These Miso Chocolate Chip Cookies have that classic choco chip flavor profile, with a little unidentifiable something-something that makes them a little more addictive!
The very first time I ever ate a proper miso dessert was in Fukuoka, in a place called La Maison de la Nature Goh. To say it was eye-opening would be an understatement, because up until then I didn’t realize I wanted more people to make desserts with miso paste. I think this was when I subconsciously started obsessing over finding desserts with miso them. If you’d told me ten years ago that miso paste works great in desserts I might’ve blinked at you a few times and wondered whether you’d lost your mind. Thank goodness maturity and travel have made me wiser lol.
As I mentioned when I made this Miso Banana Bread recipe more than a year ago, what miso does is give desserts not just a hit of saltiness, but also a savory depth that is unique to this fermented bean paste. Similar to what salt does, miso also somehow makes the nuanced sweetness of the dessert shine. In the case of these Miso Chocolate Chip Cookies, it gives the caramel undertones a huge boost. At the same time, we get a little punch of salty-savoriness that makes the dessert more interesting overall. I suppose you can say it’s added some umami to this sweet treat!
As you probably noticed, I’ve only taken my miso paste dessert experimentations in a safe place so far, opting to make classics like choco chip cookies and banana breads. The idea is that if ever it doesn’t come out quite like what I expect, at least it’ll be edible. Most banana breads and chocolate chip cookies are pretty forgiving. In the case of these Miso Chocolate Chip Cookies however, the worries were unwarranted. As it turns out, these are quite the addictive treats!
You may have noticed that the cookies look very chunky and did not seem to spread as much as most choco chip cookies do. I think Katie Lee Biegel intended for this effect to occur, because this recipe uses more flour than usual for the amount of butter. That said, I don’t think you don’t need to refrigerate this for too long. Maybe even 30 minutes will be enough, just until it’s firmed up but not quite hard. I actually think you can probably bake this straightaway, but I do recommend a 30-minute spell in the fridge to give the miso a chance to infuse all its flavors into the dough.
These Miso Chocolate Chip Cookies don’t come off too sweet, but the push and pull between the umami of the miso and the caramel-chocolate notes natural to the cookies just really give a great eating experience. So even though they don’t look the prettiest and are one of the most rustic choco chip cookies I’ve made so far, they make up for it by being tasty. As for the texture, these are chewier than they look, although at the same time they are kind of crumbly too.
Now just a little warning for the Choco Chip Cookie Purists: The miso adds a little something to the cookies but you won’t be able to directly pinpoint what it is, and if you’re the kind of person who hates having the classics meshed with unidentifiable flavors, I have a feeling you won’t love these cookies, but I think they are still worth a try in my opinion.
- IS IT OKAY TO ADD MORE MISO? These cookies will become waaaay too salty if you add more miso. I have tried that and trust me, 1/3 cup is more than enough.
- IS IT REALLY NECESSARY TO REFRIGERATE THE DOUGH: I think you can skip the refrigeration part and bake this straightaway. The dough is thick enough to be properly scooped and shaped even before refrigeration. However, if you give the dough at least 30 minutes in the fridge, then you’ll be giving it more chances to develop flavor. If you decide to refrigerate and find the dough too hard to scoop afterwards, leave it on the countertop for a few minutes before scooping. It should have softened somewhat.
- HOW DO I GET A NICE ROUND COOKIE SHAPE? These cookies create a fairly structured and thick dough, so scooping and shaping with your hands is really easy. Just roll them into rounds then place into the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. DO NOT FORGET TO FLATTEN THE DOUGH BALLS WITH A SPOON. You want to flatten them halfway down so they won’t bake into semi-round mounds. These cookies do not spread too much because the recipe has a lot of flour, but this little act of flattening them before putting them into the oven creates some really nice rustic cookies.
- HOW LONG SHOULD I REALLY BAKE THEM? If you want a super chewy cookie, you may want to underbake these by 2 minutes or so. About 10 minutes, maximum of 12 minutes. If you like firmer cookies, bake a few minutes longer, but definitely not too long or cookie will dry out and turn sandy. You can bake at about 11 to 12 minutes to make it a little moister or chewier.
Miso Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup 200 grams light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 3 tablespoons 36 grams granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup 113 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/3 scant or leveled cup, around 90 grams white miso paste, depending on taste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups 240 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups 270 grams semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
- In a large bowl (or bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment), beat both sugars and butter together until light and creamy. Add egg, miso paste, and vanilla, then beat until well combined.
- Add flour and baking soda, then fold in with a spatula until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips or chunks until just distributed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray two baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment.
- Using a regular ice cream scoop, portion out dough mounds onto prepared pans, spacing about 2 inches apart. Use two fingers or the backside of a spoon to flatten each mound of dough halfway, then press pieces of chocolate chips/chunks on top to make it pretty if you want.
- Bake cookies between 11 to 14 minutes. Make sure to rotate the pans inside out halfway through. (Bake shorter for chewier cookies, longer for firmer ones.) The cookies will look set around the edges but will still be puffy in the center.
- Remove from oven and cool on cookie sheets a few minutes before moving to wire rack to cool completely. Can also be enjoyed warm with a cool glass of milk.
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