"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

Leave a Comment

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

  1. 1

    Manggy — August 23, 2008 @ 3:44 PM

    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. 2

    Sharon — August 23, 2008 @ 4:33 PM

    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. 3

    Katrina — August 23, 2008 @ 5:01 PM

    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. 4

    the southern hostess — August 23, 2008 @ 5:20 PM

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

  5. 5

    Pamela — August 23, 2008 @ 7:17 PM

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

  6. 6

    Maria — August 23, 2008 @ 7:23 PM

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

  7. 7

    Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide — August 23, 2008 @ 7:40 PM

    2 dozen with a gallon of SKIM milk please

  8. 8

    Clumbsy Cookie — August 23, 2008 @ 8:16 PM

    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. 9

    eliza — August 23, 2008 @ 8:47 PM

    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. 10

    Ingrid — August 24, 2008 @ 12:04 AM

    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?

  11. 11

    Jan — August 24, 2008 @ 12:13 AM

    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. 12

    Cookie baker Lynn — August 24, 2008 @ 1:28 AM

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

  13. 13

    Prudy — August 24, 2008 @ 3:33 AM

    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. 14

    Dhanggit — August 24, 2008 @ 9:56 AM

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

  15. 15

    VeggieGirl — August 24, 2008 @ 11:20 AM

    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. 16

    Mark Boxshus "Cookie Doctor" — August 24, 2008 @ 12:45 PM

    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


  17. 17

    Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) — August 24, 2008 @ 1:02 PM

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

  18. 18

    Adam — August 24, 2008 @ 3:23 PM

    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. 19

    noble pig — August 24, 2008 @ 3:31 PM

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

  20. 20

    Jan — August 24, 2008 @ 6:22 PM

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

  21. 21

    Laura — August 24, 2008 @ 8:42 PM

    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. 22

    Parker — August 24, 2008 @ 10:45 PM

    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. 23

    Emiline — August 24, 2008 @ 11:47 PM

    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. 24

    hot garlic — August 25, 2008 @ 12:13 AM

    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. 25

    Brilynn — August 25, 2008 @ 1:57 AM

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

  26. 26

    Psychgrad — August 25, 2008 @ 2:10 AM

    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. 27

    Jenny — August 25, 2008 @ 4:43 AM

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

  28. 28

    alexandra's kitchen — August 25, 2008 @ 6:00 AM

    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. 29

    Grace — August 25, 2008 @ 8:25 AM

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

  30. 30

    Patsyk — August 25, 2008 @ 1:28 PM

    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. 31

    Alejandra — August 25, 2008 @ 2:33 PM

    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. 32

    Half Baked — August 25, 2008 @ 2:37 PM

    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. 33

    sliceofsueshe — August 25, 2008 @ 2:41 PM

    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. 34

    Aimée — August 25, 2008 @ 3:33 PM

    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. 35

    Katrina — August 25, 2008 @ 6:53 PM

    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. 36

    Dawn — August 25, 2008 @ 8:21 PM

    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. 37

    ~Madeline~ — August 25, 2008 @ 9:23 PM

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

  38. 38

    Anonymous — August 26, 2008 @ 1:15 PM

    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. 39

    CookiePie — August 26, 2008 @ 1:43 PM

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

  40. 40

    farida — August 26, 2008 @ 8:58 PM

    Great looking cookies! Thanks for the recipe!

  41. 41

    Janna — August 26, 2008 @ 9:35 PM

    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. 42

    Ivy — August 26, 2008 @ 9:59 PM

    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. 43

    LyB — August 27, 2008 @ 1:10 AM

    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. 44

    Rosie — August 27, 2008 @ 4:45 PM

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

    Rosie x

  45. 45

    Elle — August 27, 2008 @ 6:03 PM

    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. 46

    Maria — August 27, 2008 @ 9:44 PM

    Wow delicious cookies!!


  47. 47

    Nicole — August 30, 2008 @ 12:33 AM

    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. 48

    Sophie — September 2, 2008 @ 9:57 PM

    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. 49

    Anonymous — September 20, 2008 @ 5:24 PM

    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. 50

    Zesty Cook — October 15, 2008 @ 6:18 PM

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

  51. 51

    The Fishers — January 8, 2009 @ 5:41 PM

    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?