Momma Crawford’s Chocolate Chip Cookies, a Last Minute Picnic, and Close, but No Cigar

Chocolate Chip Cookies Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookie Dough
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Do you hear that? Listen. It’s the sound of birds chirping in the early morning. Look. The soft rays of light beginning to trickle silhouettes across the grass. Feel the gentle air blowing softly against your skin from the open window. The smells of lavender and lily are floating throughout the house, creating a sense of rebirth and rejuvenation. It’s spring again, everyone.  I love this time of year. Nature seems reborn. Life is restored; a season brought a new, the start of new beginnings. Love is in the air, the flowers are in full bloom, and the sight of a fresh tomorrow gleams promisingly on the horizon.  Spring is, without a doubt, my favorite time of year. 

I feel like everyone, and their brother has a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. They’re a childhood necessity. I can remember when I was a child, hopping off of the school bus, and the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies lingering in the air as they cooled on the counter. My brother and I would swing the front door open and burst into the small country kitchen. Momma Crawford, with an apron tied tightly around her waist, with a smile soft and kind upon her face. In her hands, two tall of glasses of cold milk and a small saucer piled with cookies, just waiting to be devoured. The gooeyness and warmth that radiated from those cookies are arguably magical. 

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There seems to be something special about eating a chocolate chip cookie as a child. When you grow up, the magic seems to be just a little bit less than before. The pureness and the joy of the simplistic seem to have somewhat drifted slowly off as I’ve grown older. That’s why I believe a spontaneous disposition is a goal we all must strive for in adulthood. Like getting one extra scoop of ice cream, taking a walk in a new part of town, or going on a last minute planned picnic. Life is full of points of spontaneity.

The Midwest finally sees signs of spring. This past Wednesday was 70° and sunny, without a cloud in the sky for miles. The day before, I suggested to my friends at lunch that we should take our food-time merriments to the outdoors on a picnic. Everyone agreed a picnic was definitely in order. The next day, with our lunches in hand, we trudged halfway across the campus to the soccer fields on the farthest end of the college, making camp in a pavilion with a plethora of graffiti-infested tables and multi-stained benches.  I decided to add to the picnic excursion by bringing a few dozen of Momma Crawford’s chocolate chip cookies. The five of us ate every last one. 

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If you follow my Facebook page (which I hear is excellent), you would know that I was a runner up for Chronicle Book's 3rd Annual Great Tumblr Book Search.  It's a contest run through the companies Tumblr page where anyone with a nonfiction book idea in either one of three categories: Art, Food + Drink, or Humor, can send in a synopsis of the book and potentially be a grand prize winner that receives a publication of the pitched work. My cookbook synopsis/pitch for Sssalt and Pepepper: The Art of Speaking and Cooking Boldly took runner-up in the Food + Drink category. I may not have won first prize, but I received $100 in free cookbooks which is never a bad thing. So close, but no cigar. Below is a really lovely word written by Chronicle Books about my submission, the blog, and myself as well. 

This recipe has been a part of my family for years. It’s the only chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve ever seen my mother use. Friends and family members rave about my mother’s chocolate chip cookies. I haven’t had a single friend who could no to these cookies; they're truly that addicting. These cookies are buttery, warm, delicate, and perfect with a glass of milk or turned into sweet little sandwiches filled with marshmallow crème or cold vanilla ice cream. 

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Momma Crawford’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup butter, soften 
2/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 cup Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 (12 ounce bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips


Pre-Step: Take this opportunity to get your family, friends, or even co-workers and plan a last minute picnic yourself. Make it a potluck event!

Step One: Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, shortening, eggs, and vanilla extract. Beat with a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer until combined.

Step Two: Slowly add in the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine all the ingredients until all the flour mixture is mixed through with the wet ingredients. Stir in the semi-sweet chocolate chips. (I know you want to lick the spoon, go ahead, you daredevil.)

Step Three: Using a tablespoon, form the dough into little spherical drops (about 1 ½ tablespoons). Spread the dropped dough 2 inches apart. On a 9 x 13 cookie sheet, 12 drop doughs fit perfectly. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the bottoms is a light golden brown color. Let cool slightly before serving.  

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