CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
When you stay at any DoubleTree hotel, one of the perks that is unique to the chain is that they will give you a warm chocolate chip cookie when you check-in. The very first time that I experienced this was when I was on a road trip up to Niagara Falls back in 2015 and stayed at a DoubleTree hotel in Buffalo. The cookie is soft, moist, and packed full of chocolate flavor from a generous amount of chocolate chips loaded into each cookie. The size of the cookie is no laughing matter either, as it’s probably a little bigger than the palm of your hand. I’m sure those cookies had garnered quite a bit of a reputation, as the packaging simply calls it “The Cookie.”
My friend Catherine had recently been taking some business trips out this way and while she was staying at the DoubleTree hotel, she would bring in quite a few of these cookies to share at the office. Me, now armed with my KitchenAid mixer and always open to taking on new baking challenges, decided to attempt to re-create those signature cookies. Here’s my take on the DoubleTree cookie, with a little bit of a twist.
Firm on the outside but a little soft and doughy on the inside, these cookies were able to capture the delicious flavor profile that makes the DoubleTree cookie so addicting.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes ~ 25 – 28 cookies
~ 1/2 cup oats, chopped
~ 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
~ 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
~ 1 tsp salt
~ 1/4 tsp cinnamon
~ 1/4 tsp nutmeg
~ 1 cup butter, softened
~ 3/4 cup brown sugar
~ 3/4 cup granulated sugar
~ 2 tsp vanilla extract
~ 1/2 tsp lemon juice
~ 2 eggs
~ 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
~ 1 cup chopped walnuts
~ 1/4 cup butterscotch chips (optional)
- For your oats, if you have a food processor, throw them in there and do a few quick pulses. Mine was out of commission, so I ended up going the old-fashioned way with dumping the oats onto a cutting board and doing a few chops with a knife.
- Put the chopped oats into a medium bowl and add in the rest of the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk all of that together to ensure everything is evenly blended. Set that aside when finished.
- In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugars, followed by adding in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Add in the eggs and blend that together as well.
- Stir your dry mixture into your sugar mixture incrementally, blending well. At this point, the main batter is done.
- This next part might require a little bit of elbow grease, but take a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and mix in the remainder of the chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, and butterscotch chips (if you’re feeling adventurous) until well distributed throughout the batter.
- Using a 2 tbsp scoop, place rounded dough portions onto a tray or plate and throw that into the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. At this point, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, so the oven will be ready once the chilling process is finished.
- (If you’re looking to replicate the same size as the DoubleTree cookie, scoop out 3 tbsp portions of cookie dough instead.)
- Take your dough out of the fridge and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet, spread out with approximately 2 inches of separation between them to account for spread when baking. I was able to fit about 6 cookies onto the sheet without them touching each other after baking, but if you want to risk some cookies blending into each other, throw 8 onto the sheet and give it a shot.
- Cook for approximately 14 – 15 minutes in the oven on the middle rack. The cookies should appear to be light brown on the edges, but still soft in the middle when you pull them out of the oven.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the tray for approximately 5 minutes before transferring them over onto a wire rack to finish the cooling process.
- From my experience, it took about 20 minutes for the cookies to cool down all the way until they were ready to be picked up and eaten. Any earlier and there was risk of the cookie collapsing or tearing apart. But just be careful, because once you sample one, it’s very difficult to stop!
The very first time I brought these experimental cookies into work, Catherine had already managed to acquire a set of DoubleTree cookies to conduct a side-by-side taste test. Several people ended up saying that they preferred the cookies I brought in over the ones from the hotel.
Firm on the outside but soft and a little doughy on the inside, I think that these cookies were able to capture the delicious flavor profile that makes the DoubleTree cookie so addicting. The addition of the butterscotch chips was a nice contrast to the main chocolate flavor, but not so often that it became overpowering.
I’ve already made the cookies three times since the initial batch, and continue to experiment around with the complimenting ingredient to the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. Caramel chips were recently substituted in with successful results; shredded coconut and peanut butter chips are two other ingredients that are on deck for the next batch going through the test kitchen. But, like my friend Catherine says, “don’t mess with a good thing.” That’s why the recipe above is a solid choice to start off with and venture out from there.