When we moved to Italy 16 years ago, we lived in a farm house in the country during our first three years here. It was beautiful, but a little bit lonely at times. We had one car and were too far from town to walk anywhere. So, when we moved into Modugno, the city where we have lived for the last 12 years, I couldn’t wait to connect and make relationships with the people around me! But when we got here, I didn’t know anyone. And not only did I not know anyone, I was still perfecting my Italian and often felt inadequate in communication. One of the ways I found to get to know people, from my kid’s teachers, to our neighbors, was through baking. Not only were my recipes were new and unusual to the people around me and they were curious to try whatever new thing I had created, but it was a way to communicate friendship without words.
Baking became a great way to start a conversation, to show love to the people I was meeting and to get to know them a little better. I would whip up a batch of these cookies, walk next door and offer them as a gift to my new neighbor. Italians are very hospitable people, so they would often invite me for a coffee, or at least stop to talk with me for a while. Then after they tried the cookies it was a way to continue the conversation (and to continue practicing my Italian!)… they would stop me the next time they saw me and tell me how much they enjoyed them and ask how I had made them. I have made countless batches of cookies over the years here. Even though I have now made friends with all of my neighbors, I still love to bake a batch when new people walk into our lives. It has become my love language and a great way of saying hello.
These Chocolate chip cookies are the favorite recipe of friends and family here in Italy. It is the recipe I make most often for get-togethers, dinners, meetings, neighbors, teachers, and even for party favors. Although I have tried many versions of chocolate chip cookie recipes, this is our favorite!
Start by measuring the butter [no substitutes]. You will need 113 grams. Cut into small cubes (1″ or smaller). Put in freezer until you measure the other dry ingredients.
Measure Flour, salt and baking soda into mixing bowl. Mix dry ingredients with whisk or fork until well blended. Make sure you measure the flour by using a spoon to dish it into your cup and the flat edge of a knife to take off the excess, or a kitchen balance if you are measuring in grams.
Add cold butter cubes. Beat on medium-low until it forms a crumbly texture.
Separate one egg. Keep the yolk.
In separate bowl beat egg and egg yolk. Add sugars and vanilla. Beat until well blended.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and beat on medium-high with an electric mixer just until blended. Do not over mix the batter. Add 3/4 cup of chocolate chips (I used mini dark chocolate chips in this recipe). Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour or overnight (you can freeze the dough if you prefer).
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the dough in upright balls on the cookie sheet using a silicone mat or parchment paper. Do not flatten the dough. Place cookie sheet in the refrigerator until the oven is ready. Bake the cookies for 5-7 minutes. Do not overbake!! Allow the cookies to finish baking on the cookie sheet. Store in air tight container.
I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe! And maybe you can use these delicious cookies to get to know your neighbors, or your kid’s teacher or coach too. They are a great way to say hello if you are feeling a little shy or don’t know exactly what to say. I mean, who doesn’t love a chocolate chip cookie?!