Baking Mom’s cookies makes me a chip off the old block

Every time it was our family’s turn to bring snacks for any event—youth group, school functions, you name it—my friends would immediately ask, “Is your mom going to make cookies?”

When my sister or I would announce that we needed to bring something yummy to share, Mom didn’t need to ask us what we wanted her to whip up. The default was her chocolate chip cookies, and we rarely brought any home at the end of the evening.

She would sometimes shake her head in disbelief when people would ask for her secret recipe, saying she just got it off the back of a bag of chocolate chips at some point, but though she’ll probably still deny it, there was always something special about those cookies.

Last week, I needed to make cookies for an event, and rather than do my normal thing and try out a new recipe, I pulled out my recipe box and decided to make Mom’s chocolate chip cookies.

As in the days of my childhood, they were the first cookies to disappear from the snack table.

I don’t have an official source for you for these cookies other than to say that the recipe once appeared on a chocolate chip bag somewhere, but if I know my mother as well as I think I do, I’m guessing the vanilla was doubled at some point in its history.

Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup shortening

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon water

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 375.

Beat together the shortening, sugars, vanilla, water and eggs until well combined. Beat the flour, baking soda and salt into the mix, and then mix in the chocolate chips.

Drop by the spoonful about two inches apart on a baking sheet.

Bake for eight to 10 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned. Let them cool for a bit and then transfer them to a sealed container while still a little warm to keep them a little chewier.

There’s nothing Earth-shattering about these cookies, but they are definitely one of the tastes of my childhood. It’s funny that those cookies were the background for so many of my favorite memories growing up—spending time with friends in the church fellowship hall, dipping them in milk with my sister, sharing them with classmates between taking final exams in high school.

It was nice to share a batch with some of my adult friends, too. It’s amazing how relationships can form around something as simple as a chocolate chip cookie.

Lindsey Young is co-owner of Kansas Publishing Ventures which publishes the Hillsboro Free Press. She is also the office manager in Hillsboro. She can be reached at:

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