I’ve mentioned before that honey is an interesting ingredient to use in baking because it has some unusual properties. Namely, in addition to sweetening up a recipe, it actually attracts and retains moisture. This means that baked goods that use honey will remain nice and moist, where similar baked goods without any honey may get a bit dry or stale. I find that chewy cookies, in particular, can dry out after a day or two and loose that lovely chewiness that they come out of the oven with. For this batch of cookies, I added honey (cutting back the amount of sugar slightly to account for the additional sweetness) to create a very chewy cookie that stayed chewy, even several days after being baked.
The cookie recipe itself is fairly standard; the honey is the only element that really stands out when you read the ingredient list. But the honey has a big impact. Not only did it make the cookies chewy, it also added some warm, floral flavors to the cookie, which turned out to be not too sweet. The honey I used was a wildflower honey, but any honey you like will work here. They all have floral flavors and will add their own touch to the cookies. I did not use any vanilla extract in the recipe (something I almost always include) to make sure that the natural flavors of the honey came through clearly.
I also used a lower baking temperature than many chocolate chip cookie recipes. Honey tends to encourage browning in the oven and I didn’t want the cookies to turn out too dark before they were baked all the way through. That said, color is a very reliable indicator of doneness for these cookies and because they are chewy all on their own, there isn’t any reason to try to underbake them in an effort to achieve additional chewiness.
One final thing to keep in mind is that these cookies will spread quite a lot, so be sure to leave plenty of room between them on your baking sheet. Since they’re so chewy, they don’t really snap apart after they cool in the same way that “regular” cookies do.
Honeyed Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in honey and both eggs, adding the eggs in one at a time.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Working by hand or at a low speed, gradually incorporate flour mixture into honey mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
Shape cookie dough into 1-inch balls and place onto prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie to allow for the dough to spread.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool for 3-4 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 4-dozen cookies
Note: If larger cookies are desired, use rounded tablespoonfuls of dough and extend baking time by a few minutes, also until golden.