Olive oil can be a wonderful ingredient to bake with and I’ve used it in great success with a wide variety of cakes. You might not expect to see it turn up in a batch of chocolate chip cookies, however. These Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies use only olive oil – not butter or other vegetable oils – to create a subtly sophisticated twist on a classic.
The key to success with this recipe is picking out good quality olive oil that you like the flavor of. I’ve had some high quality olive oils that simply weren’t my favorites, so I would not want those flavors in my cookies. I used a California olive oil that has a bright acidity and a buttery, nutty flavor that worked well here. The bottom line is that you need to like your olive oil, so taste it before it goes into your cookie dough! The dough mixes up very easily, since no creaming is necessary. It is fairly stiff and, because it uses oil and not butter, it can be a bit difficult to stir in the chips. You might have to tuck in a chip here or there as you shape the dough into balls to bake them. That said, there are plenty of chocolate chips, so don’t worry if you lose a few.
The cookies are large and are baked at a relatively low temperature that allows for a thick, bakery-style cookie. They won’t brown as much as cookies made with butter, so you can’t rely on color alone to check for doneness. The cookies should be just set around the edge (you can touch them with your fingertip) and should not look wet in the center. If the cookies are firm in the center, they’re probably overdone. The cookies will continue to set up as they cool, finishing with a dense, chewy center and a crisp edge. You’ll be able to detect a brightness from the olive oil that pairs well with the chocolate chips. You can opt for darker chocolate chips in this recipe (though it isn’t overly sweet because of the olive oil), if you prefer them to semisweet. The cookies will keep well for a couple of days after baking if stored in an airtight container. .
Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/8 cups all purpose flour (2 cups + 2 tbsp)
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, sugars, egg, egg yolk and vanilla until smooth and well-combined. Stir in the flour mixture, along with the chocolate chips. Shape the dough into 2-inch balls and arrange on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2-inches between the cookies to allow for spread (they don’t spread as much as some cookies do).
Bake for 16-18 minutes, until the cookies are set on the edges and do not look wet in the center. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 24 large cookies.