Sep 20

Firehouse Chocolate Chip Cookies

in Chocolate, Dessert, Fuji Favorites, Recipes by Type

Thursday morning I got up early, threw some clothes on, and went out the back door of our house to take our garbage cans out to the curb. I went back inside and locked the back door. I then decided to take some packing papers out to the recycling bin, so I grabbed an armful and went through the front door out to the trash cans, put the paper in the bin and went to go back inside. I had pulled the front door closed behind me so that the cats wouldn’t get out. When I tried to open the door it wouldn’t budge.
Unbeknownst to me, our front door is one of those safety ones that won’t open from the outside even if all of the locks are unlocked from the inside. All of our other doors and windows were locked. Squirrel was inside, still asleep in her crib. Mr. Fuji was out of town. Do you see where this is going? Yeah. I had to go across the street to the neighbor that I know the best to call the general police department number, who sent a crew of four firemen over to get me back into the house. The firemen came in one of their big trucks, wearing half their gear (no coats and no hats, but the pants, suspenders, and big boots were all present). They were very nice about it, and when they finally got one of the doors open and saw all of our boxes, welcomed me to the neighborhood. It was an adventure. All of this occurred before 7:30am and Squirrel missed all of it, waking up about 10 minutes after the firemen left.

So what do you do when you have embarrassingly locked yourself out of your house, leaving a not quite 2-year-0ld inside, and have to summon four firemen to come to your rescue? You make chocolate chip cookies of course!
I don’t think the firemen get thanked enough and I figured they might enjoy something home baked that they didn’t have to make themselves. Whatever I made had to be relatively quick and easy as our house is still a jumble of boxes and not very “user friendly”. So I turned to an old family favorite. My mom has been making these cookies since I can remember and they are my absolute favorites. I’m not sure where she got the recipe, but I’ve always known them by their title on her recipe card, Washington YWCA Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are quick and easy, are good straight out of the oven, but get even better as they cool. I made a big batch and delivered some to my neighbor across the street and then took a couple dozen to the firehouse with a card. The fireman who answered the door was pretty happy to take the plates of cookies off of my hands, so I imagine my thank you was enjoyed.

*Note: I’ve only had these cookies fail once out of many times making them. In our early days of marriage Mr. Fuji and I stayed with my in-laws for about a month before we moved to Japan for the first time. I decided to make these cookies for everyone. I had told everyone about how they were the best cookies on earth. The only shortening my MIL had in the house was the butter flavored kind, but I didn’t think that would be a problem. Boy was I wrong! Not only was the flavor off, but the texture as well. Someday I hope they get to taste the cookies the way they are supposed to taste. Lesson: Don’t use butter flavored shortening.

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Washington YWCA Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen.

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 2/3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 c. flaked coconut
2 c. (one 12-oz. pkg.) chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In bowl of mixer beat together butter, vegetable shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

3. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt until blended.

4. Add walnuts, flaked coconut, and chocolate chips.

5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto cookie sheet. Bake for 8 or 9 minutes, or until cookies are just starting to brown. The centers will be soft.

6. Let cool for several minutes then remove from cookie sheet and place on wire rack to finish cooling.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

tamakikat September 20, 2008 at 6:12 pm

It must have been awful being stuck outside while squirrel was inside. But firefighters to the rescue?! Lucky you!


Jackie September 20, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Do you mind if I laugh… tee hee! So sorry you were locked out but what a funny story! Very lucky she was asleep through it all. Very nice of you to take your rescuers cookies! So what do you have to do, take your keys with you every time you exit?


Reeni September 20, 2008 at 6:58 pm

I’m glad everything worked out okay! How sweet of you to bake them cookies, they look delicious!!


The Carroll's September 21, 2008 at 1:44 am


I LOVE reading your blog! it makes want to jump up and cook something fabulous (as said by The Grinch, played by Jim Carey)!!!

Seriously those cookies look delectable and I wish I could eat them off my screen!


K and S September 21, 2008 at 2:44 am

what a great way to thank them!


Abigail September 21, 2008 at 5:45 am

OK, I think I’d consider leaving Hyogo ken for a darling house like that! If we ever move back to the States you’ll have to tell me who your realtor is!


Jen September 21, 2008 at 7:04 am

I love this story. What stress that must’ve been. I hope you rewarded yourself with a cookie:)


BaL September 21, 2008 at 8:21 am

Lovely story :)

Whenever I bake these kinds of cookies mine are mostly over-spread. I see that you place a ball of dough on cookie sheet and let it spread itself. I have never tried it this way. Next time gonna do it like that :)

Thanks for sharing!


Melissa Hodgen September 21, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Oh how embarrassing. I’m glad it worked out and what a sweet idea to bring cookies.
Oh now, I just bought some butter shortening. Ah man!


Misha September 21, 2008 at 5:03 pm

And I thought those embarrassing things only happened to Kristen and I!

I’m always on the look out for a good chocolate chip recipe! I’ll try this one next!


Lolly September 21, 2008 at 5:27 pm

So were they cute..the firemen.. not the cookies.

Glad it turned out ok!


Loz and Dinny September 24, 2008 at 5:00 pm

We have one of those lock when you pull shut kind of doors … the thought has crossed my mind – I bet those fireman are hoping you do it again to get another plate of cookies! One question – what is shortening? Is it margarine?


Fuji Mama September 24, 2008 at 5:28 pm

Loz and Dinny–shortening (aka, vegetable shortening) is a hydrogenated vegetable oil that is solid at room temperature (so a semisolid fat) and used in food preparation, especially baked goods. It has a higher smoke point than butter and margarine, and it has 100% fat content, compared to about 80% for butter and margarine. ( Crisco is a popular brand here in the US. However, there ARE substitutes!

(1)butter: 1 cup shortening = 1 cup + 2 tablespoons butter (will make crust more crispy than shortening)
(2)margarine: 1 cup shortening = 1 cup + 2 tablespoons margarine (will make crust a bit tougher)
(3)lard: 1 cup shortening = 1 cup – 2 tablespoons lard

I hope that helps!


adriandgreg September 24, 2008 at 9:25 pm

Thanks for the recipe. I always enjoy making new chocolate chip cookies. That’s pretty funny about you getting locked out. I guess maybe not to you. You see, I got locked out as well last week from my house. Maybe it is a first time home owner problem. It’s nice to know I am not the only one.


adriandgreg September 24, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Oh, I forgot to tell you, Congratulations on your new baby soon to come. I am excited for you and your fam.


myfrenchkitchen December 1, 2008 at 4:49 pm

I can’t decide which is the most delighful…your experience or your cookies…they go hand in hand, I suppose. Looking delicious!


Anonymous July 17, 2009 at 12:18 am

Is this cookies crunchy? If is not how to make them crunchy? Sorry for all the question.


Amanda August 21, 2009 at 6:49 am

Those look fabulous! I've included them in today's Friday Recipe post :)


Zoe March 15, 2010 at 1:14 pm

When I first came to the States, a little over a year ago, chocolate chip cookies became my absolute favorite snack. Today, I decided to bake my own(for the first time!) after drooling on my screen looking at your pictures. Oh boy! They were delicious!!!
I used margarine cause I didn’t have shortening and baked them a bit longer to make them crunchy as I like them. Needless to say, everybody loved them! I now have the recipe to keep and pass on. Thank you for sharing it!


Corlan Johnson November 21, 2017 at 6:12 am

THE YWCA cookies had pecans and no coconut. People are still hoping that the original recipe will be found.


La Fuji Mama November 28, 2017 at 1:08 pm

Crazy! I was just talking about how this recipe was named as given to us. :-) I have to say that I do love the coconut! But pecans would be delicious…I need to try that! I hope they find the original recipe someday!


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