May 15th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day and what better way to celebrate than with a recipe and a giveaway (see below for details). But let's be honest, most of us don't really need a reason to make chocolate chip cookies. If you love them as much as I do, everyday seems to be chocolate chip cookie day!
One of the most versatile cookies around, chocolate chips can easily be changed up depending on what you have on hand. The key is to start with a good base recipe and to use quality ingredients. One ingredient that I never skimp on is vanilla. My favorite is the Nielsen-Massey brand Madagascar Pure Bourbon Vanilla and I try to always have it in my house. The sweet, creamy vanilla flavor makes even the basic cookie extra special.
The next time you make a batch of chocolate chip cookies try incorporating a few of the ideas below to make your recipe stand out from the crowd:
- Switch the chips: Instead of using all semisweet chocolate chips, try using white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, or a combination of all three. Using coarsely chopped baking chocolate instead of chips will add a gourmet feel to the recipe.
- Make it nutty: Try adding 1 cup of coarsely chopped nuts to the batter. Pecans or walnuts are a classic addition, while macadamia nuts or pistachios add a bit of a nontraditional flair.
- Salt the tops: Baked goods aren’t just about the sugar; salt amplifies the flavors in even the sweetest recipes. Sprinkle the tops of your cookies with coarse sea salt just before baking to bring out the flavors of the brown sugar and chocolate in this recipe. Try using a smoked sea salt for an extra-special touch.
- Build a sandwich: Pair your recipe with your favorite ice cream flavor for the perfect ice cream sandwich, or spread them with buttercream frosting for a cookie sandwich treat. Use a peanut butter frosting for that classic chocolate and peanut butter combination that everyone loves.
Dark Chocolate & Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars together until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the egg and beat for about 1 minute more. Add vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix on low speed until just incorporated. Finally stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
Scoop cookie dough by the tablespoonful onto prepared baking sheets. Leave about 2 inches of room between each cookie.
Bake cookies for 18 minutes, or until just golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
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