I used to make a really good chocolate-chip cookie. USED TO.

Home-baked cookies are the stuff of childhood. We leave cookies for Santa and the smell of baking arouses strong memories of the happy parts of childhood. We lived on the edge by eating raw eggs beat into the sugar/butter mixture and we’re still alive. Any kind of cookie makes the memory stir. Chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, white chocolate, raisins, oatmeal and let’s not even talk about sugar cookies iced with colorful sugar concoctions. Those kinds of expectations make cookie-baking rather stressful.

For years I followed the recipe on the Nestle bag and it almost became a mantra, flour, salt, baking soda, cream sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs, mix with flour sale, baking soda, add chocolate chips. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Those cookies were always perfect baked right there in the house on Joan Street in north Denver.

However, my cookies are judged as less than perfect: too flat, too tall, too chewy (read here raw), too burned, too eh.

There’s nothing quite like a perfect chocolate-chip cookie. Ask Mrs. Fields – she made a fortune making people happy, one cookie at a time.

Around 1980, Mrs. Fields’ Cookies became legendary. Savvy bakers would try to discern the ingredients in the basic recipe and try to replicate those wonderful cookies.

Legend has it that a baker-lady called the Mrs. Fields franchise and asked for the recipe. The response was affirmative and if they she would give her credit card number the charge be would be 275. When the baker-lady got her statement the next month, the charge wasn’t $2.75 it was $275. She decided to get back at Mrs. Fields’ franchise by copying and sharing the recipe with anyone who’d take it. Back in the day before the internet, that was a feat left to church ladies who baked, knitted and prayed.

The recipe made it’s way into church cookbooks with titles such as “Better Than Mrs. Fields’ Cookies” or “”Revenge Cookies.”

With the illicit recipe we hunkered down with our Pyrex bowls and wooden spoons and eyeballed measuring cups with exact measurements that would do any scientist proud. We committed that recipe to the cooking archives in our heads.

Mrs. Fields’ recipe has sort of waned into cookie history and people still buy Nestle chocolate chips and snack on a few chips as they gather their ingredients together.

Nestle has changed their game and I know that because the memorized recipe I wrestled with in the last decade has changed. I know that now because I read the instructions and this time I was wearing my reading glasses and saw the changes: above 6,000 feet, more flour, less sugar, a little water in the dough. That shit wasn’t on previous bags!

Anyway, I wrote out the recipe for my personal cookbook so I wouldn’t have to squint at the 6-point type on the chip bag.

Here is the adjusted recipe for Mini-Morsel Chocolate Chip Cookies and this is adjusted to 9,000 feet.

Happy baking!

Nestle Toll House Mini-Morsel Cookie Recipe

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Ungreased cookie sheets

2 1/2 cups un-sifted flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
Mix together in a bowl and set aside

Cream together with a mixer:

2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 sticks salted butter softened meaning let it sit out on the counter for a while

When creamy, add:
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs at room temperature

Gradually add the flour/salt/baking soda mixture to the butter/sugar mixture

2 cups Nestle Mini-Morsels

Add: 2 tsp water to the mix

Drop onto cookie sheet (6 cookies)

Cook for 7 minutes EXACTLY

In between batches put the mixing bowl and cookie sheets in freezer it helps keeps the edges from getting too brown

Got milk?

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