I saw that catch phrase on the Internet today and it evoked immediate agreement on my part. It brought to mind a story that I once read when I was job-hunting. A woman had applied for a position in Human Resources, a kind of den mother for an office full of workers. She arrived for her interview with a basket of chocolate chip cookies to pass out to those who would be interviewing her; needless to say she got the job.
I can think of nothing more welcome than chocolate chip cookies, although if you are making them for a group that you don't know well they ought not to include nuts. Ever since I saw an episode on television describing how a man nearly died of anaphylactic shock after being exposed to walnuts at a party (some idiot chef put them in pesto), I have learned to be careful with nuts in recipes.
Some people up the ante in chocolate, though, because nowadays you can get extra-large chocolate chips, as well as chocolate chunks that are the size of at least three of the regular chips that I have in my freezer. I got a very large bag of them, which will last me for months, at Costco near Interstate 10 in Tucson over the Holidays, when they had specials on baking ingredients. I'm sure that was prompted by the prevalence of cookies being baked and given away.
If you buy other kinds of chips such as white chocolate or butterscotch, you will find cookie recipes on the package. You can actually start with something you like, such as mint chips, and then pick some up and get a cookie recipe that was written for their flavor, which is dandy as far as I'm concerned. I don't write recipes; it's kind of a specialized skill.
My first recommendation for cookies to take somewhere, though, would be Alton Brown's all-purpose butter cookies, rolled and sliced into rounds and baked plain, without decorations. Those cookies are so good that they don't need anything else.
So if you would like to be the Cookie Angel at your next gathering, either make Chocolate Chip Cookies without nuts, or try Alton's magnificent recipe.
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
Place the butter and sugar in the mixing bowl of an electric stand mixer and beat until the mixture is light in color. Add the egg and milk and beat to combine them. Change the mixer to the lowest speed and gradually fold in the flour. Beat until the mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap it in waxed paper, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Remove one roll of dough from the refrigerator and form it into an even log about 3 inches thick. Slice the roll into uniform 1/4-inch cookies and place them on a baking sheet prepared with nonstick cooking spray.
Bake each batch of cookies for 7-9 minutes or until they are just slightly golden around the edges. Repeat this preparation for each roll of dough. Cool the cookies on a wire rack and pack into an airtight container for storage, or serve at once.