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Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies


When I was around ten years old I started 4-H with grand dreams of entering something in the Fair. Sadly, that dream was soon dashed when my 4-H leader kicked me out of 4-H and told me not to come back. (Just for the record, I was not making faces at her, I was making them at one of the other girls.) After that, I was too emotionally unstable to participate in food-related Fair contests---too many debilitating 4-H flashbacks. But after years of intense therapy and a strict regimen of large doses of Diet Pepsi, I was finally ready to face my demons.

So last week I entered a Wild Blueberry Pie and a batch of chocolate chip cookies in the County Fair. The judging at the Fair was nothing like I expected. I imagined a panel of professionals testing each entry meticulously and fairly. Instead, I was surprised to see one grandma named Mabel or Madge just randomly sampling entries as they were brought in. I have no idea what her credentials for judging food were---she was probably the only person willing to sit there for two hours and sample food baked by weirdos like me. I stood there and watched from a comfortable distance as Mabel/Madge tasted the pie. She smiled. I figured that was a good sign.

To sum it all up, I entered the Fair out of spite, and let me tell you, it was totally worth it---I won a First Place ribbon for the cookies and a Best of Division ribbon for the pie. Take that 4-H Leader Lady---I'll bet you're sorry now!

Here's my cookie recipe for anyone else who may need to enter the Fair to kill a few inner demons.

Jill's First Place Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 C. Bleached All-Purpose Flour (can add more or less, depending how thick you like your cookies)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar (this is the secret ingredient---shhh, don't tell anyone!)
1 T corn syrup (this gives them a nice chewy texture---if you like them softer, omit)
2 eggs
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1 C. brown sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 C. Butter
12 oz chocolate chips

Mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Beat the butter, sugar and the eggs. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
Plop oval-shaped dough chunks onto baking sheet. I like to keep the balls rough, and craggy---this makes them look more bakery-like. 
When I make the big ones, they are probably 1/4 C. of dough each -- a little bigger than a golf ball.
Bake at 375 degrees until they look done (9-18 min---depends how big you make them).
They are done when they start to crack, but are still soft in the middle.

**Tip**
To make them have that delicious carmely tasting golden brown looking mottling on the top and around the edges, use the following baking technique:
Preheat Oven to 450 degress
Bake cookies at 450 for a minute and a half.
Turn the oven down to 375 degrees and continue baking until done

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