My mom made the best chocolate chip cookies.
You can make them yourself – the recipe is below. Or drop by and we can make a batch together.
Seventeen years ago I was working on a startup to help automate making videos from still photos and a soundtrack. Before writing the software, it’s always good to see if you can do it by hand.
I figured I should make a video about something familiar. Something close to me. Something with emotion behind it.
So I made a video about my mom’s chocolate chip cookies.
I made some cookies and photographed the process, step by step, including pictures to represent some of the special occasions enhanced by cookies. Well, sure, everything is made better by cookies. But there are really special times.
I wrote a script and had my wife, Donna, read it. It touched her and made her cry. For context, my mom passed away about six months after our wedding. She was a fantastic woman. She adored my wife, and my wife adored her.
From Donna’s reaction, I figured the script must be ok. This may be the first time I ever tried to write something non-technical, something creative. And now Bruce and I are writing novels. I’m still astonished to be an author.
Here’s the script I came up with:
My mom hated to cook.
Nevertheless I often came home to the smell of fresh chocolate chip cookies and the delight of cookie dough in the fridge.
The preparation was simple. A small change to the recipe on the chocolate chip bag. Extra flour and tall dough balls for thickness. Undercooked a bit for softness. And a piece of bread in the cookie jar for freshness.
Though she never got to be around my kids, they know her from those cookies.
Left out for Santa every year. Something my daughter and I do together, for birthdays and for parties.
Always the same cookie. Made the same way.
I’m sure my future grandkids will grow to love that dough and those cookies.
And through them, they’ll get to know my mom.
From her cooking.
Thanks for all the cookies, mom!
I can report back that my grandkids absolutely love these cookies. As do lots of other people. This holiday season I’ve made them four times. It’s my offering whenever I’m invited to a party.
The original video has been viewed over 6,000 times. My recipe is online. Many people have made my mom’s cookies.
We’ve been marketing our book, Uncommon Scents, posting videos to TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube. One day, while making cookies for Thanksgiving, I made a short video of the tall dough balls and the finished cookies and posted it, as a break from our unrelenting hard sell of “Buy our book! Really! You’ll like it!” Amazingly, the 10 second cookie video has gotten almost 5,000 views on YouTube. People seem to like chocolate chip cookies!
The smell of freshly baked cookies would be an awesome use of the future augmented reality digital scent technology we postulate in Uncommon Scents. It would make me happy.
Speaking of cookies, maybe I should make another batch, just for me. I might even share them with my co-author, Bruce, and his wife. They deserve them. Maybe offer a few to the neighbors. Call ahead, I’ll leave some out for you.
Everybody should get to know my mom. From her cooking.
Jim’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup Crisco (white, all vegetable “lard”)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 package of chocolate chips
Mix together flour, salt, baking soda, set aside
Put into mixing bowl crisco, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla
Mix at low speed
Add eggs one at a time while mixing
Add dry ingredients 1/3 at a time, pausing mixer while you add
Add heaping spoonfuls of flour until dough cleans side of mixing bowl
Remove from mixer, add 1/2 package of chocolate chips, fold in by hand
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Make extremely tall dough balls: 1 inch diameter, 2.5 inches tall
Cook approximately 9-11 minutes until just starting to brown
Eat mass quantities