there are two things that i particularly enjoy about this chocolate cookie recipe:
- it’s easy
- it’s very adaptable – i don’t think i’ve ever made the same variation twice
regarding the first point above, they just need basic ingredients, nothing particularly fancy (unless you want to go crazy with your mix-ins). they’re just a standard cream the butter and sugar, mix in the eggs, add the dry ingredients, then the mix-ins, and now you’re ready to go cookie recipe. no chilling the dough, no rolling and endless cookie cutters.
don’t get me wrong, i am more than happy to eat all of the precious hand stamped, precision decorated cookies that we are inundated with this time of year (provided they taste as good as they look). but make them? forget it! i know some people find the repetition cathartic or really enjoy getting creative with decorating. and while i so appreciate seeing/eating their crafts, i will have none of it for myself. none. of. it. that’s why i’m grateful that this chocolate cookie recipe lets me get away with looking festive without having to go near a cookie cutter.
which brings me to my next point… these cookies taste great with almost anything you can think to put in them. here, i’ve chosen red and green m&ms (see above “lazy yet festive”). i will say, i tend to get the best results in terms of taste when i put (at least) 5 oz. of chocolate chips to boost the chocolate flavor even more and then (at most) 5 oz. of whatever other flavor i am incorporating. if you scrutinize the pictures, you will see that in this version, i used all m&ms and in retrospect, i wish i had stuck to my usual formula. my husband liked them as is but i don’t think the m&m chocolate melts as smoothly as chocolate chips so i would have preferred to have more smooth chocolate, with some m&ms for pops of color. <– chocolate snob, even with cookies prized for their simplicity.
if you’re making these chocolate cookies and it’s not christmas time, then regular color m&ms are an obvious substitution. beyond that though, your favorite chocolate + _________ combination will be delicious here. peanut butter chips or reese’s pieces, mint chips with ¼ – ½ teaspoon mint extract, chopped andes mints, cranberries, chopped pecans or hazelnuts… have fun with it! i tend to vary the ratios of chocolate chips to other mix-in depending on how strong of a flavor the other mix-in is (or, let’s be honest, how much is left in each bag when the urge to make chocolate cookies strikes…).
so, go forth, knowing that you too can make festive holiday cookies that taste delicious but do not consume an entire day and require coating every surface in your kitchen with powdered sugar. (but of course, if any of you are into that sort of thing, i would never say no to a (last minute) cookie swap…)