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All Mixed Up

Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies, especially warm and fresh from the oven. However the best ones require quite a few ingredients, which can be a pain to drag out and measure and put back away. Simple solution: make your own mix! In fact, make 3 or 4 of them to keep in the pantry. Then you can have fresh cookies any time, without all the work. Packaged in decorative box, it also makes a lovely hostess gift or holiday present for those unexpected guests you KNOW will be dropping by in the next couple months!

First you’ll need to assemble a few ingredients. Okay, more than a few, but whatever, get to it!

In a quart size ziplock bag, measure:
1/3 cup ground rolled oats (1/2 cup before grinding – grind them in a blender or food processor)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt (reduce to ½ tsp if using regular salted butter)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In a sandwich size ziplock bag, measure:
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar

In another qt bag, measure:
3 C semisweet and/or bittersweet chips
1.5 C walnuts or pecans, if desired

Place all the bags in a gallon ziploc bag and store till ready to make your dough.

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Now fast forward to dough-making time. You will need:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 eggs

With an electric mixer, cream butter and vanilla with contents of sugar (sandwich-size) bag. Add eggs and beat till smooth.

Add contents of flour (qt size) bag half at a time, blending well after each addition.

Add chips and nuts and mix by hand. You can use a heavy-duty stand mixer for this, but it tends to smash the chips up a bit, and really this recipe is gobs of chocolate and nuts held together with a bit of dough, so it doesn’t take much mixing.

Use a big ice cream scoop to measure dough. Place dough mounds on parchment-lined cookie sheet or on silicone baking mats about 3 inches apart. You don’t need to press the dough flat.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until cookies are light brown and soft in the middle. Let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Store in a sealed container when cool to keep soft.

Makes 20-24 BIG cookies. Dough freezes well for up to 2 months. I freeze them in pre-measured mounds for easy baking. For best results, defrost on cookie sheet for a half hour before baking.

** For the best results, chill the dough overnight in the refrigerator before baking the cookies. Also, be sure to get the cookies out of the oven when they are turning light brown. This way, they’ll stay soft in the middle when cool.

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