Sunday, August 23, 2020

(Almost) Doubletree Cookies

I finally got around to making a week batch of the infamous Doubletree Hotel Chocolate Chip Cookies! I made a few variations on the original, namely veganizing them, but I also used chopped chocolate instead of the chips and pecans instead of walnuts because it's what I had on hand. They are a perfect mix of crisp and chewy with great flavour and texture!

 
While I've never been to a DoubleTree hotel in my life, I am no stranger to the knowledge that they offer fresh baked cookies on arrival. This fact alone would make me want to stay there - not because I could eat them (cookies are, unfortunately, not on my body's "do" list) but because I do the same thing here when we have guests. Whether it is a large family gathering (and I mean large - Italian families are crazy!) or simply my grandma, N or my sister's boyfriend D, there is a large chance that some form of homemade goodie will be waiting for them. It simply seems like the right thing to do!
 
While N definitely prefers peanut butter based cookies (or cinnamon cakes), my grandma is definitely one for the more classic flavours. The original cookie recipe that I found online (then rediscovered in a scaled down format) met the criteria for a classic cookie (yes, like my mom used to make) but with enough of a twist with the lemon juice and cinnamon. I set about making this batch a wee bit healthier, though, since while cookies are a treat there's no reason you can't boost flavour and nutrition - plus I was out of eggs and butter thanks to a batch of bread I whipped up the day before. So veganizing the cookie happened as a result, but I also used a touch of whole wheat flour for a bit of extra depth in the flavour department. Because you can never have enough chocolate, I chopped up a bar of my favourite kind, adding the tiny little shards into the dough as well like chocolate confetti! Pecans were always a natural choice for me, as they are my mom's and grandma's favourite nut, and we always have some on hand. 

While you can certainly bake these cookies right away, time got the best of me and I had to stick the dough in the fridge for an hour while I tended to other things. That said, like most cookies (and all those with whole grains), these definitely benefited from the chill time - the dough was thoroughly hydrated and the chocolate had solidified after the heat of the kitchen. When baked, the cookies were thin, with crisp edges and a chewy middle studded with the pecans. The aroma was pure home, and when my grandma walked in she commented how wonderful it smelled!

(Almost) Doubletree Cookies
Adapted from One Dish Kitchen
Makes 10
1/4 cup softened vegan margarine
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp quick oats
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate (including all the chocolate dust!)
  1. In a bowl, cream together the margarine, sugar, Truvia, molasses, flax seed, soy milk, vanilla, and lemon juice until well blended.
  2. Add the flours, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, mixing well.
  3. Fold in the chocolate and pecans.
  4. Cover and chill 1 hour.
  5. Heat the oven to 300° F and line a cookie sheet with parchment.
  6. Scoop 1 tbsp balls of dough onto the sheets about 2" apart.
  7. Bake for 18-19 minutes, until the edges are golden but the centres are still a little soft.
  8. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a rack and cool completely.