| Recipes |

Amy S.'s The Holidays Really Take Their Toll (House) Cookies

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Our latest Chow Bella showdown: a traditional holiday cookie exchange. Today: our final entry, Amy Silverman's "The Holidays Really Take Their Toll (House) Cookies."


Let's face it: You've made it this far in the holiday season and all you really want right now is a stiff drink (we've got plenty of coverage to that end, here on Chow Bella). But you've got one more batch of cookies to whip up. Might I suggest a classic? The Nestle Toll House cookie.

The best part: You can't lose the recipe. It's right there on the freaking bag. I like to go to Safeway, pick up a bag of chocolate chips and use that as my shopping list.

You really can't go wrong with these, as long as you let the butter soften enough (otherwise, and I know this from experience, you'll have big lumps of butter in your cookies; or if you nuke the butter to liquid they'll be hard as rocks).

I won't share the recipe -- that's ridiculous, you can pick up a bag of chips yourself, Walgreen's even carries them -- but I'll offer up my secret for making perfect chocolate chip cookies. It's one I learned quite by accident. A few years ago, my Toll House cookies were receiving rave reviews and I couldn't figure out why. It was simply the recipe on the bag. Then I realized I was unintentionally doubling the amount of chocolate chips I put in each batch.

Having poor math skills can pay off sometimes.

I tried to get creative with this batch, and tossed not only semi-sweet but also white chocolate chips in the batter, along with some peanuts and pistachios I happened to have in the cupboard. Frankly, I think I prefer the original version, but these were okay, too.

Warning: M&Ms are fine to put in your cookies, but I don't recommend adding candy corn (I know, different holiday) unless you want a real mess.

Another tip for saving time: Press your dough into a well-greased brownie pan and make cookie bars. Enjoy!

The Chow Bella Christmas Cookie Exchange -- so far:
7. Ando Muneno's Totally Ethnic Ginger Chocolate Cookies
2. Amy Morris' Snickerdoodles and Spritz Cookies
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