My Definitive List of Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes

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Over the weekend, my best friend’s mom commented on my Instagram post about buckwheat chocolate chip cookies and said that I should make a definitive list of my best chocolate chip cookie recipes. She was so right. Today I took a deep dive through my archives to find the best chocolate chip cookie recipes for you.

The following list isn’t ranked in any particular order. It includes some of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes, including one for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. There are a lot of naysayers about those kind of cookies, but people need to relax. Once you try this recipe, you’ll be a believer, too.

Without further ado, here is my definitive list of best chocolate chip cookie recipes:

1.) Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies 

These beauties get a big boost from buckwheat, an ingredient that might make some scratch their heads. However, buckwheat gives the cookies a soft, chewy texture that remains for days after baking. Make sure to sprinkle them with sea salt when they come out of the oven.

2.) (Almost) Perfect Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies received top marks from my best friend and her mom over the summer when she was in town visiting. They’re puffy, light, chewy, and soft. Basically, they’ve everything that a good chocolate chip cookie should be. The picture makes them look like scones, but trust me, they are way lighter.

3.) Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cherries

Now comes the time when I convince you that oatmeal chocolate chip is just as good as regular chocolate chip. If you need some extra convincing, consider that I make a batch of these cookies every couple months, freeze most of them, and eat one every night for dessert with a scoop of ice cream. They’re that good.

4.) Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a pretty standard chocolate chip cookie recipe except it calls for salted butter instead of unsalted. That being said, they’re not too salty. I personally like the balance of sweet and salty. I’m not a big fan of overly sweet chocolate chip cookies.

5.) My Go-To Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Although this is no longer my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe, it definitely deserves a place of honor on this list. It’s simple and easy, and it has withstood the test of time. I’d recommend eating some dough while you bake them.

6.) The Softest Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

Have I mentioned how much I like sea salt in chocolate chip cookies? This recipe came to me via my friend Anna, who said that it was one of her favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes. It calls for instant vanilla pudding, which initially freaked me out but I shouldn’t have worried. The cookies are light and fluffy. I guess the vanilla pudding gives them a boost.

7.) Alison Roman’s Salted Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

If you’re unfamiliar with this recipe, you probably don’t spend a lot of time on Instagram. A couple years ago they went viral on social media. I resisted making them for a while, and then I thought, why am I resisting making something that will probably be delicious? Armed with my newfound clarity, I made these cookies and brought them to work. My one coworker told me they were the best thing I’d ever made.

8.) Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies

The tahini-in-baked-goods trend started a few years ago and it’s still going strong. These salted chocolate chip tahini cookies are a product of that time. The tahini gives the cookies a peanut butter-esque flavor. I brought the cookies into work and one of my coworkers, a grumpy man who hardly ever smiled at me, came to my office to tell me how much he liked them. Maybe they’ll work some magic for you, too.

9.) New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies were all the rage many years ago, when the NYT published a chocolate chip cooke recipe from French pastry chef Jacques Torres. The recipe calls for refrigerating the dough for at least a day, which seems excessive but it creates a cookie that is chewy and soft in the center. I’d recommend investing in chocolate disks or wafers instead of chips for these cookies. They’ll distribute more evenly in the dough, creating a better ratio of dough to chocolate in the finished product.

Enjoy these recipes! Here’s a song to get you started.

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Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies from Basically

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Every so often, there’s a cookie that takes Instagram by storm. This year it’s the buckwheat chocolate chip cookie from Basically.

I had the cookies on my list of things to make after seeing them on Instagram a couple weeks ago. Then, my sister sent me a post about them yesterday afternoon and it reminded me to make them. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from brunch to grab some Callebut chocolate chips. I already had a bag of buckwheat flour at home from when I made chocolate buckwheat waffles (more on those later). I also had sel de Guerande, or French sea salt, for sprinkling the cookies once they came out of the oven.

What does buckwheat in a cookie taste like? you might ask. The answer is that it adds some flavor and texture to the cookies. I’m a big fan of your standard chocolate chip cookie, but these are a delightful spin on a classic recipe. The cookies are soft, dense, and perfectly chewy. They have melted chocolate chips, the perfect amount of salt, and a slight nuttiness that you don’t always get in regular chocolate chip cookies.

A trick for making these cookies turn out as aesthetically pleasing as possible is to bang the cookie sheets after you take them out of the oven. This is admittedly an anxiety-inducing process. After you get use to banging metal against metal, though, it’s oddly liberating. I smacked mine against the stove a couple times to flatten them out and get the nice ridged texture on top.

I made two batches of cookies and I saved the rest of the dough in the freezer. That’s one of my favorite tricks: You make all the dough balls, bake as many as you want, and then freeze the rest to bake later. One of my favorite things to do at night is pop a cookie out of the freezer, bake it, and top it with a little gelato or ice cream. What could be better than on demand cookies?

When I posted these on Instagram yesterday, my best friend’s mom wrote that I should do a roundup of my best chocolate chip cookie recipes. When your best friend’s mom speaks, you listen. I’m going to post the roundup later this week on the blog. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, here’s a song to get you started on your buckwheat chocolate chip cookie journey. If you enjoy Tennis, you might like my playlist, “Only Tennis Truly Understands Me.”

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Dimanche (That Means Sunday)

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Welcome to this edition of Dimanche (That Means Sunday), a roundup of things that caught my eye this past week.

I haven’t written Dimanche in a while. Maybe it’s because Dimanche is a commitment and I’ve been sick, and this was the first full week when I didn’t feel completely run down by the flu. Maybe it’s because I’ve actually had some time to devote to reading the news. Whatever the reason, it’s back:

I just booked a trip to Maui for a friend’s wedding in November, and as I was researching the island I came across this story. It’s funny and tender, and turns out way differently than I expected. Read “On a Nude Beach With My Parents, Baring Almost All” in The New York Times.

My best friend sent me an article last week about nude cooking on the same day I saw the Maui nude beach story. I don’t have a problem with nude cooking, I just worry about the hazards of cooking naked. I burn and cut myself enough already with layers between me and the food. Here’s the full story in The New York Times.

In case you missed it, Dunkaroos are coming back in Summer 2020. I saw the news on Twitter earlier this week and I gasped at my desk. It seems too good to be true. I can’t believe General Mills deprived us of this treasure for years.

Acclaimed mixologist Meredith Barry is taking the reins of Taste Bar in St. Louis. Meredith is so talented and seems like a great overall person. You should probably stop by the bar and try her cocktails soon. Get more information in my St. Louis Magazine story.

I almost tweeted at the Washingtonian to bring back this column after two years of silence. Then it reappeared this week. I used to read “Food Money Sex” when I was in D.C. because it was so entertaining. It’s a pretty accurate reflection of what’s going on with 20 and 30-somethings in the District. Check it out here.

So, LAX is hiring people to act like lunatics. Yes; you read that correctly. The airport is looking for 500 people to come to its newest concourse and act like nightmare customers. Sign me up. Read more about it in this Los Angeles Times piece.

It’s hard for me to take Gwyneth Paltrow/Goop seriously, but I have to admit, I’m addicted to her new Netflix series. I watched the whole thing last week. While I have many doubts and even more questions, it’s an entertaining hour of television. Some of the episodes are also thought provoking, especially the one about MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Check it out here.

Do I need these? Probably not. Do I want them? Yes. It’s a new year and I think it’s time to replace my four-year-old hoop earrings. So far these are front runners.

Everyone in St. Louis needs to run to Turmeric. It’s my new favorite Indian restaurant in town. They specialize in South Indian food, which means one very important thing: Dosa.

Enjoy your week! Here’s a song to get you started.

 

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Thé Time: Forest & Meadow Apothecary and Herbal Clinic

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If you would have asked me many years ago if I’d rely on herbal remedies to make myself feel better, I probably would have scoffed. I grew up in a family where Advil is king. I would pop a pill every time I felt something wrong with me without any hesitation.

Then, in the last couple years, I started hearing about problems related to popping Advil all the time. An old colleague of mine told me how she did it for years to put up with aches and pains, and it ended up destroying the lining of her stomach. A good friend of mine now has responded better to herbal remedies than pills when it comes to things like inflammation and cramps.

I’m not saying that Advil is the devil. I’m just saying that there are other remedies out there that work. Sometimes, you can even make them into a tea.

Which brings me to Forest & Meadow Apothecary and Herbal Clinic. I first discovered them at the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market in St. Louis when I was browsing around last summer. I bought a packet of tea from them because, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m addicted to tea, and their blends looked beautiful in the bag. Admittedly, my only reason for buying the tea was superficial.

But then I tried the rose blend tea. It automatically calmed me. Yeah, yeah, you might say. It’s just in your head. But is it in my head if it calms me every time I have a cup? I think not. Full disclosure: Sometimes I have trouble sleeping, and if I have chamomile tea from Forest & Meadow, it automatically relaxes me and helps me go to sleep.

Yesterday I stopped by Forest & Meadow’s brick and mortar location for the first time. It was exactly what I hoped it would be and more: There’s a beautiful oriental rug in the front, and brightly-colored glass bottles filled with herbs sit on shelves at the back of the store. Everything is beautifully displayed. I wandered around slowly, taking everything in and trying not to buy everything in the store.

I settled on a packet of Chaga Chai tea and a clay face mask (am I the only person who suffers from dry winter skin?). I’m a big fan of chaga lately. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, it’s a mushroom that can boost immunity and overall health. I’ve had it a few times in lattes or wellness drinks, but I’ve never brewed it in tea.

This blend is exactly what you need for winter. It has the fragrant aroma of chai with notes of cinnamon and spice, and it’s earthy and rich. It warms you and supports you at the same time, so you’re ready to face terrible weather, long days without sunshine, or whatever else winter throws your way.

I’ve had two pots full of the tea since I bought it. Yesterday, I sat down with a pot and sipped it slowly as I journaled. I’d recommend adding a splash of milk (I used almond milk) to the tea and some honey or maple syrup. That will take the tea further into chai territory. It’s delicious.

Here’s a song to get you started on your Forest & Meadow journey.

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The Best Hot Chocolate Ever

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I know you’ve been anxiously awaiting my recipe for the best hot chocolate ever. So, here it is.

I refined this recipe based on a bunch I’ve tried over the years and intuition. Hot chocolate is a fine art, but you don’t want to overthink it.

I also love this recipe for its versatility. You can use plant-based milk or real milk. In my experience, using whole milk or even low-fat regular milk makes it a whole lot richer than when you use plant-based milk. It’s not a bad thing, but I just wanted to give you a heads up.

This hot chocolate recipe is also a perfect base for toppings and experimentation. For my latest iteration, I added some sprinkles and vanilla marshmallows from Pint Size Bakery. For other versions, I’ve added a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper or whipped cream. Everyone has their hot chocolate preferences, but mine usually fall somewhere in the  marshmallow and sprinkles camp.

This is the perfect recipe to make when you get home from work late, tired and cold, and you need something to warm you up. It has lifted my spirits on numerous occasions and I hope it does the same for you, too.

Here’s a song to get you started. I recently started watching “Goop” on Netflix on the recommendation of my neighbor, and I have to admit, it’s pretty entertaining. It also made me remember that Gwyneth Paltrow can sing.

The Best Hot Chocolate Ever

Ingredients

1 cup milk of your choice
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp cocoa/cacao powder
2 Tbsp extra dark, bittersweet, or semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 pinches flaky sea salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
marshmallows and sprinkles for topping

Directions

Combine the milk, maple syrup, cocoa/cacao powder, chocolate chips, sea salt, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly, making sure you scrape down the sides every so often to incorporate the melted chocolate chips. Once the mixture looks like it’s starting to boil, remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the hot chocolate into a large mug. Top with marshmallows and sprinkles. Enjoy!

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Vegan Clementine Cake

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The first thing you should know about this vegan clementine cake is that it really looks as orange inside as in the picture.

The second thing you should know is that it’s one of the best things I’ve ever made. I do not say that lightly.

While I was sick with the flu, I ordered groceries online and got a big bag of clementines. I ate a bunch while I was in bed, but I still had about half a bag leftover. I wasn’t necessarily intending to make a cake with the leftovers, but then I had the idea of making it into a loaf cake that I could slice and eat for breakfast.

This cake could not be easier to make. You mix a bunch of ingredients together, pour it into a pre-lined loaf pan, bake it for a little, and then let it cool before you top it with the clementine glaze.

I added the glaze while my neighbor was over for tea. We both ooh’ed and aah’d as I cut into the cake and it revealed a bright orange color. Then we each tried a piece. “This is really, really good,” she said. “Wow,” I said. “It really is.”

So good, in fact, that I hoarded most of it for myself and only gave a few pieces away: some to my neighbor and her roommate because that was the polite thing to do, and one to my boyfriend.

I know that cake isn’t synonymous with health, but this cake actually has a lot going for it in the health department. It’s filled with citrus, which we all need more of at this time of year, and it’s vegan, so you do without some of the heavier ingredients found in normal cake.

Don’t get me wrong: I love normal cake as much as the next person. But this is the perfect thing to make when you’re recovering from being sick and you want something bright, healthful, and light.

Here’s a song to get you started on your clementine cake journey.

Vegan Clementine Cake

Ingredients

for the cake:
1 cup almond milk
2 Tbsp chia seeds
4 Tbsp clementine zest and juice of 3 small clementines
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

for the glaze:
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp clementine juice

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In one bowl, mix the almond milk, chia seeds, clementine zest, clementine juice, and apple cider vinegar. In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, all purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean and the top springs back when you touch it.

Let the cake cool.

Once the cake is cool, whisk together the icing sugar and clementine juice, and pour the mixture over the cake. Store leftovers tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Enjoy!

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Vegan Breakfast Cookies from The First Mess

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I spent the last two weeks the most sick I’ve been in years. Call it stress; call it bad luck; probably call it working at a university full-time where there are lots and lots of germs. One way or another, I got the flu. I even got a flu shot this year, but apparently that’s no match for influenza B.

Anyway, I spent more than a week in bed with lots of fluids but very little food. I spent the latter half of the week fantasizing about all the foods I wanted to eat but couldn’t. At one point, I even ordered Vietnamese takeout in an attempt to appease myself. Note to self: bad idea.

Finally I turned a corner. I got out of bed on Friday and went to get a scone at one of my favorite bakeries in town. Once I held that down, I decided to make these vegan breakfast cookies from The First Mess.

I’m not sure how I feel about plant-based eating as a 24/7 thing. Yes, I believe it’s very good for you, and you can probably see the health benefits after a while. However, I’m a big fan of butter and cheese, so a vegan diet probably won’t happen for me anytime soon.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t throw some plant-based recipes in, though. Especially when you’re sick, eating plant-based can help. The fruits, vegetables, and nuts give you the vitamins and minerals you need to come back strong.

These vegan breakfast cookies couldn’t be easier to make. You basically just mix the ingredients together in a bowl, similar to regular cookies, and then you scoop out about 1/4 cup and slap it on the cookie sheet. Yes; slap. That word is in the original recipe and at first it’s a little off putting, but Laura from The First Mess has a point. The batter is a little wet and sticky, so slapping it onto the sheet is better than trying to scoop and drop like you would regular cookie dough.

My favorite thing about these breakfast cookies is the texture. They’re crumbly yet soft, moist, and filling. They actually dry out faster if you store them in tupperware, so make sure to store them loosely wrapped in foil or plastic wrap.

I ate a few yesterday and then I saved some for my friend LeAnn, who often eats plant-based food. Then my boyfriend came over and I let him try one. I didn’t think he would even like it because plant-based nut cookies aren’t really his thing, but after he ate one, he ended up eating three more. He said the aftertaste is best, and that the cinnamon really comes through.

Here’s a song to get you started on your vegan breakfast cookie journey.

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