What a great idea! In addition to being so much easier to make, it was a great time saver. I simply mixed all the ingredients in my Kitchenaid mixer, and pressed the dough (about a half-inch thick) into a 15-inch pizza pan lined with parchment paper (press dough to within 3/4 inch of pan edge, to allow for spreading), and baked. When it was cool, I piped some chocolate icing stars, and "Happy Birthday" with a decorator bag and star tip.
This cookie recipe will make a huge batch of regular-sized cookies. Use a cookie scoop to make them all a uniform size. But why not try making some in different sizes? To make some large (5 inch) cookies, use an ice cream scooper to get an even ball of dough, place it on an ungreased cookie sheet, press with your palms until it's about a half-inch thick and a nice circular shape, and bake. (Remember to leave a good amount of space between cookies because they will spread some more while baking.) Or try a pizza pan, and make something really special to share. And don't forget to bring the cold milk!
Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
2 cups light brown sugar (don't pack it for this recipe)
1 cup white sugar
4 Tbsp plain yogurt
2 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips (or carob chips, if you wish)
(for an extra special treat, you can use 1 cup chocolate chips with 1 cup peanut butter chips)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
In large mixing bowl, cream softened butter with both sugars. Add yogurt and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Mix dry ingredients (except chips and nuts) in separate bowl, and combine with creamed mixture. When evenly mixed, add the chips (and the optional walnuts).
Drop from teaspoon, cookie scoop, or ice cream scoop onto ungreased cookie sheet. (You can choose to line the cookie sheets with parchment paper, for easy cleanup.) Make sure you leave plenty of space between cookies to allow for spreading. Bake at 350 degrees until the cookies are evenly, but lightly, golden brown. Remove from oven, and allow cookies to cool and set for just a few minutes before removing from cookie sheet. (If not using parchment paper, cookies should still be somewhat warm when you remove them, or else the cookies may stick to pans as they cool, and be difficult to remove without breaking the cookie. Parchment paper solves this problem: You can let them cool completely on the parchment lined pans.)
Note: If you're using a teaspoon or cookie scoop to drop the cookies, you don't need to press the cookie dough flat onto the cookie sheet. But if you're using anything larger, you must press the dough flat, no more than 1/2 inch thick, or else the cookies will not bake completely in the middle. And if you're using the pizza pan option, for best results make the thickness of the cookie greater along the edges, and slightly less in the center. This will help ensure that the middle gets done before the edges get too dark. I've also had good success placing the perforated pizza pan (lined with parchment paper) directly onto a hot baking stone in the oven, which helps with even browning, as you can see from the above photo.