Recently I received the cookbook Canadian Living Best Recipes Ever to review from Random House Canada. How exciting! For those readers outside of Canada, Canadian Living is an icon in the magazine publishing world here. They now have a TV show called Best Recipes Ever and this is the show’s cookbook. This is a huge honour and responsibility and I started off recipe testing their “Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies.” No pressure at all! Here is the recipe.
You started off creaming butter with shortening which I did find fascinating. That was new to me! Then you added white and brown sugar and cream everything together. It was at this point I started to get worried about the bowl I had chosen. The recipe did not specify size and this bowl is usually OK with cookie dough but it was getting kind of full.
You add the eggs and vanilla and cream together. Then you add the dry ingredients. Yup, it was getting pretty full!
Oh those chocolate chips just barely fit! I would recommend using the biggest mixing bowl you have if you are not using a mixer. We skipped the pecans, just wanting the classic chocolate chips. I used a mini ice cream scooper to divvy out the dough.
Now the recipe says to use a fork to flatten the cookie down but if you look at this photo you do not see fork marks. I realized this as I was finishing the first batch and just pushed down the batter with my palm for the last cookie. That looks so much better!
So were these the best-ever? My husband and I tried one. They were crispy without being crunchy. You had the buttery flavour but they were light because of the shortening. They did melt in your mouth and were very good but we both agreed they were not the best-ever, I am sad to say. Now it may be because I like a softer gooier cookie. If you like crisp, light and melt-in-your-mouth cookie these are the cookies for you but just not for us.
This recipe makes a ton of cookies and we did enjoy them all weekend long. They are a great starter cookie for the new bakers. You do have to watch them though, you must take them out before they get too dark. My UPS guy showed up just as the cookies were supposed to come out of the oven so a batch scorched very quickly.
I must also point out the trouble I had reading the recipe. Overall the layout of the cookbook is excellent but the list of ingredients is too close to the spine of the book. I had to keep pushing the spine apart as I was baking to see how much of each ingredient was going into the recipe. This resulted in some staining of the cookbook which is a bummer, not to mention a lot of frustration as it broke up the flow of baking.
Taking everything into account, I give these cookies four out of five wooden spoons.