Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies (with herb-infused butter and fleur de sel) | Top With Cinnamon

It’s pretty hard to not fall into the boring food trap. There are always these pre-determined concepts for how recipes should be, or which flavours should be paired. Yeah, I get that they’re there for a reason.

Tried and true

blah blah blah

but there’s so much more potential!

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies (with herb-infused butter and fleur de sel) | Top With Cinnamon

Do you remember the whole balsamic + strawberry craze a few years ago? It’s a good combo right!? but still, I don’t think it’s common enough for it to be a ‘classic’. It’s accepted, but not overly used.

Then there are things like salt and chocolate, pairing the salty with the sweet. As we know, salted desserts are effing awesome, and hugely popular.

I for one, can also tell you that putting some cocoa powder into chile, pomegranate juice into a stew, or apricots into a quesadilla is a REALLY GOOD IDEA.

So when faced with a food that’s just a bit lack luster, go cray.

Simple as.

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies (with herb-infused butter and fleur de sel) | Top With Cinnamon

Don’t you always find chocolate chip cookie’s a bit ‘blah’ ? Heck yes that chocolate is going to taste good, but what about the dough?

For me, it’s normally leave-able. As in

I could eat the chocolate

and just leave the cookie part, to be honest.

The dough is a vessel to get molten chocolate into my face. That is all.

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies (with herb-infused butter and fleur de sel) | Top With Cinnamon

I think it’s not just me that feels this way because when the chocolate chip cookie recipe came out in the NY times last year (it was last year, right?) everyone was going mentallll over them!

One of the main reasons? Aging the dough, which developed the flavour and produced a cookie that had more depth than the Nestle Tollhouse recipe (btw, has the Tollhouse recipe ever worked for anyone? I always get super flat greasy cookies. Such a fail).

Then there was the whole browned butter phase, and let me tell you, I still brown butter for 50% of things I make, because it’s just another way of giving food a liiiiittle bit more zing.

If you think about it, it’s a bit strange how in baking we use so much less flavour enhancing ingredients. When you cook, you add salt + pepper, a myriad of condiments, herbs and spices. Whereas for baking, it’s usually vanilla, cinnamon, almond or fruit. Sometimes there might be some anise or cardamom. But that’s about it. You might experiment with cayenne in chocolate cookies once, but it’s never going to become a regular addition.

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies (with herb-infused butter and fleur de sel) | Top With Cinnamon

and I think that by using that logic, I’ve finally cracked it:

My perfect chocolate chip cookie.

I thought I’d reached perfection a few months ago, when I made these bittersweet chocolate chip cookies, but by changing one little thing this time, I improved them even more!

They have all the things I would ever want: Soft, chewy middle, loads of molten chocolate shards, crisp edges a flavourful cookie dough base (that is deffo not leave-able) and, ofc, some salt on top!

I was asked by Lacoste to make a recipe based on the scent notes in their new L.12.12 Noir cologne, which included dark chocolate, Egyptian basil and verbena.

It made me think about how if they worked together in a scent, why not in a food?

I wasn’t going to go and make a chocolate pesto or anything, I knew it’d need to be more subtle, so the herbs would just do their job to boost the other flavours.

Sooo when I was browning the butter for chocolate chip cookies, I added chopped basil and verbena (which has a gentle lemon flavour) to the saucepan, then strained them out. I was left with this lightly scented butter, that when added to the cookie dough just gave it SO much FLAVOUR!

It wasn’t like *bites into cookie* “HELLOO BASIL”,

it had a herby undertone that simply worked. I asked people to guess what they thought I’d put in it, and literally no one could guess, but they loved them. And so did I, and you probably most def will too, if you make them!

BEST COOKIES EVER

aaand I’m out.

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies (with herb-infused butter and fleur de sel) | Top With Cinnamon

Notes:

  • If you don’t have verbena, sub it for the zest of half a lemon, and add to the butter whilst it’s browning
  • You can sub the fancy salt for a scant 1/2 tsp of table salt in the dough, however you can’t use table salt for sprinkling so either use the fancy salt for sprinkling or just don’t sprinkle at all.
  • You can just use a 1/4 cup measure (which equals 4 tbsp), then roll the dough into a ball with your hands and slightly flatten into a hemi-sphere on the baking tray.

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/4 cup (4 tbsp) fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp verbena leaves (see notes)
10 tbsp (5 oz / 140 g) butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup (230 g) all purpose flour (I used half whole wheat and half all purpose)
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup + 3 tbsp (140 g) light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp kosher salt / fleur de sel* (plus more for sprinkling)
1 egg
7 oz (200 g) bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I LOVE either 85 or 70% - it's hard to find 60% in the UK, but you can use that or semi-sweet)

Roughly chop the basil and verbena then add to a small saucepan with the butter. Heat continuously it on medium-low on the stove until it foams up and smells nutty then stir in the vanilla extract. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then strain it through a sieve (push through as much of the browned butter bits as poss though, you're just trying to take out the herbs).

Meanwhile, either in a stand mixer or a large bowl combine the next 6 ingredients (flour through to salt). Pour in the butter and mix until it looks like moist clumpy sand with no floury patches. Add the egg and mix in for a few seconds, then the chopped chocolate and mix until well distributed - but not for too long!

Using a 1/4 cup cookie scoop (see notes), scoop up some of the dough and smoosh it into the scoop until it's just full. Turn out onto a lined cookie tray, spacing each mound 3" apart (I managed 4 per tray). Repeat with all of the cookie dough. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for anywhere between 1 - 72 hours (the longer you wait, the better the texture and flavour!!!).

When ready to bake preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). When ready, sprinkle the cold cookie dough with fleur de sel and shove into the oven immediately!! Bake for 8-12 minutes, until browned, with set edges, and a puffy, soft center. Let cool on the baking tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

http://www.topwithcinnamon.com/2013/07/best-ever-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

Comments

  1. says

    These look great! I totally hear you about how it’s strange that in baking, there really isn’t too much you can do to enhance the flavor of the ingredients. Have you heard of Thomas Keller’s chocolate chip cookie recipe for Bouchon Bakery? He adds just a touch of molasses, which works to enhance the chocolate flavor, as well as the nuttiness of the flour. I did a variation of the recipe here: http://www.hummingbirdhigh.com/2013/04/blog-cookies-new-column-bouchon-bakery.html and was really pleasantly surprised by the results.

    • says

      thanks Michelle! :D Ooh I haven’t, but I think using brown sugar is kind of the same (although, I would probably add more molasses too like TK’s recipe, heheh), thanks for the tip :)

  2. says

    What a crazy cookie combo…. I definitely never expected the basil and verbena, but you totally have my curiosity piqued! The cookies look PERFECT (as I told you on Instagram haha). I agree with everything you said about flavoring baked goods and how it’s hard to figure out new flavor ideas all the time when you have cinnamon, vanilla, and… a few other things. Good thinking outside the box!!

    • says

      super crazy! I usually don’t go for herby/flowery flavours in baked goods (just stick to vanilla ect), but I loooved it in these cookies :)

    • says

      yes omg, the cookie part is normally SO dull, I’d probably be better off eating raw cookie dough tbh, it usually tastes way better than when it’s been baked!! haha

  3. says

    To answer your question, no the Tollhouse recipe has absolutely NEVER worked for me, EVER! I actually tried one of their cookies from a place in the mall and it was just as flat and greasy as the ones I made so maybe they just like theirs that way!

  4. says

    Gorgeous post. Need a good weekend to be able to bake again, so many wonderful recipes of yours that I have yet to try!!

    Katie <3

  5. says

    OOOOooooOOoOooooo!!!! HOW WILL I DO WORK TODAY WHEN ALL THE THINGS TO MAKE THESE ARE IN THE HOUSE?? (Sorry, that was a really long sentence to type in all caps…but that is how the question sounds in my head!) I remember seeing a recipe for thyme & sea salt chocolate chip cookies a couple years ago on DforB and thinking it was genius, but I believe there were just straight-up herb bits in the cookies. The butter infusion is the best idea, because you get those subtle herbal notes throughout the entire cookie. Man oh man. I am making and eating these for dinner, obv.

    • says

      HAHAH sorry for the distraction! Yes! I remember seeing that recipe too, I think it was on the cover of Sated too (if I remember correctly!) I was jut kind of put off by the idea of having leaf pieces in my cookie/ kinda worried it would make the dough a weird colour :/ Strangely, when I was infusing the butter, it did go kind or green, but in the cookie dough, it didn’t affect the colour at all :) hehe, sounds perf

  6. says

    Oh wow, chocolate and BASIL???? I have never heard of mixing them before, and I never would have done it myself. But your cookies look so good, and if you say they are the best cookies ever, then surely I should try them out?
    I really want cookies now, thanks ;)
    x

  7. says

    They look incredible – you’ve completely sold them to me, which is a shame because I’m trying to eat healthy but not a shame because cookies are so delicious. I’ve been trying to play with some more unusual food combos recently – rosemary in lemon cake, smoked sea salt on EVERYTHING, strawberries and balsamic (not that unusual, but a bit more interesting than plain strawberries) etc. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Cassie says

    WOW! I always want to make up my own interesting combos, but I’m always afraid (and don’t want to waste stuff). But I guess to succeed, ya gotta make a few mistakes first :))

    • says

      I know exactly what you mean, it’s hard to be adventurous when you’re using 2 bars of high quality chocolate and reaaally don’t wanna waste them :/ But that is very true! :)

  9. Bryce says

    Thank you for posting this recipe!! I’ve been anticipating it since the instagram post :) BASIL! Awesome!! I cannot wait to try making these–I absolutely love basil on almost anything (drinks and pizza especially), and lemon undertones? yum! I hope I can make these sometime this week!
    As for the tollhouse cookies–they are my family’s favorite!! I’ve been making them with my mom since I was little and they are my go-to recipe! I have actually had them turn out flat and greasy before, so I know what you’re talking about. Do you make them in a stand mixer? If so, I highly recommend not doing that. When you over work the dough they turn out flat and greasy. I either do them by hand, or I use a hand mixer until I add the chocolate chips and/or nuts. I just use a wooden spoon after that. To me, it’s worth the workout. It makes me feel like I’ve earned the cookies afterward anyway ;)

    • says

      hahah, no prob :) I loooove basil (I’m Italian by blood too, so you know, it’s a given)
      I’ve made them both ways, stand mixer and by hand! I think it might be due to differences ingredients between the UK and US too. European butter tends to have a higher % of butterfat, and medium eggs here are the same size as large eggs in the US. That probably all contributes to the whole flat cookie stich, but they’ve just never everrrr worked for me (and believe me, I made them many mannyyy times trying to get thick cookies, without success :( ) Ahaha, that is the same for me, and with bread baking too: ‘If i knead this dough, that’s technically a workout sooo I can eat loads of bread, yes?’

  10. says

    These. Look. Incredible. I love the idea of basil & chocolate together! And verbena, whatever that is. Cannot wait to try to make these!

    • says

      thanks Maddy! They compliment each other so well :) Verbena is another herb! It’s subtly lemony, but not extremely common (well, not as common as basil) in the supermarket, so you can just sub it for a bit of lemon zest if you don’t have it

  11. says

    What a fascinating, amazing idea.. One that I would never think of, but you’re right. If it works somewhere else why not give it a go? Layers of flavors make just about EVERYTHING better!

  12. says

    Alright congrats, this threw me the Basil/Verbana thang! FYI, for the tradish Tollhouse recipe cut back by 1 1/2 tblsp of Buddah, (Think Harry Potter when he uses a diff formula for that potion and his comes out best) Also Allspice as an ingreed to recipes with nuts especially is a nice flava flave enhancer. Just sayin’, keep it rollin’ Neecie!

    • says

      ahahah :) I remember making Tollhouse cookies with you, and that’s the only time they’re ever worked! I think you’ve got the magic-cookie-making skills down! Thanks for the tips! I willll :) xx

  13. says

    These look so amazing I am salivating like crazy! It probably doesn’t help that I’ve been avoiding chocolate biscuits for a few weeks now. I am totally fascinated with your addition of browned herb butter, so intriguing!

    • says

      Ahh thanks Steph! I hadn’t had any chocolate biscuits in a whiiiiile before these, and they TOTALLY hit the spot :)

  14. Elizabeth says

    These sound amazing! All the possibilities that infused butter brings is blowing my mind!!! You’re so ridiculously creative!

    Also as far as Tollhouse cookies? You are soo right- the recipe never turns out amazing.. well that’s what i thought until i met my sister in law. She changed the recipe up a bit turning them into these unbelievable gobs of goodness. She upped the flour to 3 cups instead of 2.25. She uses margarine instead of butter and fake vanilla. She then uses a teaspoon to put huge blobs of dough onto the cookie sheet then proceeds to under bake them just a bit.. they are a slice of heaven.. seriously!

    Anyhow. I love you. And your blog. You do amazing things at 17!

  15. Aly says

    Izy, I just made the mix. It is sitting in the fridge as I write this and Icannot wait until these bake in the oven! I love your photos and recipes, so keep up the amazing work! Thank you <3

  16. says

    Wow!! Chocolate Chip Cookies, my favorite. This looks really delicious!!!!!! You’re so awesome!! Makes me hungry right now, the chocolate is really melting. Ugh. Yummy.

  17. says

    Chocolate chip cookies are that best cookies for me. They give off a wonderful smell and taste that kids and even adults love. Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe. Got to try making it soon.

  18. says

    Wow, your photographing and storytelling is really breathtaking!

    Thank you for being such a good inspiration, we love to follow your blog, it’s very different from the scandinavian ones we are used too :-)

    Greetings from Denmark,
    Lulu and Liva(dessertbloggers too)

  19. says

    Great photos of the cookie. I can tell from the images that it is rich in chocolate and that it is kind of sweet. There’s a recipe though so those who want to try making it can just adjust the sweetness.

  20. melanie says

    What a lovely and interesting pairing…what about an orange infused! orange and chocolate go wonderful together..I think that would be an interesting experiment. :-)

  21. says

    What lights are you using and with what modifiers? I love your photos and would love to pick your brain on a few things. Thank you!

  22. says

    Guuuuuuuurl. I would never have thought about this, but it sounds freaking insane. I’m quite convinced you’re some culinary mastermind. Ferr reals.

  23. Toni says

    Well the kitchen smells amazing…
    I divided the mix into two. one to cook in an hour and one in a couple days.
    *tapping fingers* while I wait for an hour to pass.
    Patient, I am not :)

  24. Minji says

    Oh my gosh, I baked these today and they are the best cookies I’ve ever tasted..
    The hint of basil is so awesome!
    Thank you so much for posting this wonderful recipe!
    I can’t wait to try all your other recipes :)

  25. says

    These are so great! I made this last weekend and I’m totally blown away by how good they taste. I’m recommending it to all my friends!! :D By the way, for some reason my cookies didn’t spread as nicely as yours did :( they spread a little but ended up a little chunky looking. Do you know what might have caused it?

  26. Simone says

    Hmmmm, these are sitting in my fridge right now, and if they taste nearly as good cooked as they do raw, I’m in good shape. I found they are super super crumbly though, when trying to shape them into little cookie mounds – is this standard? I hope they turn out well, I’m still super stoked!

    • says

      Don’t worry, sounds like it has the right texture! It’s a much more crumbly dough than usual choc chip cookie doughs :) Hope you like them

  27. Nilufer says

    I was wondering if I could use mint instead of basil and verbena? Because I absolutely love the combination of chocolate and mint, but I never knew how to do it. Will it work if I follow the same steps as you do, but with mint? That would be awesome! I love the idea of infused butter as much as I love this recipe and all your other recipes! Your’e such an inspiration!

    • says

      I definitely think that you could use mint instead! Yep, just follow the same steps to infuse the butter and you should get a subtle minty flavour in the dough :) Thank you!

  28. says

    IZY IZY IZY
    I MADE THEM!!!!!!!! froze the dough into a log, sliced it and popped the babies into the oven. (and blogged about it.)
    and they’re obviously the best. (!)
    also, of course, nice to meet you.

    – c.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies from Top With Cinnamon I have been obsessing over these cookies for a while now. Like seriously, obsessed. I just need to suck it up and make them. But I’m scared (or actually pretty certain) that they will be better than my best chocolate chip cookies. I will be crushed. But then I will stop caring and just stuff my face with cookies, so I just need to do it. Izzy does something so genius with these. She makes this infused brown butter with basil and verbena. This technique is where I got the inspiration for my Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies. She’s pretty insanely genius. And I’m pretty insanely jealous of her. […]

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