14 Next-Level Twists on Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
By Tess Rose
Chocolate chip cookies are a nearly universal joy, and they're easy and cheap to make. Memories can be made while baking a batch of a family recipe, or the original Nestlé Toll House recipe, and absolutely no one will complain about the tasty and heartwarming result. Still, it might be time to try one of these fun twists to mix it up -- if only because Aug. 4 has been claimed as Chocolate Chip Day nationwide.
Sprucing up regular chocolate chip cookies with colorful M&M's is an easy way to bring a classic to the next level. It's a common upgrade at the holidays, thanks to the festive look from seasonal bags of red and green candies, but it can add extra fun anytime. There's no special technique: Simply supplement the chocolate chips with M&M's, as in a recipe from the blog Crunchy Creamy Sweet.
These indulgent cookies are an ooey, gooey twist on two family favorites. Incorporating toasted marshmallow s'mores into soft cookies is surprisingly simple and especially fitting for summer, the season for cooking s'mores over a campfire. Even with no camping trip on the calendar a Sally's Baking Addiction recipe will have a batch of s'mores cookies ready in less than three hours.
Chocoholics unsatisfied with just a few morsels are in luck with this cookie, which takes a good thing and makes it better -- by adding more chocolate. A version on Allrecipes has a 4.5 rating (out of 5) from more than 3,200 reviews -- with 80 percent of users giving it top marks.
Adding visual appeal to a dish can greatly enhance its enjoyment, which is part of the idea behind these cookies infused with three kinds of chocolate chips: white, milk, and dark. The different chips also create richly layered flavor in another highly rated treat posted on Allrecipes.
Cookie cakes -- really just giant, communal cookies -- are fun for celebrations and make a big impression using the same inexpensive ingredients. A recipe from PopSugar isn't much more complicated than making a batch of traditional cookies. But a cake requires a specialized pan to pull off the expected shape. A rectangular 9-by-13-inch pan is in more kitchens but won't result in that round, specialty cookie.
Chocolate and coconut have had a long love affair. Adding coconut flakes to the classic goodie, with instructions posted on Allrecipes, is an easy way to add richness and decadence. One reviewer reminds bakers to store the cookies in tins to retain crispness, rather than letting them soften by putting them in Tupperware.
Caramel lovers will rejoice at the way soft, creamy, buttery caramel enhances a tender chocolate chip cookie. The main trick in a recipe from the blog Chef Savvy is the insertion of a caramel candy inside each cookie dough ball before baking, but there are a few details that make this just a bit more complicated than the typical treat-making.
Coffee and chocolate combine in each bite of these irresistible cookies. The blog Celebrating Sweets calls the recipe a "grown-up version" of a classic cookie. The addition of espresso powder isn't overpowering; it provides a subtle depth of flavor that supports the chocolate.
Purists may insist raisins are the appropriate adornment for oatmeal cookies, but there's no reason chocolate chips can't make an appearance. The extra heft from the oatmeal makes a chocolate-flecked-cookie recipe from King Arthur Flour a hearty treat that doubles as an on-the-go snack.
Give chocolate chip cookies a boost of protein and flavor from aromatic macadamia nuts. They combine seamlessly with semisweet chocolate and the traditional dough base in a version posted on Allrecipes. Feel free to double up and include another type of nut or just substitute your favorite in this treat. If the nuts going into the recipe are salted, consider forgoing the salt used to make the batter.
Sea salt brings out the other flavors of sweet treats such as chocolate chip cookies. The spectrum of flavors will appeal more to adult palates and adventurous kids; it can be interesting to leave some unsalted to taste the difference and see which plate empties faster at a family gathering. The recipe from Smitten Kitten has some advanced refinements, though: It uses three kinds of sugar and specifies an oven heated to 360 degrees -- not 350 -- for baking.