Chocolate Chip Cookie Hints/ Reader Poll

I just made a batch of cookies last night, and so was reminded of the many variations on the theme that are possible.  And, as it’s getting to be cookie baking time of year again, I thought I’d share a couple of my favorites.

  • The type of sugar you use is negotiable.  The recipe on the back of the chocolate chips calls for 1/2 granulated and 1/2 brown, but as long as you keep your total sugar to the guidelines (1 1/2 cups per batch of cookies or thereabouts), you can use dark brown, light brown, turbinado, maple sugar, or whatever else you enjoy.
  • Add finely grated orange zest into the mix.  If you happen to have a microplane zester, it’s very easy to get the zest from the orange.  Otherwise, try putting some plastic wrap over the thing on the side of your cheese grater, so that it comes between the grater and the orange.  It’ll catch the zest and make it a lot easier for you to gather it.  The zest of one orange is about right for one batch of cookies.
  • Don’t feel obligated to use vanilla extract for the ‘vanilla extract’ slot on the recipe.  Switch it up by adding the equivalent amount of your favorite liqueur.
  • Add some spices.  Cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg all work well with most desserts, including chocolate chip cookies.  If you’re feeling spicy, add a little bit of chili powder–but not too much.  You want it to serve as an accent in the background, not the defining taste of the cookie.
  • Switch it up a bit with the nuts.  I used cashews in the batch that I made last night, and they are tasty!
  • Quick oats are another great inclusion for cookies.  Use about a cup of quick oats for one batch of cookies.
  • I’ve heard that some people add coconut to their cookies.  That’s not really my thing, but if you like coconut, give it a shot and you’ll probably enjoy it.
  • Aurora says that she’s heard of people putting sunflower seeds or dried cranberries in their cookies.  These aren’t variations I’m familiar with, but they sound like they might be interesting.

How do you usually make your cookies?  Let me know what you do differently than the recipe says and I’ll put together a bar graph that charts the popularity of any particular twist on the old favorite.

7 Responses to “Chocolate Chip Cookie Hints/ Reader Poll”

  1. Sam Says:

    -White chocolate cranberry walnut-
    -oatmeal chocolate chip-

  2. Johanna Says:

    I like to put cocoa powder in the dry batter and use peanut butter chips instead of chocolate chips. That makes great chocolate chip cookies!

  3. JoeBlu Says:

    Mmm… just made a batch of these for a Christmas party. Some variations we use:
    Replace 1/4 chocolate chips with walnuts or almonds (chopped) Use Grand Marnier in place of vanilla extract

    I’ve found that the Grand Marnier brings enough orange flavor on its own, so I leave out the zest. Orange is such a great Christmas flavor, though!

  4. MIL Says:

    During the holiday season, I like to use some mint chips…..maybe I’ll have some around when my daughter and favorite oldest son-in-law arrive for Chirstmas. *

  5. Lauren Says:

    While I’m all for experimentation, chocolate chip cookies are something I just don’t mess with. I nailed my recipe when I was 13 (well, I almost nailed it :-) and have been making the same one ever since. This recipe is so ingrained in me, it’s almost like meditation.

  6. sk Says:

    some cocoa and a heaping tablespoon of espresso ground coffee :)

  7. Fish Says:

    My girlfriend made a batch of the white chocolate, cranberry and walnut cookies as gifts for my family this Christmas. Faaaantastic!

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