Our first place winner got her start as a baker at a very young age with the help of her grandmother.
“My grandmother was an amazing baker,” said Budny.”We used to make the best apple pies together when I was a child.”
Budny must have inherited her grandmother’s skills because the judges all agreed that her chocolate chip cookies were delicious.
But why chocolate chip? Why not snickerdoodle or decorated sugar cookies? Budny explains her reasoning.
“We are constantly looking for something new and better when really chocolate chip cookies rock!” said Budny. “And everyone knows chocolate chip cookie dough is the best raw.”
Christmas baking is a tradition for many families. It’s the perfect way for families to come together and get in the mood for the holiday season. With this, everyone has to have a favorite memory or thing about Christmas baking and Mrs. Budny is no different.
“My daughter, Kynlee, who is nine, loves to bake,” said Budny. “It is an awesome way for us to spend quality time together and create something that others can enjoy, as well.”
The judges loved her cookies because they were “soft, chocolatey, and all around amazing.”
The recipe, which Budny found on Pintrest, is as follows:
8 tablespoons of salted butter
1/2 cup white sugar (I like to use raw cane sugar with a coarser texture)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (more as needed – see video)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (but I always add a little extra)
3/4 cup chocolate chips (I use a combination of chocolate chips and chocolate chunks)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Microwave the butter for about 40 seconds to just barely melt it. It shouldn’t be hot – but it should be almost entirely in liquid form.
Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat the butter with the sugars until creamy. Add the vanilla and the egg; beat on low speed until just incorporated – 10-15 seconds or so (if you beat the egg for too long, the cookies will be stiff).
Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until crumbles form. Use your hands to press the crumbles together into a dough. It should form one large ball that is easy to handle (right at the stage between “wet” dough and “dry” dough). Add the chocolate chips and incorporate with your hands.
Roll the dough into 12 large balls (or 9 for HUGELY awesome cookies) and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes until the cookies look puffy and dry and just barely golden.Warning, friends: DO NOT OVERBAKE. This advice is probably written on every cookie recipe everywhere, but this is essential for keeping the cookies soft. Take them out even if they look like they’re not done yet (see picture in the post). They’ll be pale and puffy.
Let them cool on the pan for a good 30 minutes or so (I mean, okay, eat four or five but then let the rest of them cool). They will sink down and turn into these dense, buttery, soft cookies that are the best in all the land. These should stay soft for many days if kept in an airtight container. I also like to freeze them.
The three most important things about this recipe are 1) melting the butter, 2) adding enough flour, and 3) not baking for too long.