"Secret Ingredient" Restaurant Quality Chocolate Chip Cookies

Baking different varieties of chocolate chip cookies seems to be all-the-rage these days. If someone claims to have the most superior recipe, I’ll give it a go. I’ve tried many recipes but I always come back to this one. To me, this one (with its two secret ingredients) is the ultimate chocolate chip cookie.

I’m personally happy nibbling away on the raw stuff. My husband freaks out about that. I try to explain to him that I grew up eating cookie dough and cake batter and all that stuff and I don’t seem to harbor any ill-effects. The best part about baking is licking the beaters and rubber spatulas. Yum.

I haven’t found any value in refrigerating cookie dough before baking… but I do like to plop it on my cookie sheets (lined with parchment) in a semi-round manner. I figure if it starts out round, it’s less likely that you’ll get the funky shapes. For these cookies, I use a regular-sized ice cream scoop (about 1/4 cup).

The result: Big. Round. Perfect. 

Warm is best.

With milk, of course.

These Secret Recipe Chocolate Chip Cookies produce a big, round, chip-filled chewy cookie. And what are those secret ingredients I mentioned??


Vanilla and lemon. Lots of vanilla… 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract plus a scraped vanilla bean. Lemon juice too… just a teaspoon. You don’t taste it at all, but it helps produce a chewier cookie. I suppose there is a third secret ingredient to share too… oatmeal. Except that you put the oatmeal in the food processor and pulverize it into an almost-powder. That adds a little twist to the dry ingredients.

So go ahead and continue your search for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe… refrigerate the dough for 24 hours, use parchment, use silpat, use insulated sheets, use jelly roll pans, bake them upside down or whatever… but if you try these, you might just wish to put an end to your search.

This recipe can be found here:  Secret Recipe Chocolate Chip Cookies

51 Responses to “"Secret Ingredient" Restaurant Quality Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. postedAug 23, 2008 3:44 PM
    Manggy

    Giddoudahere! (Suddenly I’m a New Yorker…) I would never have thought of the touch of lemon! I should try that next time. I’m suddenly really hungry (and it’s midnight too– perfect time for chocolate chip cookies!).

  2. postedAug 23, 2008 4:33 PM
    Sharon

    I suppose lemon is a secret ingredient! I never would have imagined to put it in chocolate chip cookies. I certainly don’t need cookies in the house right now, but now I am seriously tempted! :)

  3. postedAug 23, 2008 5:01 PM
    Katrina

    If you follow my blog at all, you know I can’t seem to get enough of all kinds of chocolate chip cookies. Now here’s another I’ll have to try! They look amazing. Love the one with the cookie as the garnish on the glass of milk. I’ve never bought vanilla beans, but now I’m going to have to, since it IS a secret ingredient!

  4. postedAug 23, 2008 5:20 PM
    the southern hostess

    I’m going to have to try it and soon! Your photos have me craving cookies!

  5. postedAug 23, 2008 7:17 PM
    Pamela

    Oh, Yum!! I never would’ve thought about lemon, either. I need to get some vanilla beans.

  6. postedAug 23, 2008 7:23 PM
    Maria

    lemon I have never added that in can’t wait to try these I am craving cookies now your photos are lovely

  7. postedAug 23, 2008 7:40 PM
    Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide

    2 dozen with a gallon of SKIM milk please

  8. postedAug 23, 2008 8:16 PM
    Clumbsy Cookie

    I can never get enough about chocolate chip cookies posts, lol! I love that you used the cookie to garnish the milk glass! So cute! Those cookies are really huge and look great!

  9. postedAug 23, 2008 8:47 PM
    eliza

    i agree! vanilla and lemon turn out to be my favorite combo, be it in food and in perfume :D
    i still couldn’t do the licking thing Lori, i’m on your husband’s side!

  10. postedAug 24, 2008 12:04 AM
    Ingrid

    HMMMMM, I’m with you on the best part (almost) is licking the spatula after you’re all done! I’m gonna give your recipe a try. I don’t have a vanilla bean do you think vanilla bean paste will work? 2 tsp of vanilla extract and vanilla paste or all vanilla bean paste?
    THX!
    ~Ingrid

  11. postedAug 24, 2008 12:13 AM
    Jan

    Those cookies look fabulous. I’m with you on eating cookie dough and cake batter, as you say, that’s the best bit about baking.

  12. postedAug 24, 2008 1:28 AM
    Cookie baker Lynn

    I never turn down a perfect chocolate chip cookie. Lemon in chocolate chip cookies is new to me. Gotta try it!

  13. postedAug 24, 2008 3:33 AM
    Prudy

    I’ve made cookies with lemon before too. They are so yummy, but seriously, how can you go wrong with chocolate chip cookies? They are a definite favorite.

  14. postedAug 24, 2008 9:56 AM
    Dhanggit

    Oh thank God!! I saw your post before I made my cookies…yum!!

  15. postedAug 24, 2008 11:20 AM
    VeggieGirl

    Holy goodness, those cookies sound HEAVENLY – love the vanilla & lemon additions/ingredients!! Oh and of COURSE I'd enjoy my cookie with a tall glass of hempmilk :0)

  16. postedAug 24, 2008 12:45 PM
    Mark Boxshus "Cookie Doctor"

    Lori……..These sound wonderful. Orange is one of my “secret” ingredients and it plays so nicely with the chocolate and cinnamon. I will have to “comparision shop” and try these…….LOL

    “Doc”

  17. postedAug 24, 2008 1:02 PM
    Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm)

    This is amazing.I will put lemon in anything, but never thought to put it in choc chip cookies.

  18. postedAug 24, 2008 3:23 PM
    Adam

    Wow, thanks for the lemon tip! I will have to try that next time for sure. I’m in total agreement with you on the vanilla, I think it adds just a little something to the cookie.

    Raw cookie dough? Heck yeah, and look we turned out fine right :)

  19. postedAug 24, 2008 3:31 PM
    noble pig

    Oh I am so trying this! It sounds interesting…I’m up for the challenge.

  20. postedAug 24, 2008 6:22 PM
    Jan

    Just stopping by to let you know I’ve given you an award.

  21. postedAug 24, 2008 8:42 PM
    Laura

    Lordy if I try these so soon after the NY Times ones people will think I really need help. And those others were SO good. But now I really want to know about lemon juice in my CC cookies!

  22. postedAug 24, 2008 10:45 PM
    Parker

    These look so good. I have been looking for a good cookie recipe, love how big you made them and would have never thought of lemon..great idea, looking forward to trying that.

  23. postedAug 24, 2008 11:47 PM
    Emiline

    Wow! I am so impressed! These look amazing…just perfect. I’m really going to have to try your secrets next time I bake CCC.

    I read through your last two posts, as well, and everything looks absolutely delicious. I’m REALLLLY into Mexican food right now.

    Bravo! *Gives you a pat on the back*

  24. postedAug 25, 2008 12:13 AM
    hot garlic

    Really, you haven’t noticed a difference with refrigerating? I definitely have with mine. And I bake them on stoneware which I also notice a distinct difference.

    I always double the vanilla and add in 2 teaspoons, even if it calls for one. And I add extra salt too!

    But the lemon juice and the vanilla bean pod {which I always have on hand!} REALLY piqued my interest and I WILL give it a go and let you know how I fare. Thanks so much for sharing, this was a new tip and I’m a sucker for trying something new!

  25. postedAug 25, 2008 1:57 AM
    Brilynn

    A vanilla bean would definitely be an excellent addition to any cookie!

  26. postedAug 25, 2008 2:10 AM
    Psychgrad

    Lemon? Interesting…

    I often add more vanilla than the recipe call for. But, fresh vanilla beans would, I’m sure, take it to a whole other level.

  27. postedAug 25, 2008 4:43 AM
    Jenny

    Mmmm, cool secret ingredients, I’ll be sure to try them very soon. I make cookies so often!

  28. postedAug 25, 2008 6:00 AM
    alexandra's kitchen

    very interesting. not what i was expecting at all. It’s always brown sugar or sea salt or something like that. I think lemon zest is key in so many recipes. can’t wait to try it in cookies now, too!

  29. postedAug 25, 2008 8:25 AM
    Grace

    frankly, i’m lucky to get half a batch of baked cookies–raw cookie dough is too hard to resist. :)

  30. postedAug 25, 2008 1:28 PM
    Patsyk

    Usually by the time I finish baking chocolate chip cookies, I’ve eaten enough of the dough to not even want the cookies themselves! ;)

    this looks like a winning recipe… the secret ingredients are definitely different from what I have tried before.

  31. postedAug 25, 2008 2:33 PM
    Alejandra

    I love the lemon juice idea! Can’t wait to try out in my next batch. I just did some of my own using my own secret ingredient…I’ll be posting about it soon so you’ll have to check to see what it is, but know that it was Sooooo good!

  32. postedAug 25, 2008 2:37 PM
    Half Baked

    I totally agree that the vanilla is really important, but wouldn’t have to try lemon. Great idea. I can’t wait to try these!!

  33. postedAug 25, 2008 2:41 PM
    sliceofsueshe

    very interesting. lemon juice, huh? i’ll have to give it a go. i’m all about trying to find the best chocolate chip cookie. thanks for posting the recipe.

  34. postedAug 25, 2008 3:33 PM
    Aimée

    Hmmm, I though I need never look further for a chocolate chip cookie recipe than the one I have, but now I must try yours. I love chewy!

  35. postedAug 25, 2008 6:53 PM
    Katrina

    I made these cookies yesterday (minus the vanilla bean–couldn’t find any locally). These ARE good. Mine look a little puffier than yours, but still a great, chewy choc chip cookie. I would leave out the cinnamon next time. I knew I should have as for some reason I just don’t like cinnamon with chocolate, but still, it’s subtle and I might just be talking myself in to tasting it. I gave a bunch of these away because they are good enough that if kept here I’d just keep eating them. Thanks for the recipe.

  36. postedAug 25, 2008 8:21 PM
    Dawn

    I love how there are so many versions of CC cookies out here in blogga-land.
    Yours look fantastic. And I’m with you on the raw dough eating. I eat a lot of ganache when I make it

  37. postedAug 25, 2008 9:23 PM
    ~Madeline~

    Ooooh, thanks for sharing your secrets! Lemon, who knew?

  38. postedAug 26, 2008 1:15 PM
    Anonymous

    Thanks for the great recipe. I have tried so many chocolate chip cookies recipes and this is one of the best that I have tried!!- Nikki

  39. postedAug 26, 2008 1:43 PM
    CookiePie

    Gorgeous cookies! I love the lemon idea. Delish!!

  40. postedAug 26, 2008 8:58 PM
    farida

    Great looking cookies! Thanks for the recipe!

  41. postedAug 26, 2008 9:35 PM
    Janna

    Very interesting. I already put loads of vanilla in all my baked recipes, but I will try the lemon juice next time for sho! Thanks for the tip!

  42. postedAug 26, 2008 9:59 PM
    Ivy

    Restaurant quality? No.

    Seriously, these look beautiful and very profesh. I never would have guessed that lemon juice is the key ingredient-very interesting. I’ll have to try the recipe sometime.

  43. postedAug 27, 2008 1:10 AM
    LyB

    Ooooh, I love that tip about the touch of lemon to get a chewier cookie. I wonder if it would work with other kinds of cookies? I guess I’ll have to try! And with two kinds of vanilla, these must be fantastic! :)

  44. postedAug 27, 2008 4:45 PM
    Rosie

    Those cookies look SO fabulous this is a must try bake!! They really are scrummy cookies :)

    Rosie x

  45. postedAug 27, 2008 6:03 PM
    Elle

    I’m always up for a new cookie recipe! And I love your secret ingredients! I use 2 tsp vanilla in mine, but it’s high time I add a vanilla bean and some lemon juice, right? Thanks for sharing!

  46. postedAug 27, 2008 9:44 PM
    Maria

    Wow delicious cookies!!

    Maria
    x

  47. postedAug 30, 2008 12:33 AM
    Nicole

    Well Lori, I will HAVE to try it! Although I am not a stickler about shape. Any old crazy shape is fine for me. I ALWAYS put extra vanilla in recipes too. And like you, raw dough… mmmmmmmmmmmmm. There is a reason they made an ice cream after it!

  48. postedSep 2, 2008 9:57 PM
    Sophie

    Hehe, I really like how the chocolate chip cookie looks like it’s eating that glass of milk :D. Chocolate chip cookies always make everything better :).

    Thank you for your comment on my first ‘gluten-free’ post. It is quite the adventure baking/looking for gluten-free things! :)

  49. postedSep 20, 2008 5:24 PM
    Anonymous

    Late to the party, I know, but wanted to add that the lemon juice is a good addition. I think what it does is boost the baking soda’s power. It get the cookie rising faster so it doesn’t spread as much. Good thinking!

  50. postedOct 15, 2008 6:18 PM
    Zesty Cook

    WOW – I learned something new plus I love your blog and your writing style…. :)

  51. postedJan 8, 2009 5:41 PM
    The Fishers

    I’ve tried making this recipe and my dough comes out a lot stickier than what is pictured. Am I doing something wrong? I need your help, I am supposed to make this cookie for a wedding this weekend!! Please, help me. I’ve made it in the past and it was so good. What’s my deal this time?

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