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My Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies

After I send this recipe out into the world, I'm afraid my life as a food blogger will be over.  You will have no use for me anymore.  You'll have seen the best I have to offer, and it's all downhill from here.

Before you leave, let me at first sing the praises of my mom.  She is by far my most faithful and engaged reader, so I can be sure she will see this and blush.  For years, both my mom and I were on separate journeys to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  Neither of us thought it could be all that hard, but it WAS, and it eluded us for a long time. They were too airy, too cakey, too crisp, had too big a crumb.  Maybe some of you share this frustration.  My mom figured it out before I did, and these are the result.  They are the only chocolate chip cookies I've made for the last seven years.  They are quick (just one bowl) and have at least four secrets:  1) One egg and one egg yolk instead of two eggs 2) More brown sugar than white sugar 3) Melted butter so they don't require a mixer (which beats too much air into the batter) and 4) More oatmeal than flour.  I'm sure you've heard this sort of "perfect cookie--your search has ended!" claim before.  Please consider all other claims completely misleading.

In addition to her cookie creation prowess, here are some other things I like about my mom:

  • She's always scheming about how to eat outside even in the most miserable weather
  • Her closet is the most stylish 57 year-old closet you'll ever see
  • She expertly mixes her metaphors (to hilarious effect)
  • She is constantly helping people--making meals, volunteering at her local food bank, sponsoring refugees
  • She innately knows how to be a stellar grandmother
  • She insists she's an introvert and we laugh harder each time

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.  Thanks for giving me so much love and good food and for always being in my corner.  I love you.

P.S. I made these last night for our Mother's Day BBQ, which my parents couldn't be at because of my dad's back surgery.  He pulled through great, but we missed them.  My sister Naomi and her family were over, and we talked about how crazy it is that we're both mothers now.  I'm thankful for her this Mother's Day, too.

Margaret Murphy's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 c. flour
2 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 ts. baking soda
pinch salt
2 cubes (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
1 ts. vanilla
1/2 bag chocolate chips (Can add more if you want.  This is how I get two batches out of one bag)
1 c. coarsely chopped pecans (I toast mine)
1 c. dried cherries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  In medium bowl, combine flour, oatmeal,sugars, salt, and baking soda.  Add egg, egg yolk, melted butter, and vanilla, stir once or twice, then add chocolate chips and nuts and dried cherries (if using).  Refrigerate dough for about 30 minutes to firm it up.  Place balls of cookie dough on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, and bake for about 9 minutes.  Take them out while they still a little underdone.  Once they sit for 15 minutes, they'll be just right.

platter of cookies

Reader Comments (27)

i will definitely try these cookies. anything being passed down from m, i will take.
i will also admit, your mom has the style i aspire to (we've already confessed to our kindred shoe--guilty-- pleasure). here's to getting the rest down.
just an interesting cookie side-note: janet puts granola in her cookies, and i think they're to die for....

May 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjordan

Mrs. Murphy's cookies are without a doubt the best in the world. She (my wife) has always jealousy guarded the recipe. I've seen her elude countless suitors, chasing her down the street for secret ingredients. She has always had cleverly disguised ways of not quite getting back to them, until, thankfully, they've forgotten all about it. Or at least they've given up on pestering her. So - now world- you've hit the jackpot. The cookie recipe is out for all to see. Sarah, please share the royalties from your soon to come Cookie Cookbook with your mother (and me).

May 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpapa

i may have to start baking just for the love of these cookies. oh, and mish and i made your rhubarb gallette last night, to great applause. it was delish. thank you.

May 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbethany

holy tamoly! these look amazing! i am so excited to try them.

May 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMiyuki

I baked these cookies last night and they are the BOMB of all cookies! I can't believe how moist and chewy these are. Taking them out while they are still a little underdone and adding just the extra egg yolk must be the key! They have all disappeared!

May 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMidori

thanks for such kind words, you make loving easy.

May 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermama

p.s. oh yes jordon, i'm also one of your secret admirers, who envies you,and your magic powers, and aesthetic touch. i can only yearn to have your heightened sensitivity to beauty, and refined taste. your ability to recognize and appreciate beauty, follows you wherever you go.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermargaret

I completely messed these up. First of all, I wrote down the recipe while my 2-yr old was asking me over and over again to watch Thomas (strong association with the computer & Thomas for him) and I doubled the white sugar. After putting it in the bowl and grabbing my brown sugar, I realized it was too much. I think I got most of it out. Then, I didn't melt the butter enough but threw it in anyways, thinking it'd be forgiving. Whoops. I'm also not sure what type of oats were in my cabinet. I think they were thick rolled ones... Despite these errors, the dough that could be molded into cookies turned out delicious. Now I have about a sixth of the dough in my refrigerator that is not quite cohesive enough for cookies. I think I'll cook it a tad and put it over vanilla ice cream. I think anything that can be screwed up this badly and turn out so well is a top-notch recipe. I can't wait for my next batch.

May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen

These are soooo yummy and easy . . . my family is not big into oatmeal cookies, but they love these!

May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Kathleen, this is hilarious. My two-year old loves Thomas, too. Darn those marketers. They know what they're doing. Thanks for sharing your story. Let us know how your next batch turns out!

May 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersarahmk

These are amazing! I have never been about to make chocolate chip cookies that aren't flat. No it's not the recipe or cookie sheet I use, the sifting or not sifting flour, the way I melt the butter or whether I refrigerate the dough or not. I have tried everything and they are ALWAYS flat. I know it's me because Dusty can follow the same recipe and they turn out. But I made these cookies for a friend who just had a baby and everyone loved them! All 4 dozen were gone in a day. And I'll be making them again on Monday for a Memorial Day bbq. These cookies are going to be all the advertising you need for your blog. I'm telling everyone about your blog when they love them. Tell your mom thanks!

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenny Haferbecker

So apparently it was the recipe after all!

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenny Haferbecker

Kathleen, sounds like me...writing the recipes down while my son/daughter demands my attention. C'mon, priorities! ;) Unfortunately, as for myself, I have indulged a bit too much and had to stop baking for the moment. My waist is getting wider and my walking/running isn't cutting it. It won't be too long until I start baking these again! Lots of picnics, potlucks, parties, etc. to share them with everyone. Okay, I need to stop writing (sitting in my running shorts and jogging bra) and go for a run! Sarah, thanks for sharing this long-guarded recipe! :)

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermidori

I am delighted to find the chocolate chip cookie recipe. I have tried to access your mom's cookie recipe for some time. This is great and I can hardly wait to try it. Mmmmm

June 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeb Ivancovich

Hi Sarah! Just a fun note... my friend Kath made a batch of these for a Garage Sale we had on Saturday. She sold each yummy morsel for $1 as a way to fundraise for the Whatcom Literacy Council. Not only did Kath raise over $100 for the WLC, but we also gave out several handwritten inpraiseofleftovers.com addresses to people begging for the recipe. What a great way to spend a Saturday! cj

June 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercj

I just love this story, CJ! Thanks for sharing it. Yeah for the Literacy council!

June 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersarahmk

Sarah, I made these today for a little get-together, and they were fabulous... I'll never make a different chocolate chip cookie again! (Shannon ate 4 of them before people even started to arrive!) They were a hit all the way around, with only 2 left at the end of the party! (I'm glad there is still some dough in the fridge for a few more... for me!)

Thanks so much for posting this!

June 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterApril

After making them today, I can see why! I plugged the website several times today... Sarah, you may have another wave of followers after today! :)

June 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterApril

I have the dough in the refrigerator and the oven pre heating right now! I didn't have any nuts on hand and I only have currants not cherries, but we shall soon see! I have a favorite cookie recipe as well and I am curious to see if this one is better! :) The reviews think so!

These are fantastic cookies! The friends I served them to raved about them--one of them not being much of a cookie fan. Thanks for sharing! I'm going to make a batch of the dough and freeze it in ball form for my dad's birthday. Hopefully it'll work. =)

August 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany Acker

Hi Sarah! I work with your Aunt Nancy and she turned me on to your website -- and boy am I glad!!! She raved about these cookies - so naturally, I had to try them. My boyfriend is a chocolate chip cookie lover AND a skeptic. He likes what he like... he is very loyal to "his" cookie recipe. When I told him I was baking a batch using a new recipe, he lowered his chin, lifted his eye brow and gave me his, "What are you kiddin me?" look. I assured him that these would be delicious. I had it on good authority that these were some first rate cookies! He maintained his skepticism throughout the baking process. Curled up in his favorite chair, he silently read his book, shooting me an occasional doubting look as the house began to smell of vanilla, sugar and chocolate. Well, his silence only lasted until he took a bite of the cookies! "Mmmmmmmmmmmm! These ARE delicious! Hey be sure not to lose this recipe." So, I guess it goes without saying... you have another fan! Thanks for sharing -- and thanks to your mom too!

Happy Leftovers!

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith

Meredith, what a wonderful story! I practically broke out in hives reading it, hoping the ending was going to be good. So happy that these cookies lived up to your boyfriend's standards, and so happy to have you as a reader. Give my aunt Nancy a big hug for me!

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersarahmk

Wow, I baked these last night for my boyfriend, and they were absolutely fantastic. I just had one for breakfast and I can say that they are even better cold. Thanks for sharing, I now have my new chocolate chip cookie recipe.

November 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJustine Collins

I made a batch of these cookies for my sweetie for Valentines Day. Delicious! They were super-easy to make and turned out really well. I was nervous at how under-done they looked at nine minutes when they came out of the oven, but sure enough...they were perfect when they sat and cooled for a few minutes like the recipe said they would be. I definitely would have over-baked them if left to my own devices. Now....who to give them away to? I gave our barista some this morning and my mother some yesterday. Too many cookies taunting me from the kitchen!!!

February 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison Schletzbaum

These are ridiculously good. And easy. I never bake. But today I did! THANKS for sharing!!!! (Bethany's friend)

March 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatharine

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