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Ham? Miso? Chefs celebrate chocolate chips with creative combinations

May 15, 2014 at 10:26 AM ET

Cookie dough at County Barbecue
County Barbecue

By now, you’ve heard of the chocolate chip cookie milk shots from Cronut creator Dominique Ansel. (If you haven’t we’re worried about you—are you getting out enough?) But Ansel isn’t the only one with chocolate chip cookies on the brain. Give yourself an excuse today—National Chocolate Chip Day—to check out these new twists on an American classic.

In the raw

Sure Ben & Jerry’s got us cooked on cookie dough ice cream years ago, but Chicago’s new County Barbecue restaurant is taking the addiction to the next level by serving the raw stuff straight up on its own. For $2, you can finish your meal with a spoonful of raw, buttery chocolate chip cookie dough. “The idea [of eating raw dough] comes to me every day at about 2:30 or 3, when my blood sugar lowers and my cookie alarm goes off,” chef Michael Kornick told TODAY.com. “Everyone I know loves it, and they’re happy it’s on the menu.”

Skillet cookie with ham
Caroline Allison

Savory skillet cookie

Even the walls of The 404 Kitchen in Nashville are creative—the restaurant is housed in a repurposed shipping container. So it should be no surprise that chef Matt Bolus, known for his modern and Southern twists on classic European cuisine, would also turn out wild desserts. He cooks his new cornmeal chocolate chip cookies in a cast iron skillet, then tops them with crispy julienned slices of ham, fresh mint, and dulce de leche ice cream. “The toasted cornmeal brings out the corn flavors and the crispy ham just adds a saltiness which works perfectly with this dessert,” he said. “It’s also too big for one person, so it’s fun to share. That’s the kind of food I love to eat, and to make.”

Related: Chip away! Try these 9 scrumptious sweets and drinks starring chocolate chips

Cookie-within-a-cookie

While using cookie dough to demonstrate how to stuff a burger, chef Jason McClure of Seattle’s Sazerac had a brainstorm: “We should be making stuffed cookies instead.” He now serves chocolate chip cookies stuffed with other cookies (like his version of Oreos), shards of high-quality chocolate, or candy bars (like his version of a peanut butter cup). Next up: He’s trying bourbon-infused truffles inside.

Umami-inspired

Umami, the so-called elusive “fifth taste,” is probably most famously associated with the California-based Umami Burger chain. But at Washington, D.C., ramen hot spot Toki Underground, chef Erik Bruner-Yang serves up warm chocolate chip cookies served with a red miso buttercream spread, an unexpected flavor profile that he says is the secret to the cookie’s perfect salty-sweet balance. A traditional touch: The cookies come with a glass of cold milk. 

Salad dressing—yes, salad dressing

Noticing that the salad market could use, er, shaking up—SaladShots creator Adam Rubin decided to set out to create some adventurous new flavors—most notably, Chocolate Chip. “We’ve had the same stuff for the longest time—honey mustard, ranch,” he says. The Chocolate Chip variety is a low-fat, dark chocolate-cranberry balsamic vinaigrette that he recommends on hearty greens like kale or broccoli, along with nuts and raisins. “It’s not what you’d think. You’re not pouring hot fudge on salad,” he reassured us at TODAY.com. “It’s not too sweet or tangy. We want to get people eating healthy, that’s the idea.” SaladShots is the final stages of fundraising, but Rubin estimates the on-the-go salad dressings, which come in BPA-free foil pouches, are about four or five months out from manufacturing, with the $2 pouches in stores soon after.

Coffee-infused

It’s no secret that cookies dunked in coffee are great, but at The Stanton Social in New York City, pastry chef Jaime Sudberg takes the idea a step farther, adding a hint of coffee extract (look for it near the vanilla extract) and a double dose of dark chocolate to her cookies as well as white chocolate for good measure. “It’s a sweet and fun alternative to the typical milk and cookies variety,” she said. She shared her recipe below:

Double Chocolate Chip (aka Reverse Chip) Cookies

By chef Jaime Sudberg

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/8 tsp coffee extract
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cup white chips

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In mixer with whisk attachment: melt butter bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate and set aside. Whisk eggs, sugar, and extract until fluffy.

2. Add melted chocolate and mix to combine. Add dry ingredients and mix. Add white chips (or peanut butter or toffee or your favorite ones!).

3. Chill batter. Scoop approx 3TB per cookie onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes and let cool. 

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