Double Tree Hotel Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you’ve ever stayed at the Double Tree Hotel you’ve most likely been given a warm chocolate chip cookie as a welcome gift.  These cookies are so popular that they even have their own webpage (click here ) and countless attempts at copying their secret recipe.  So, what’s one more?

One secret of these cookies is to make them for a crowd.  Bring some in for your co-workers or your child’s little league team, or, if you are lucky like me, a group of drunken graduate students playing softball.  Works like a charm every time.

Printable Recipe: Double Tree Chocolate Chip Cookies

All cookies (and cakes too) consist of dry ingredients and wet ingredients that you mix together to make the dough/batter.  I like to start with the dry ingredients because I’m superstitious.Yes, this is a giant bottle of cinnamon.  We like to do things in an extreme way in my house.Start by adding ¾ cup quick-cooking oatmeal to a food processor.  Quaker Oats are good, but if you are cheap like me, the generic works just as well.   Pulse the oatmeal 10-15 times until you get a fine looking consistency.  The oatmeal is really just a subtle aftertaste in the back of the cookie.  Only true foodies can taste this flavor hint.  Finely chopping the oatmeal in the food processor adds to the mystery taste because no one can actually see the oats.

Add the chopped oatmeal to a large mixing bowl.  Place a sifter over the edges and sift in 3 cups of all-purpose flour.Also put in 1 teaspoon EACH of baking soda, ground cinnamon, and salt.  Voila, dry ingredients done.  Set this aside so the flavors can mix.  Just kidding.  You really just want the bowl out of the way while you work on the wet ingredients.  Make sure to mix it all together.

Making these cookies I’ve had a few realizations.  One is that our kitchen appliances really don’t have that long of cords, especially the food processor and the stand mixer.  So, I fumbled my way around the kitchen appliances -all of which came from our wedding gift registry-did some quick rearranging and cord stretching.  I had to move the food processor completely out of the way for the mixer.  I must have accidently moved the switch to “on” because as soon as I plugged it in, the whisk attachment started making undulating circles in the air.  Ooophs, note to self: make sure things are off before you give them electricity.

Alright, we’re ready.  Careful of dogs that may lie close to your feet as you work.  In a stand mixer, cream together 3 sticks of butter.  This was all the butter we had in the house.  I don’t bake very often.  I also forgot to read the recipe all the way through and only set out 2 sticks this morning to soften up.  So, I took another one out, went to the grocery store to pick up chocolate chips, came back and the butter was ready.  It’s been pretty hot out here in CA (alright I won’t say the temperature because some people might get offended where it is really hot).

The butter got real soft, real fast.  Ick!As I was saying, cream together the butter and sugar.  As you see it, remind yourself that you’re giving away all of the cookies.  It’s the only way to justify using ALL THAT BUTTER.

You’ll fight with the butter because it’ll clump up in the middle of the whisk and along the edges of the mixer bowl.  A rubber spatula works wonders at beating the butter into its proper place.Next step, eggs.  Break 4 eggs into a separate bowl.  This way you can fish out any eggshells.  Of course if you’re awesome and you already know that, well, by all means, just break them one at a time into the mixer. People like me, read clumsy, need the extra caution of a separate bowl.  For people like me, there will always be eggshells to fish out.  What’s my secret?  After myriad attempts at trying to bring the shell piece up from the side and grabbing it, only to have it slip over my finger, I’ve learned another way.

Know thy enemy and take advantage of the fact that the shell is not moving at the bottom of the bowl.

Relax all your muscles in your face, take a deep breathe, then feel your way along the bottom of the bowl towards the piece of shell.  As soon as you feel its sharp edginess, push hard with all your might and slide it up the side of the bowl.  DO NOT PASS GO; DO NOT COLLECT $100; take that shell and send it directly to jail, your compost heap; it’ll do wonders.

Once the eggs are ready, dump them into the mixer one at a time.  Mix after each egg until incorporated.Add 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla.  It makes a beautiful brown swirl when you add it to the mixer.  Use your imagination; I didn’t get a picture.

Also add the juice of 1 lemon.  If you can understand my bad luck with eggshells, you can probably guess my luck at juicing a lemon.  This is why I use a citrus hand juicer.  If only all of life’s problems could be solved with a simple gadget.

All right.  On one side of the ring we have the wet ingredients, and on the other, the dry.  Everything about cookies comes down to dry and wet ingredients.  Now put it all together, and mix with a rubber spatula; the same one you used beating the butter into its place, no need for more dirty dishes.Once the dough is ready, gently mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts (or pecans, but this is not true Double Tree style, so accept the fact that if you’re using pecans you are tainting the purity of the recipe). Gently mix it all together to form your dough.  Cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap, stick it in the refrigerator, and forget about it.  At least for the night.  OK, at least for 12 hours; trust me on this.  Couldn’t do it?  Neither could I, so I took a leetle taste.  If you have issues eating raw cookie dough, don’t.  Kris and I snuck a spoonful each for dessert.

THE NEXT DAY…

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper or cooking spray.  We’ve had this parchment paper for years-it doesn’t go bad even though I don’t bake often. So, some people I know actually cut their parchment to the exact size of the cookie sheet.  I kinda like the wild quality of mine.  Can parchment paper be wild?  I also like to fold the edges under, but it usually rolls up on itself until I plop some cookie dough on it.

Speaking of plopping,12 plops.  That’s a good number, twelve.  Use an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop or just a heaping spoonful and drop the dough onto the parchment paper.  Make sure to leave space between the cookies; give ‘um room to spread.

What does it take for a girl to get a little help around here?Bake at 375 degrees for 13-14 minutes, until golden brown and tantalizing.  I made 36 cookies…I mean 35, one fell, yeah that’s what happened, honey.Enjoy with (drunken) friends.  Don’t forget the milk!

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