

The presence of ingredients like butter and sugar also contributes to the hardening process. Butter solidifies as it cools, which can make the cookies firmer, while sugar can crystallize, further contributing to the texture change.

Additionally, exposure to air can accelerate the hardening of chocolate chip cookies. Storing them in an airtight container can help maintain their softness for a longer period.

What is the secret to keeping chocolate chip cookies soft?

The secret to keeping chocolate chip cookies soft lies in a few key techniques. One important tip is to slightly under-bake the cookies. This means taking them out of the oven when the edges are set but the center is still slightly underdone. The residual heat will continue to cook the cookies as they cool, resulting in a soft and chewy texture.

Another trick is to store the cookies properly after baking. To keep them soft, place a slice of bread in the container with the cookies. The bread will help retain moisture and prevent the cookies from drying out. You can also store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature, but be sure to separate layers with parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together.

Lastly, using ingredients like brown sugar, cornstarch, and melted butter in your cookie dough can also contribute to a softer texture. Brown sugar adds moisture, while cornstarch helps to create a tender crumb. Melted butter, as opposed to softened butter, distributes more evenly in the dough, resulting in a chewier cookie. By following these tips, you can enjoy soft and delicious chocolate chip cookies every time!


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