Monday, July 20, 2015

Lunar Landings and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Although the title may sound a little odd, there really is a valid connection here. As many of you already know, we enjoy creating our own mini celebrations for random (or even, not so random) events. Forty-six years ago, on July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 crew touched down on the moon. Although I am not old enough to remember the event, I was told that I was in the living room when the landing was being broadcast on national television.
Growing up in the early 1970s, I do have images of being impacted by the space age. When I was around four or five years old, I remember going around saying, "I'm going to walk on the moon." My sister, who was 18 months younger, would respond by saying, "I'm going to walk on the grass." I also remember an activity from the first grade at Grouse Creek Elementary School (please do check out the link for the school) in which class members were naming what they wanted to be when they grew up. I remember saying that I wanted to be an astronaut and my teacher saying that would take a lot of math and science. I'm not quite sure that I fully appreciated all that entailed. Even though I haven't yet walked on the moon, I can say that I have enjoyed some pretty amazing adventures using math and science.
At this point you may be asking, "So, just what does all this have to do with chocolate chip cookies?" That is a very good question and one that has a very good answer. 
My husband is also a child of the space age who fully embraced the resulting science fiction phenomena. One of his favorite summer treats is a Big Ed's Super Saucer. As you can see from this promotional picture, it features a little alien space guy riding his ice cream flying saucer sandwich made of chocolate chip cookies. The smaller picture shows the actual ice cream treat. 
A few years ago, we decided to go ahead and make our own Super Saucers in honor of Moon Landing Day. If I do say so myself, I have a pretty good chocolate chip cookie recipe. I will share some of the tips I have learned along the way to make the ideal chocolate chip cookie whether you choose to turn it into your own Super Saucer ice cream treat or enjoy it with a glass of milk.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients:
2 cups margarine (I typically use Blue Bonnet or Imperial - just use the regular sticks and not the low fat kind)
2 cups white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla (if you are using an extra strength vanilla, reduce to 1/2 tsp)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
6 cups flour
2 12 oz bags chocolate chips
  • Cream together margarine and sugars. Take care not to allow the margarine not to get to soft or near-melted. This will help with the texture of the cookies.
  • Add eggs and vanilla and beat thoroughly. 
  • Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Note: I don't like being bothered with using a sifter. I typically add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt with one cup of flour and beat them into the mixture using the hand mixture. I then stir in the remaining flour.
  • Stir in chocolate chips. 
  • Bake at 350Âș for about 15-18 minutes. With this most recent batch, I used a silicone baking sheet liner to ensure that the bottoms of the cookies would be smooth. When using the silicone liner, I found that 18 minutes was the ideal baking time.
  • Variations: Substitute a bag of white chocolate chips or butterscotch chips for one of the bags of chocolate chips.
Here's a plate of these most delicious cookies. Happy Lunar Landing Day!