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Sugar (Recipe: famous chocolate chip cookies)

Updated March 2012.


According to Mary Poppins, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

According to The Sugar Association, the sixteen calories in that spoonful of sugar can be offset by seven minutes of styling your hair, fifteen minutes of socializing, eight minutes pumping gas, eight minutes taking a shower, eight minutes playing an accordion, or a thirteen-minute nap.

So, please excuse me.

I'm off to find some pink hair curlers, an accordion, and a couple of chocolate chip cookies.


From ancient Persia to Wall Street, people have bought, sold and traded sugar for hundreds of years. The Chinese were first to process sugar cane, as far back as the 7th Century. When Marco Polo traveled to China in the late 13th Century, he brought word of the Egyptians' success at manufacturing an exceptionally white "sugar frost", and emperor Kublai Khan sent for experts from Egypt to help the Chinese improve their technique.

Of course, sugar has become big business since Kublai Khan's day. Though there is much to be said on the down side (the politics of production, and the deleterious effect of too much sugar in our diet), it's an essential ingredient and, when used in moderation, one that enhances both flavor and "mouth feel".

Today is Valentine's Day, so make some cookies in your own kitchen tonight, and share them with your sweetie. I'm sure you can think of a way to work off the sixteen sugar calories, and if not... well, there's always the accordion.


Ted's very famous chocolate chip cookies

From the pantry, you'll need: butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, egg, all-purpose unbleached white flour, baking soda, table salt.

The secret to Ted's cookies, by all accounts the very best chocolate chip cookies anywhere, is in the tasting. You must taste constantly, at all stages of "dough-hood" and beyond. This recipe, which is my interpretation of Ted's version of the one found on the Toll House chips package, is supposed to make 36 small cookies, and yet, not all the dough seems to make it to the oven. I wonder....


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
6 Tbsp white granulated sugar
6 Tbsp light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose white flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp table salt, or less
6 oz chocolate chips


Preheat over to 375°F. In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with the paddle beater, cream the butter and sugars. Add vanilla and egg, and mix thoroughly. In another bowl or on wax paper, mix the flour, baking soda and salt, and add to the sugars. Mix with a wooden spoon (or on the low speed of the mixer) until thoroughly combined. Add the chips, and mix gently. Taste the dough. Refrigerate for 5 minutes. Taste again. Refrigerate for another 5 minutes, and taste again. Repeat until cookies have been refrigerated for 30 minutes. Taste one final time.

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, and bake for 9-11 minutes, until lightly browned.

Taste each batch as it comes out of the oven. Tasting makes all the difference!

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:

Drop In & Decorate sugar cookies
Aggression cookies
Granola cookies
Chocolate spice cookies
Sweet and salty peanut chocolate chunk cookies

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Double chocolate cookies, from Cooking on the Side
Gluten-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, from Gluten-free Goddess
Chocolate Nutella cookies, from Simply Recipes
Chocolate crack cookies, from White on Rice Couple
Chocolate chip cookie bars, from Two Peas & Their Pod

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


mmmmm. I know there´s a whole lot of other stuff the USA has given the world, but for me the chocolate chip cookie has to be the ultimate contribution.

I agree with Ted: tasting along the way is definitely the way to go, although I have to admit I'm usually just doing so for the sake of tasting rather than the sake of adjusting!

Cookie dough is notorious for disappearing before making it to the oven. Its a real problem that somebody out there needs to work on ;-)

Geez...I think it's true. Parents like to give their kids candies when kids have to take their medicine. For adults, sometimes preserved (sour) dried fruits such as prunes or plums are a good accompaniment when downing that bitter medicine.

Oh i am a taster too - it's all the fun when baking or cooking!

Yum! What a sweet Valentine's day! Thanks for all the compliments, Lydia, and for all your blog love and support! I'm imagining you at a cocktial party with curlers in your hair, playing the accordion! Enjoy your cookies-I love chocolate chip. Actually, we had an accordion player (a very traditional Argentinian sound) at our engagement party-he must have really burned off those empanadas!

One can never have enough "new" chocolate chip cookie recipe, gotta try them all...not enough time! Happy Valentines Day.

Beautiful photo (and happy colors, are you a red person, Lydia?) and nice that you adopted!

Well, it's good to know that a shower a day will do a lot to balance my sugar consumption each week, in addition to keeping me squeaky clean! Happy Valentine's Day, Lydia!

I am not sure I have enough money to pump gas for 8 mins. I definately will have to use one of the other methods to work off those calories!

Hi Lydia,
How wonderful that you have "adopted" Rebecca. I'll head over to her blog after this.

The history of sugar is very interesting, and almost as controversial as that of coffee.

I can always use another choc chip cookie recipe, thanks for that.


Lobstersquad, I agree -- we can definitely be proud of chocolate chip cookies. This is the first cookie I learned how to make, when I was a little girl.

Genie, there's tasting....and then there's tasting! Some days I wonder if Ted makes these cookies just to eat the dough.

Mike, I guess as the tech guys would say, "it's a known issue"!!!

Tigerfish, absolutely! Of course some parents give their kids cookies when they're sick -- I always wanted those parents.

Meeta, tasting is so important to becoming a good cook -- but I think Ted takes it to a new level with his cookie dough love!

Rebecca, that accordion player must have been skinny as a rail -- so many calories burned off! I hope your blog makes lots of new friends today.

Callipygia, there is no such thing as too much chocolate, or too many cookies. Happy Valentine's Day!

Meg, I'm a red and a purple person. I saw this little bowl on sale at a discount store and had to have it. I knew some day it would have its day -- and what better than Valentine's Day?

TW, I wonder if singing in the shower burns off even more cookies? Happy Valentine's Day to you.

Sindy, welcome to The Perfect Pantry. I laughed when I read that, too -- eight minutes of pumping gas at today's prices would be at least $100.

Nora, thanks for visiting Rebecca's blog. I know you will enjoy it. The universe always has room for another great chocolate chip cookie recipe. Here in the US, this one is the classic -- Toll House cookies were the first to popularize this type of chocolate chip cookie.

And think of all the dentists who have such glorious houses thanks to sugar!!!

Sampling cookie dough is at least as a big a reason for making chocolate chip cookies as eating the cookies is.

Let's see 10 cookies and a 13 minute nap. That would be lovely!

Oh and I love that bowl Lydia!!

Ahahah, I love your second paragraph, I would not have thought of this list ;-) Maybe this explains why I move all the time!

Lydia, I'm a sucker for cookies... The more recipes to try, the merrier!

I blow dry my hair straight every morning... I guess that allows me to have a couple of spoons of sugar, right? :)

I'm off to check Rebecca's blog.

Napping? I love it. Eat some cookies...take a nap...eat some cake...take a nap. Perfect!! :)

The cookie recipe looks wonderful, I've been looking for a good one.

I think I'll nap with an accordion and some rollers in my hair....;-) Love the post! It also seems that those artificial sweeteners will actually help you GAIN weight! More reason to take just one more of those delicious, all-American cookies!!

So tell me, is this more of a chewy cookie or more of a crunchy one? I am in serious need of some baking therapy this weekend, have even bought extra flour and butter to get started, and think choc chip cookies need to be at the top of the list...

Um...yes!? I think that moderation is the key, I would rather have one "good" one than three sweetener-laden ones.

Neil, I believe Ted's dentist is one of those -- all that tasting!

Julie, there are definitely two schools of thought on this. You and Ted went to the same school. I went to the other one -- I like to let the cookies sit for a while and crisp up and then, when the moment is right, I pounce!

MyKitchen, how do you like that math?! (And the bowl was a find in the jumbled kitchenware aisle at our local TJ Maxx discount store. 99¢....

Bea, I thought the list was hilarious. I guess if I baked more, I could nap more!

Patricia, you make the most beautiful cookies, so I guess you must do lots of blow drying -- or maybe accordion playing?!

Katia, the eat-nap thing really appealed to me, too. It doesn't make much sense, but it appeals to me!

Toni, maybe we should organize accordion lessons, and serve cookies. Imagine how popular we'd be!

Luisa, these are the Toll House cookies with a soft center and crispy edges (if you can bear to let them cool before eating them, which clearly Ted cannot do). To me, they are the essence of the chocolate chip cookie I grew up with. Baking therapy -- I wish that baking did it for me. I'm more into eating therapy!

Cakespy, I agree. Though I'd rather have three good ones than one good one...

Happy post Valentine's Day! Thank you for sharing your husband's wonderful cookie recipe with all of us. I'm honored :)

Hillary, if you make these, don't forget the tasting -- it's the most important part of the recipe. Enjoy!

My husband is the cookie dough tester (real job I hear!). Everything in moderation and sugar is no exception!

"fifteen minutes of socializing"-does talking to customers at work count? How about dealing with mean customers? If this is correct, I'm burning a TON of calories this weekend! More sugar for me!
BTW- we mentioned your "other people pantry" in our latest post!

I will have to try these best cookies.

Tartelette, I might have said that the cookie tasting is a man's job, but I know plenty of women who are equally addicted to it!

White on Rice Couple, "socializing" seems a bit vague, doesn't it, so I'll say absolutely, talking to customers could work off a whole lot of cookies. Go for it!

Oh no worries - I'm an expert when it's cookie tasting, dough or baked, yes I'm your gal!
I've been perfecting the art since I was 4yo!

Bron, come on over and make cookies with my husband -- he's a champion cookie dough taster (well, if there were a championship for that sort of thing, he'd be right up there!).

You are a model adopter :) Thanks for taking part in this event. It is great to have you be a part of it!

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