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There are plenty of questionable food holidays (Lima Bean Respect Day? Huh?) but today is a day that we can really get behind here at TODAY Food. That's because August 4 is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! Hooray! Sure, you could pick up a box of store-bought cookies but since they're so easy to make, here are 16 amazing recipes to try today.
Let's start with the classic version. To get the perfect crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside texture, baker Cailey Anne Buck of Cailey Anne Cookies in College Station, Texas pulls these out of the oven early and lets them finish baking in the pan.
To take chocolate chip cookies to the next level, follow in the footsteps of T-Rex Cookies in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where they add caramel bits to the dough and finish each treat with a pinch of sea salt.
Brown butter adds a nutty, caramel-like flavor to these tasty cookies packed with chocolate bits and salted cashews.
Double up on the chocolate with these vibrant red velevet cookies.
"This is the most chocolaty cookie I could create that is not just a slab of chocolate," says baker Matt Lewis of NYC's Baked. "Slightly firm on the outside. Melt-in-your mouth goodness on the inside."
Based on a famous Jacques Torres recipe, these cookies are everything you want in a treat — crispy outside, chewy inside, golden brown, and filled with your favorite sweet mix-ins. Because the dough balls are individually frozen, you only need to bake up one or two cookies at a time — removing the temptation of having an entire batch of freshly baked cookies in the house calling your name. Customize them to your preference, like the cookies shown in these photos with chopped mini Reese's cups and mini marshmallows.
"These are best eaten when fresh and warm, so have them the same day or promise you will reheat them just enough for the chocolate to ooze, giving them that just-baked feel," says baker Hedy Goldsmith, the creator of these iconic cookies that have a cult following.
Joy Fit Club member Beth Weick shares her recipe for an easy sweet treat that uses pumpkin instead of butter and oil.
There's everything but the kitchen sink in these delightful chocolate chip cookies, which are upgraded with cornflakes, marshmallows and crushed candy canes.
A double dose of holiday cheer goes into these chocolate-studded cookies from Alice Choi of Hip Foodie Mom: there's peppermint extract in the dough and crushed peppermint candies in the frosting.
Tom's Mom's Cookies in Harbor Springs, Michigan adds peppermint in addition to white chocolate chips to make these terrific treats.
These football cookies from PopSugar Food's Brandi Milloy are an adorable addition to a tailgating spread, but you don't have to wait for football season to enjoy them.
Now let's take things to the next level with some chocolate chip cookie-inspired treats:
"My children love a chocolate chip cookie so gooey on the inside that I can't really make the outside firm enough to let the cookies keep integrity of form," says TV food star Nigella Lawson. These irresistible pots are her solution to getting them just right.
Go ahead and eat this "raw" cookie dough--it's totally safe because there are no eggs.
Jemma Wilson of Cupcake Jemma tops a graham cracker crust with layers of cookie dough and a cream cheese filling for an over-the-top cookie dough cheesecake.
Whip up a batch of these easy no-brainer ice cream sandwiches in only 5 minutes thanks to store-bought ice cream and chocolate chip cookies.