When I first moved to Italy I struggled a lot with feeling homesick. In the last few months before my husband and I moved back here, I had taken a lot of photos with my family in the USA. I printed out those photos and looked at them a thousand times during the first months here.
There was so much to learn during my first year here . . . it was an uphill climb! I was learning to speak in Italian, trying to understand a new culture, learning to drive like the crazy Italians, trying to navigate the Italian bureaucracy, trying to make our temporary apartment feel like home and trying to figure out how to cook like an Italian. It was overwhelming to say the least.
One of the things that helped me feel the most at home was baking. It reminded me of my home growing up, and of my mom. The kitchen was where I felt the most like myself, because baking had always been a part of my life. I didn’t feel so lost when I was baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies. It felt a little more like home.
Chocolate chip cookies are a staple in our home now- we usually bake them a couple of times a month. It was one of the first recipes that I learned to bake on my own, and the first recipe my kids learned to make by themselves as well. Over the years I have tried countless chocolate chip cookie recipes, each one enjoyable for a unique reason. But a few years back I wanted something different. I was craving chocolate chip cookies but I wanted something more substantial.. something more cakey, and less buttery/greasy tasting, but packed with chocolate goodness. This is what I came up with. These Chocolate chip muffin cookies are one of my favorites!
Measure the room temperature butter and the sugars into your mixing bowl. Beat on high for 2-4 minutes. Scraping sides. In a separate bowl crack the two eggs and whisk lightly. Add the beaten eggs to your sugar and butter mixture and beat for 2 more minutes, scraping sides. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and mix until blended.
In a separate bowl measure the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk lightly with a fork until blended. Make sure you measure your flour by spooning it into your measuring cup and scraping off the excess with a flat edge. Do not pack dry ingredients!
Pour your dry ingredients into the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients. Mix on low speed just until blended. Do not over mix the batter. Add chocolate chips and stir them in by hand or you can use your electric mixer if it has a “stir” setting. You can use your favorite type of chocolate chips. I prefer dark chocolate, but milk chocolate is delicious in this recipe as well. We also love to throw in some M&Ms, using colors to match the season or party theme. They add a little extra crunch and chocolately goodness to the mix.
Refrigerate dough for 1 hour or overnight. You may also freeze it for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Scoop large balls onto your cookie sheet… the size of an ice cream scoop is approximately the correct size. Undersized cookies will tend to overbake and burn easier, make them more dry and crunchy. Take care to place them so that they are “tall” and not “flat”, this allow the dough to spread as it bakes. Bake on 350°F for 7-9 minutes. Do not overbake!! Watch them carefully for the first batch because every oven is slightly different. You want them to have raised in the center and to look puffy and cake like, but to be light in color still. If you cook them too long they turn out dry, instead of fluffy.