Although I love to bake and share my creations, especially cookies, sometimes I wonder if it’s really worth the effort. Like the day I brought my Favorite Ginger Cookies up to my son’s school. Sitting there in the school lobby with my platter of homemade cookies, I ran into another mom. She was dressed smartly, and was carrying a giant, gaudily-decorated chocolate chip cookie from the grocery store. She looked at me and my offering and said, “Oh, of course, you baked.” I don’t know if it was intended to be, but it came off as just so snarky. I was mildly offended, and replied simply, “Yes, it’s my passion.” As I walked to my car after dropping off the cookies, I wondered if the fact that they were homemade really mattered to the kids, or anyone else for that matter.
I witnessed something interesting this holiday season, which confirmed my belief that homemade treats ARE special. A steady stream of holiday food gifts showed up at my office — nuts of every kind, artisanal crackers, edible arrangements, Godiva chocolates, fancy cupcakes from the specialty bakery, to name a few. Most of them lingered in the kitchen for days, even weeks — in fact, some of them are still there. But someone — and I am still trying to find out who — sent 2 tins of homemade cookies, and they were gone by the end of the day.
Don’t they look delicious? Any doubts I had about whether homemade treats are appreciated disappeared as fast as the cookies did. Both cookies were wonderful and I am on a quest to get the recipes.
Meanwhile, here is my most popular cookie—the one my mother-in-law requests for her birthday, my daughter’s boyfriend requests for every special occasion, and my favorite one to send along as part of a compassion meal. The recipe is called Clipper Chippers, and looking around the interwebs I see it has tons of fans. The name comes from a ship called the Clipper Adventurer, which has since been renamed the Sea Adventurer. The popular cookies are served to the ship’s passengers every afternoon, which according to some folks, is reason enough to travel on the ship. The hazelnut and coffee liqueurs, the double dose of milk chocolate chips, and the bounty of nuts (and you can use any combination of nuts you like) makes these very special chocolate chip cookies.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
- 1 tablespoon Kahlua (coffee liqueur)
- 2 eggs
- 2-1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 11-1/2 ounce packages milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Place butter, sugars, and liqueurs in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix in chocolate chips and chopped nuts. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, spacing approximately 1 inch apart. (Note: I find it helps to pat the cookies down a little bit, as they don’t spread much.) Bake until cookies are golden brown, approximately 16 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack to cool.
Hot out of the oven
Even the dog begs for these cookies