THE WASHINGTON POST – As well-intentioned as the advice is, I have to laugh when people suggest that during the coronavirus pandemic you can replicate the hotel experience at home to feel like you’re actually going somewhere when you can’t. I mean, really, I already feel like I’m running a hotel: A 24-7 kitchen (yes, we do room service!), more laundry loads of linens than I can keep up with and a whole drawer full of miniature toiletries. It’s just one where the guests never leave. All I need is the cranky TripAdvisor review from my toddler and we’ll be set.
Of course, there’s a lot I miss about real hotels, but most of it isn’t happening here and now. (Maybe I’ll get that rainfall shower head installed some day.) For many of us, the joy of checking in somewhere, whether big or small, is knowing someone else will take care of you. At the DoubleTree hotel chain, that includes being handed a warm chocolate chip cookie at the front desk.
There are many fans of the cookies, and in a gesture being repeated across a range of businesses – Ikea meatballs! Disney resorts Mickey beignets! – DoubleTree (via its parent company, Hilton) recently released the recipe. Truth be told, the framework is not that different from the well-known Nestle Tollhouse version. These are remarkable, however, for their size and the sheer amount of add-ins, which makes for a hearty, texturally interesting treat. What you get is a supremely gooey cookie, with the additions held together by a minimal amount of dough. Not a bad thing, in my book.
They’re really quite delicious, if perhaps not the most mind-blowing chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever had (I’d like to nominate Joy “The Baker” Wilson’s Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies or Stella Parks’s behemoth take on the signature treats of New York’s famous Levain bakery). If someone else baked a batch and handed me one with a big smile and a key to a pristine hotel room, I’d be more than thrilled. For now, I’ll just have to make more myself. Now about that housekeeping
DOUBLETREE SIGNATURE COOKIES
Active: 30 minutes | Total: 50 minutes
Recipe notes: The portioned cookie dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic and refrigerated for up to one week. Alternately, the portions can be individually frozen on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then placed in a freezer-safe zip-top bag and frozen for several months. Bake straight from the freezer.
The baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days or frozen for several months.
16 tablespoons (two sticks/226 grammes) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (177 grammes) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (170 grammes) packed light brown sugar
Two large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or cider vinegar
2 1/4 cups (320 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (54 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
One teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 2/3 cups semisweet or bittersweet (455 grammes) chocolate chips
1 3/4 cups chopped walnuts
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. (Silicone baking mats can cause the cookies to spread too much.)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a handheld mixer and a large bowl, combine the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium speed for about two minutes until well-combined and starting to look light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, vanilla and lemon juice, mixing on low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for about two minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl again.
With the mixer on low speed, add the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, mixing for about 45 seconds. Don’t overmix. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
Using two large dinner spoons or a generously filled No. 30 (two-tablespoon) disher, scoop the dough into three-tablespoon (60 grammes) portions onto the lined baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, if using. Depending on the size of your scoops, spacing and/or sheets, you may need to do a third batch. If you must reuse one of your first two baking sheets, let it cool completely before scooping and baking the remaining dough.
Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the centre is still soft. Rotate the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for about one hour.