The Friendly Village Chocolate Chippers

Our little home in Parklands smells like baking 40% of the time. With 4 girls in the house, who are all good cooks or bakers, we have been eating very well. This is because it is easy for us to buy high quality local ingredients, in addition to a wide variety of imported goods, for a good price. I swear you can find ANYTHING in Nairobi if you look hard enough. As result, we are all taking advantage of being able to try new recipes with unique ingredients because it’s affordable compared to what we would be paying in Canada. I am revelling in all recipe swapping that goes on in this house!

I decided it was time to introduce the girls to my “Village-Famous” chocolate chip cookies, which have won 1st place in the Lougheed Fair three times *fist pump*. This is quite a feat considering I was up against my friends AND their Grandmas. I have perfected this recipe and I’m not afraid to say so. I have been making these cookies since I was 13 years old with my friend Sheena. We used to dance around to the soundtrack of “Centre Stage”, getting flour and dough all over my mother’s kitchen, and we would scream with embarrassment when my brother and his best friend caught us twirling around doing our best ballerina moves.

The dough of this recipe is so good that it is easy to add virtually any combination of chocolate or nuts that you can think of and they will turn out fantastic. Heck, you could probably even add dried fruit (that’s something I might have to try in the future). It has been modified from the “Company’s Coming” Easy Entertaining cookbook. Check them out for some classic Canadian recipes; the slow cooker cookbooks are my favourite.

The Friendly Village Chocolate Chippers
1 cup (250 mL) Hard Margarine (or Butter) softened
1 cup (250 mL) Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp (5 mL) Vanilla

2 1/4 cups (560 mL) All-purpose Flour
1 tsp (5 mL) Baking Soda
1 package Instant Vanilla Pudding
3/4 tsp (4 mL) Salt

2 cups (500 mL) Chocolate Chips
1 cup (250 mL) coarsely chopped Walnuts

Cream margarine and brown sugar in large bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Beat until smooth and fluffy. The fluffier it is, the easier it will be to mix in the flour and pudding later.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt together then slowly add to fluffy sugar dough using an electric mixer, mixing well after each addition until no dry flour remains. Then slowly add vanilla pudding, the dough should be getting quite heavy and it will likely need to by folded in using a big wooden spoon instead of the electric mixer. Once all the powder is included, it’s time to add the chocolate chips using your wooden spoon!

Finally it is time to get those cooking in the oven. Drop cookie blobs using 1 1/2 tbsp. (25 mL) for each, about 2 inches (5 cm) apart onto greased cookie sheets. Bake in 350°F (175°C) oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden. Let stand on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool. Makes about 3 dozen (36) cookies.

I just eyeball it when adding the chocolate chips and nuts to satisfy my chocolate cravings appropriately. If I am feeling extra chocolately, I skip the nuts and add more chocolate. Experiment with your chocolate! I especially like adding peanut butter chips alongside chocolate chips in the cookies. Or get a block of chocolate and chop up some chunks to makes them extra decadent! For this batch I coursely chopped up a bunch of Macadamia Nuts and also had white chocolate chunks. Mmmmm, so yummy!

Enjoy this recipe… I wouldn’t even give it to my brother 10 years ago when he wanted to try to make them. I got a severe tongue lashing from my Pa and still wouldn’t hand it over (Sorry Brother-Bear!). But “Sharing is Caring” and I must live by my life motto. Happy cookie dunking!

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