These Rosemary Chocolate Chunk Cookies have a pleasant lemony and almost woodsy undertone thanks to the fresh rosemary. Definitely a delightful twist to a traditional choco chipper! Pairing them with the S’mores Mocha is optional but yummy!
My Dad took up gardening when we were on lockdown last year thanks to the pandemic. At the beginning I simply regarded it as a good idea, because having a hobby definitely helps keep you sane, especially during that time. But then his garden began to thrive. It became clear pretty quickly that my Dad had a green thumb, and when his herbs began to flourish, my mind started to run away with all the possibilities. As it turns out, having your own herb garden when you love to cook and bake is a pretty sweet deal. It’s one thing to be well-equipped with dried herbs (which we are), but having such easy access to fresh herbs changes the game completely.
We’ve been cooking with the herbs from my Dad’s garden for about a year now, but it occurred to me I have not made some sort of special recipe to highlight my Dad’s hard work on his garden yet. Obviously this appreciation post had to feature a recipe that was different and interesting, and while I was doing some research I came across this recipe for Rosemary Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Probably This. It’s not everyday you see fresh herbs being added to a choco chip cookie, and naturally it was something I really wanted to try.
I didn’t know what to expect, to be honest. I love adding fresh rosemary to chicken and pork, and I have eaten rosemary butter cookies, but it never crossed my mind to add them into chocolate chip cookies. As I was making the dough, I felt a little nervous about the amount of sugar that went into it. I wasn’t nervous at all about the rosemary thing, funnily enough.
Sugar plays a crucial part when it comes to the texture of chocolate chip cookies, so I was expecting these to be on the chewy side given there was more brown than white sugar in the recipe. At first I thought the cookies might turn out too sweet and eclipse everything else, but when I saw that the sugars did their job, I was relieved. These cookies are crisp outside, chewy inside– the best kind! It does have a slightly crumbly texture to it however, but it’s easy to ignore with all the oozing chocolate puddles in the cookie.
As for the rosemary in the cookies? I have to say, I fell in love with this unexpected application! The cookies were FABULOUS. You will want to give these Rosemary Chocolate Chunk Cookies time to mature in flavor after baking. In fact, I recommend eating them the next day, when the rosemary scent and flavor is more obvious. Fresh rosemary smells truly amazing. It’s woodsy but also leans toward lemony in both flavor and aroma, and this is what cuts through the sweetness of the cookies so nicely. You can taste it best when you bite into the parts of the cookie without chocolate. It jumps out more when you bite into the salted part too.
I would say I managed to put the fresh rosemary to good use with this recipe. It’s definitely worth the purchase of fresh rosemary if you don’t have an herb garden of your own!
As for the drink I paired with these cookies, the S’mores Mocha is a really yummy way to turn the campfire favorite into a coffee-based drink. You get bits of graham as you sip, but it blends with the chocolate and coffee really smoothly. I didn’t have large mallows and therefore could not torch them for a more authentic experience, but I really loved this drink with these cookies nonetheless. You can of course feel free to pair this with milk instead.
Recipe notes for cookies
- CAN I USE DRIED ROSEMARY FOR THIS RECIPE? Honestly, I recommend using fresh for this recipe. The unique flavor and scent of fresh rosemary makes these cookies different, and dried rosemary simply does not have the same sort of effect. When using fresh rosemary, make sure to clean them well before mincing. Watch the leaves under running water, then leave them in a bowl of water with salt for about 10 minutes. Rinse and pat dry before mincing. I like to mince them into different sized chunks, maintaining some bigger chunks of green so you can see the herbs in the cookies.
- WHY IS THE LEMON EXTRACT OPTIONAL? The lemon extract is meant to enhance the lemony tones of the rosemary, but without it the cookies will still taste pretty good. The lemon tones will still come out, especially after a couple of days.
- WHAT CHOCOLATE SHOULD I USE? I will always recommend a combination of bittersweet and semisweet for choco chip cookies just because this makes them taste better. I like to use Auro Chocolate buttons for all of my choco chippers because they melt very nicely inside the cookies once baked. As for decorating the tops of the cookies before baking, I use traditional choco chips because they don’t melt.
- DO I NEED TO REFRIGERATE THE DOUGH? In my experience, refrigerating choco chip cookie dough usually results in better cookies. Cold dough will not spread overly much and therefore bake into cookies that are a little chunkier to the bite, highlighting the chewiness of the cookies in the middle. If you decided to skip the chilling, expect them to spread more and come out flatter. In this case, refrigeration also makes the dough easier to handle if you want to roll the dough into perfect balls. (This will result in perfectly shaped cookies.) I just use a small ice cream scoop and if the dough looks lopsided, I kind of just sort out the shapes with my fingertips if needed.
- DO I NEED TO BAKE THESE ONE TRAY AT A TIME? I typically like baking one tray at a time, but you can totally bake these two trays at a time. Just make sure you switch the trays up and down, then front and back, midway through. Either way, make sure to return the cookie dough into the fridge between batches to keep them cold.
- HOW CAN I TELL IF THEY’RE DONE? Take them out of the oven when they’re golden on top and a little brown around the edges or they’ll be a bit too crisp outside.
- IS THE SEA SALT NECESSARY? Sea salt absolutely brings chocolate chip cookies up a notch by enhancing the flavors of the cookies. If you’re not used to the idea of salting your choco chip cookies, now is the time to start. You can add salt before or after baking, but for the sake of aesthetics, the cookies look nicer if salted after baking. I invested in good quality flaky sea salt for topping choco chip cookies and focaccia, and I do not regret it one bit! If you don’t have any flaky sea salt, you can use rock salt instead. That’s what I used before I bought the flaky stuff because it’s more easily available. Just make sure not to add too much.
- WHAT IS THE TEXTURE OF THESE COOKIES? These cookies are crisp outside and chewy but slightly crumbly inside. If you use the right chocolate, you’ll also have puddles of melted chocolate in every bite.
- ANY OTHER NOTES? I find that these cookies taste even better after a day or two. The rosemary really matures and permeates the cookies and gives it this really nice lemony undertone. It complements the caramel and chocolate flavors natural to a choco chipper very nicely. Keep Rosemary Chocolate Chunk Cookies covered at room temperature for up to a week, though I doubt they will last that long.
Rosemary Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ Tablespoons finely minced fresh rosemary, plus extra for garnish if you like
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- ¾ packed cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract, optional
- 280 grams semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks, less than 72% cacao recommended, plus extra for topping cookies
- Maldon or other flaky sea salt, for topping
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and finely minced rosemary. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, cream butter with all three kinds of sugar until the mixture is well-combined, is lightened, and looks slightly fluffy. (This can also be done with a stand or hand mixer, on medium speed, for about 3 minutes)
- Add in the egg yolks, egg, vanilla, and lemon extract (if using). Beat until pale and fluffy. (This will take another 3 or 4 minutes using a machine.)
- Fold in the dry mixture in three parts, incorporating each addition before dumping in the next portion. Add in the chocolate chunks and fold until distributed.
- Place the dough in the fridge 20 to 30 minutes to set. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Once dough has chilled, take out of the fridge. Using an ice cream scoop about 3-Tablespoons in capacity, scoop out dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them 3 inches apart. (To make perfectly round cookies, you can shape the dough into balls using your hands if you'd like, but make sure not to work the dough too much or you'll need to refrigerate it again.)
- Press a few extra chocolate chunks onto the surface of the cookie dough balls. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. You can also bake these two sheets at a time. Just make sure to rotate the sheets up and down, front and back, during the midway point of baking. Cookies are done when golden but still soft on top. They will also be a little darker and firmer around the edges. (Return unused dough to the fridge between batches.)
- Remove cookies from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. While still hot, sprinkle with sea salt flakes and a little more minced fresh rosemary, if desired.
- Cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. The rosemary flavor (lemon and woodsy undertones) will keep maturing with each passing day, making for a yummier cookie. Serve with milk or with S'mores Mocha (recipe below).
Recipe notes for drink
- WHAT KIND OF COFFEE DO I USE FOR THIS? You can totally use your normal brew of coffee and simply add the chocolate-graham concoction in. I personally used strong coffee for this recipe by brewing with a bit more grounds. I wanted my coffee to hold its own in the drink while still allowing the chocolate and graham flavors to shine. If you do decide to use normally brewed coffee, expect the chocolate flavor to be very dominant.
- WHERE’S THE TORCHED MARSHMALLOW? While I recommend torching the marshmallows for a more authentic s’mores experience, you can also simply top the drink with mini mallows. In my case, I did not have any large marshmallows available, and I don’t have a torch either. This was my compromise.
- ½ cup milk
- 2 Tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or other sweetener of choice, or more to taste
- 1 Tablespoon crushed graham crackers
- 1 cup strong brewed coffee
- In a saucepan, heat together milk, chocolate, sweetener, and graham crumbs. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is homogenous. Bring mixture to an almost-simmer, but make sure it doesn’t boil.
- Pour your coffee into your serving glass, then add in the chocolate milk mixture. Mix well.
- Top with marshmallows. If you want, you can torch the marshmallows to make the s'mores experience more authentic.
- Optionally, you can drizzle chocolate sauce over top and sprinkle more graham crumbs. Give it a mix before drinking as the chocolate mixture and graham crumbs separates from the coffee after a time.
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