Jen, my American friend from college asked if we could get chocolate chips over here in England – the answer is both simple and complex! So this post is for you Jen. When i was a child, my mother bought chocolate chips like they were a staple or a food group. This is probably why I love them so much – all those memories of baking with that wonderful just baked cookie smell that made my mouth water. Then there were the cookie dough parties where we’d sit around and eat uncooked cookies! Sounds repulsive but it’s actually incredibly yummy. Anyway, since I’ve become a mother, I also wanted to bake cookies with my children and create ‘chocolate chip’ memories for them. The big problem is how and where to get the chocolate chips!

Yes, you can buy them here in the grocery stores but they only come in small bags. The chocolate chips themselves are smaller as well and don’t really taste the same. I love the weightly feel of the bags of chocolate chips and being able to eat a handful here and there while baking with them. You can’t do that with chocolate chips here – you’d eat them all before they went in the oven! So, the best and quickest way to get them is to order them online from www.americanfooddirect.com or www.skyco.uk.com or also from www.americansoda.co.uk You can get butterscotch as well. It’s not the cheapest way of getting them but it’s the real deal and I just love the smell of them and the memories that the packaging trigger. I sometimes ask my mom to send over a box of 10 or so but I know it’s expensive to send so I don’t like to ask. And before anyone thinks it – yes I could just buy 4 of the small bags and then I’d have the same amount but the thought of doing that depresses me and it’s just not the same. And yes, I do realise chocolate chips are not a food group, but in our household they are just as important as the fruit and veg (so in a way they are sort of like a food group). Needless to say, all my children love them just as much as I do. Next time I’m in the States we’ll be stocking up!

Here is my mom’s chocolate chip cookie recipe. Please feel free to try it but be prepared for LOTS of cookies.

Cream together
3 sticks of butter (1 and 1/2 cups)
1 cup crisco (shortening)
2 cups brown sugar (dark brown, packed)
2 cups white sugar
2 Tablespoons vanilla
1 and 1/4 Tablespoons baking soda
4 eggs
3/4 Tablespoon salt

Add
7 cups flour

Mix and then add 1 to 2 (12 oz) packages chocolate chips.

Stir together –  you need a large bowl for this. You can add oatmeal/raisins/nuts/rice cripsies etc. (You can divide the basic dough in half or thirds and make two or three different types of cookies). Use a teaspoon to drop them on a greased cookie tray.

Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 mins (depends on size).

Have fun!

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