The perfect cookies to bake for your family


Courtesy of Oscar Jacobsen

Oscar Jacobsen, Staff Writer

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies

My Aunt Maggie moved to Burlington in the late summer of 2020 at the height of the COVID pandemic. Since she wasn’t an essential worker, she social distanced at home for the first couple of months. She had a lot of free time, and as the holidays approached, she devoted a lot of her time to baking to occupy herself.

Luckily for my family, she baked more than she could eat, and we got the extra. We got tons and tons of cookies ranging from lace cookies, to crinkle cookies, to lemon bars. Maggie is an excellent baker and all of her treats were extremely tasty. We loved her baking and couldn’t get enough of it. That Christmas, Maggie received appliances like a food processor and a mixer among her gifts enabling her to work much more efficiently. 

Maggie has been in Burlington for a while now, gotten settled, and found a job but each holiday season she still bakes for us. Sadly, she doesn’t have as much time as she previously did, but her cookies are delicious enough that one batch will still make my family happy.

One of my favorite of Maggie’s cookies is her chocolate peanut butter crinkle cookie. The chocolate is extremely rich, and every bite is sweet and chocolatey. Additionally, the peanut butter chips in the cookie provide a second flavor which prevents an overwhelming chocolate taste. The cookies are very dense, but they still melt in your mouth and are especially good when dunked in milk. 


Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was much younger, my dad used to work at Rhino Foods, Inc., an actual cookie dough factory. Rhino Foods produces delicious cookie dough and other batters that companies including Ben & Jerry’s use in their products. 

The job didn’t offer great benefits, however, employees could take home extra cookie and other doughs. Realistically, this wasn’t a great job, but to my older sister and I, it was a goldmine. All the free cookie dough you want? Sign us up! We milked this investment.

To our disappointment however, all good things must come to an end. Our dad had found a better job, and was going to leave his position at the cookie factory. To my sister and me, this was quite possibly the stupidest decision in the history of the world. Trading cookies for boxes? No thank you. We were devastated – our seemingly endless supply of cookie dough had dried up unexpectedly, and we were left trying to remember what happiness tasted like.

Without our supply of cookie dough, we needed a new cookie outlet. We tried different types of cookies, but none clicked. That was until we tried the chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of the Nestle Chocolate Chip bag but with two minor changes. We reduce the flour by ⅛ cup and also cook the cookies for 8 minutes instead of 9. These two changes help make the cookies gooier, which is a characteristic my family emphasizes. The cookies are delicious and will melt in your mouth. We love them, and to this day, they are a staple in my household.



As long as I can remember, the holidays have always contained one common theme; my mom making toffee and either undercooking it or burning it. Toffee is a crunchy treat composed of caramelized sugar mixed with butter. The mixture is heated to a certain temperature, where it becomes brittle, and develops its crunchiness. However, if this temperature is off, the toffee will either be too chewy, or bitter and hard.

My mom has a special love for toffee and makes it every season. Most years, the candy thermometer lies, and it comes out under or overcooked. My family and I become aware of the burnt toffee by the sound of cursing coming from the kitchen. That’s our cue to go to the kitchen, taste the toffee, and try to convince my mom that it’s actually perfect although we are often unsuccessful.

Thankfully, however, a couple of years ago my mom got a new candy thermometer, and since, burnt toffee is an uncommon event.

This is the recipe my mom has used in recent years to successfully cook her toffee. I would also recommend investing in a candy thermometer if you do not have one yet. If you do so, you may be able to avoid the rage my mom has experienced.