Everyone has their favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Whether it be from the back of the yellow Toll House bag or from your great grandmother’s cookbook, the recipes are tried and true to every family. Here is a dessert that I have to make every single Christmas with my family. Nothing is better than a soft, chewy chocolate chip cookie with a cold glass of milk. There is something so nostalgic about chocolate chip cookies to me and these have always been my go-to cookie to bake during the holiday season. This recipe pushes the limits for chocolate chip cookies by incorporating dark chocolate and cashews. They are a savory balance of sweet & salty with the perfect texture. I am a sucker for a cookie with a crispy bottom and a chewy inside and these cookies deliver that and so much more.
Begin by mixing your brown sugar, white sugar, butter, applesauce and vanilla in a mixing bowl. I use my electric recipe for this recipe to make things easier. Mix for 2-3 minutes on high until everything is incorporated. You will notice that everything turns super grainy and does not cream like a regular cookie recipe while mixing the butter and sugar. The addition of applesauce breaks apart the molecules of the butter, but it absolutely does not do effect the taste of texture of the cookies in the end.
You will want to add in the peanut butter and heavy cream to the mixture and mix everything for another 2-3 minutes. Scrape your bowl to be sure that all of the small bits of butter are combined evenly throughout.
The mixture will appear a little less grainy at this point, but it still will not resemble the perfect cookie dough. I promise we are getting closer to cookie dough heaven!
Add the baking soda, salt, and 1 cup of the flour to your ingredients in the bowl. Mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes and scrape the sides of the bowl once you are done. Add in the final 1 cup of flour and mix for another minute on a low speed. The cookie dough should now be a pillowy dough with a consistency that is not too wet or dry. You should easily be able to pull the dough away from the sides of your bowl with a spoon, yet not have everything glob together at the center of the bowl.
Roughly chop the cashews into small pieces and mix them in the cookie dough (using a spoon) along with the chocolate chips. I use dark 70% cocoa chocolate chips in these cookies to insure the deep rich chocolate taste that regular milk chocolate do not have.
Scoop the cookies on to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet using a tablespoon as a guide. I prefer my cookies a medium size with the dough formed slightly larger than a golf ball.
Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes. The cookies will continue to cook on the cookie sheet once you take them out of the oven, so be sure not to over-bake them.
Once the cookies have sat on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes, add a sprinkle of coarse sea salt on each one. The sea salt adds such a mouthwatering depth of flavor to the cookies that they do not have from the salty cashews alone.
This recipe yields 2 dozen cookies and they will last up to a week in an air tight container in your fridge. I put a cookie in the toaster oven for a few minutes to warm it up each time I eat one to get that same “just out of the oven” gooey cookie texture.
I can easily eat 4-5 of these cookies at a time and they somehow magically disappear from my house! 🙂 You and your family will enjoy these cookies so very much and I hope that you also make them a part of your holiday traditions. Enjoy!
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chopped cashews
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
coarse sea salt to garnish
Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of cookie? Do you have Christmas cookie traditions?