They’re craved by legions of sweet-tooth travelers. Home-cooks have tried in vain to come up with copycat recipes for it for years. And such is its stature, that it was the first food to actually be baked in orbit — aboard the International Space Station this January.
For so long, the only way to sink your teeth into a bona fide warm DoubleTree Hotel chocolate chip cookie was to check into one of its hotels, where you’re gifted with one for free with your room key.
Until now, that is.
Yesterday, in a thoughtful goodwill gesture in these horrific times, DoubleTree released a home-version recipe of its famed cookie to the public.
And faster than my printer could spit out the recipe, I was already putting sticks of butter out on my counter to soften.
Knock on wood, I actually had all the ingredients on hand, too — no easy feat in this pandemic that has stripped store shelves and online sources of many baking products, as we all hunker down to shelter in place, and apparently stress-bake to no end.
This is a straightforward chocolate-chip cookie recipe. The only surprises were the 1/4 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Was it to activate the baking soda? Or to somehow round out the sweetness of the cookie? I’m not quite sure, though, I’m guessing it’s the former. The only other eye-popper was that these cookies are baked at 300 degrees rather than the usual 350 degrees, meaning that they spread ever so slowly as they bake.
These cookies have oatmeal and chopped walnuts in the dough to add a hearty, crunchy note. They also have a heap of chocolate in them — 2 2/3 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips, which is more than one bag. I actually ended up using 2 cups of Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate Chips (a whole bag), plus the remnants of an already opened bag of Guittard Semisweet Chocolate Chips, which thankfully made up the remaining 2/3 cup.
After baking, the cookies are supposed to cool on the baking sheet for one hour. One hour?!? Who are they kidding? It’s a miracle that I waited even half an hour before tearing into one.
I think these cookies might bake up slightly thicker than the ones at the actual hotels, but they taste remarkably like the ones we all know and love. They are a riot of rich chocolate, as well as crisp on the edges, and soft-chewy within.
None of us may be traveling anywhere for awhile. But these cookies are certainly a transportive treat.
In fact, I might just leave a few on my pillow tonight. Just because.
DoubleTree’s Signature Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
(Makes about 26 cookies)
½ pound butter, softened (2 sticks)
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 ¼ cups flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cups Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 3/4 cups chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice, blending with mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl.
With mixer on low speed, add flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, blending for about 45 seconds. Don’t overmix.
Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
Portion dough with a scoop (about 3 tablespoons) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and center is still soft.
Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for about 1 hour.
Note: You can freeze the unbaked cookies, and there’s no need to thaw. Preheat oven to 300°F and place frozen cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden brown and center is still soft.