5 Ways to Elevate the Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie

Few recipes are more classic than chocolate chip cookies. They’re the ultimate in comfort food and one of the most popular cookies around. And they’re simple to make, too.

Sometimes, that simplicity feels like a great thing. And sometimes (say, after you’ve made your thousandth batch of chocolate chip cookies), it can start to feel boring, like you’re snacking on the same old cookie, time after time. Luckily, a few small tweaks can add some extra pizzazz to your cookies and bump up your culinary skills in the process. Here’s how to make it happen.

Carefully measure ingredients.

If you’ve made chocolate chip cookies once, then you’ve made them a hundred times. And that can lead to ignoring normal baking precepts like “use tools to measure your ingredients.” Sure, you’ll probably create something resembling a chocolate chip cookie if you eyeball your flour, sugar, and chocolate chip ratios. But baking is a science as well as an art, and that means you’ll achieve the best results if you stick to carefully measuring out all your ingredients.

Swap in avocado.

Adding avocado to your toast may prevent you from buying a house someday, but adding avocado to your chocolate chip cookies won’t do anything other than make them even tastier than usual. When you swap in avocado for half of the butter you regularly use in chocolate chip cookies, it will yield a more full-bodied, chewy texture and reduce the likelihood that your cookies will get too crisp. Don’t be shocked if the dough takes on a green hue—it will most likely be gone by the time the cookies are fully baked.

Make them vegan.

This vegan twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie isn’t just for your lactose intolerant friends—it will also blow the minds of even the most dairy-loving folks around. Plus, removing the eggs, butter, and milk from the original recipe will make for an interesting challenge in the kitchen and teach you to be more resourceful in your culinary efforts. And don’t worry: These cookies still come stuffed with all the comfort of sugar and dark chocolate.

Chill the dough.

This is going to take some patience, but if you can refrain from gobbling up the dough for a full day and night and leave it in the fridge instead, your willpower will pay off. Chilling the dough for 24 (or even 36) hours before shaping it onto cookie trays and baking it can make your cookies chewier and more flavorful. That’s because allowing the dough to rest in this way gives the ingredients time to fully combine. Can’t stand to wait for the full 24 hours? 6 or 12 hours will do in a pinch.

Include more add-ins.

There’s no rule that says chocolate chip cookies have to feature chocolate chips exclusively. Adding flavorful fillings to your dough is a great way to transform the classic recipe. The options are practically endless: bacon, sea salt, root beer, actual beer, almonds or other nuts, orange zest, cranberries or other dried fruit, ginger, oatmeal, bananas, and even rum are all viable (and delicious) add-ins.

One other note? Don’t forget the importance of quality ingredients. When you’re using top-notch chocolate, flour, eggs, and so on, your chocolate chip cookies are all but guaranteed to be equally high-quality.