Famous Rankin Family Cookies

This is my absolute favorite recipe of all time.  My mom has used this chocolate chip cookie recipe for as long as I can remember.  She adapted it from the classic Toll House cookie recipe, and it has always served my family well.  It’s helped us make friends in every situation.  When you show up with a plate of these to a party, everyone will remember you.  They will invite you to the next party and request your cookies.  They make amazing Christmas gifts, get well soon gifts, and sweet “I love you” gifts (Sam can attest to that).  I received very heartfelt thank you notes from Sam’s Spanish II class, who got a few dozen of these cookies for their “Fiesta Day.”  They’ve helped me and Sam get extra points at work.  I mean, the potential for these cookies is endless.  They are magical and world-changing.  They’ve made my mom, my older sister Taylor, and me (the Rankin women) “famous” among our friends, and our cookies have always been unforgettable.

The recipe doesn’t have any secret or special ingredients.  In fact, chances are, you might have everything you need in your cabinet right now.  We kept the recipe under wraps for many years, but I’ve started sharing it recently.  I have to warn you: my family has a running joke about the “curse” that accompanies this recipe.  Legend has it, anyone outside of the family who tries to make it never successfully replicates the cookies correctly.  Something always mysteriously goes wrong.  This has most recently been proven by my friend Rebecca, who followed the recipe to a “t” but ended up with crumbly dough.  I have no idea if the “curse” is real or not, but friends have had similar results for over a decade.  I’m interested to see how the family recipe holds up in other families!  Good luck!  :)

This recipe makes the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  I can’t emphasize this enough.  It’s not too chewy, not too crispy.  It’s the perfect, blissful medium.  It’s important to use these specific ingredients I have listed.  Don’t use real butter, don’t use milk chocolate chips, don’t use wheat flour.  Just stick with these ingredients and follow the directions, and you’ll have beautiful gooey heaven.

Rankin Family Cookies

  • 2 C. Shortening (Butter Flavored Crisco)
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 2 t. salt
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 5 c. flour
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pretty simple, right?  No nuts (blech), no extra fancy stuff.  Just classic ingredients combined in exactly the right way.

First, beat the crisco, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth.  This is where my lovely KitchenAid mixer comes in handy.  Add eggs, baking soda, salt, and vanilla.

Add flour one cup at a time.  Mix until just combined; don’t overmix the dough!

Add chocolate chips slowly.  I don’t have an exact measurement because I just add them until I know it’s enough.  If I had to say, it would be a standard-sized bag of Toll House chocolate chips.  I just go by instinct and make sure there are not too few and not too many chocolate chips.  You want the dough and chips to balance each other, not overtake each other.

This step is important: refrigerate the dough for at least an hour.  Overnight is even better (although beware of sneaky midnight cookie dough thieves).  If you bake the dough right after mixing it, the cookies won’t be as fluffy.

After the dough is refrigerated, form it into 1-inch balls and place evenly spaced on a cookie sheet.  I know in the picture it shows them on aluminum foil, but they bake so much better on parchment paper.  I definitely recommend baking them on parchment paper because it helps them bake evenly and not stick to the cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-11 minutes.  Let cool completely before serving.  Freeze if not serving within 3 days.  Yield 6 dozen cookies.  Prepare to change the world.  :)

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