National Cookie Month

My most recent batch of chocolate chip cookies.I recently made a pact with myself that I would send Bubby off-the-wall gifts in celebration of various months of national recognition. It's just a goofy way of connecting with my grandson, not because I feel particularly strongly about any of the designations.

So far I've sent Bubby maracas for Happiness Happens Month (August) and a wild and crazy chicken for National Chicken Month (September). In searching for ideas of what to send him for October, I found that October is National Cookie Month. And although I make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world -- or so I've been told many times by many people -- I won't be sending Bubby chocolate chip cookies. Not because he can't eat chocolate or because I worry they'll turn to crumbs in the shipping, but because my chocolate chip cookies are already made regularly at his house -- by Preston!

My chocolate chip cookies have a supporting role in the story of Megan and Preston. When Megan went to college in Nebraska, in the small town where Preston had lived most of his life, she needed to find a part-time job to bring in a little cash (and car-payment money) while there. Preston was part of the group of friends Megan initially made there and although they truly were "just friends" at that point, he helped Megan get on at the local grocery store where he'd worked for quite some time.

Megan was deeply grateful and needed a way to thank him appropriately. So she asked me to bake up a batch of my cookies and send them to him. And I did. And Preston fell in love with them. Then soon fell in love with Megan ... and she fell in love with him.

I'm pretty sure my cookies had very little to do with the mutual love fest between Megan and Preston, but they did become rather legendary.* I regularly mailed batches off to Nebraska for Megan to share with Preston and made sure the cookie jar was full when Preston came to visit during school breaks. Now that Megan and Preston are married, Preston has taken on the cookie-making for their little family -- using my chocolate chip cookie recipe. I'm honored, in a small way.

So, since Bubby already has a source for cookies for National Cookie Month, I'll just share with you all the recipe for the cookies Preston loves so much. And I'm posting it early enough for you to head to the store for the ingredients and have the goodies made in time for the kickoff of National Cookie Month, three days from now.

To be honest, my chocolate chip cookie recipe is simply the original toll house cookie recipe -- except that I use butter-flavor Crisco instead of butter or margarine (it makes for a fluffier, puffier cookie). And I don't mix the dry and wet ingredients separately ... which started as a time-saving measure but has worked just fine for the past 20 years I've been making these.

Here ya go. Enjoy!

Lisa's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter-flavor Crisco

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

2 1/4 cups unsifted flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

12-oz package (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, combine first four ingredients; beat until creamy. Beat in eggs. Add flour, baking soda and salt (sprinkling the soda and salt over the mixture so there are no "hot spots" of either). Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8-9 minutes. Transfer to wire rack for cooling. Makes about 4 dozen yummy cookies.

*Brianna actually has a mechanic who, after her first time of thanking him for a job well done by giving him a plate of the cookies, now accepts only batches of cookies as payment for the auto work he does for her!