Crispy Bite-Sized Chocolate Chip Cookies are a fun change from bakery style. Buttery, light, crunchy but packed full of chocolate, these cookies are a crowd pleaser. A copy of Classic Cookie with a Modern Twist was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Affiliate links have been used in this post to link to items I am discussing.
If the Nibby Chocolate Olive Oil Cookies were contemporary and edgy, and the Chewy Chocolate Cookies were old fashioned, rich and comforting, I am only a little embarrassed to say that these are the cookies of my 1980’s and early 1990’s youth, when I was not too embarrassed to be seen munching on Chips Ahoy Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies. When I was in college with no access to an oven or a decent bakery (the latter was sometimes true and sometimes not, depending on the time of day and my level of energy), those crispy-crunchy chocolate cookies were my fallback. Laden no doubt with all sorts of crazy ingredients, but I found them addictive.
And I loved them despite being crunchy. It is weird, they violated one of my most sacred rules of chocolate chip cookies: thick and chewy, yet I loved them anyway. I think it is because the chocolate chunks were prevalent enough to make me overlook the rest of the cookie. Despite being crunchy and nothing like melting crumbly shortbread, they still kind of melted in my mouth. The minute I saw these Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies (which I have slightly renamed to suit my own sensibilities) in Classic Cookies with Modern Twists: 100 Best Recipes for Old and New Favorites, I started thinking of that old love affair with Chips Ahoy.
I find it kind of ironic that when I when I was sent a copy of Classic Cookies with Modern Twists the cookie I lit upon to try is, at the end of the day, pretty darn traditional. The modern twist in the Crispy Bite-Sized Chocolate Chip Cookies is a touch of espresso powder and the use of baking soda with vinegar (un-tasteable) to make the cookies lighter, so that the crunch does not weigh the cookie down into something that feels like it would break your teeth. It is genius.
For the most part, the twists in Ellen Jackson’s book are gentle. They look delicious–I have several bookmarked–but they are not quite as ground-breaking as, say, Mindy Segal’s Cookie Love: More Than 60 Recipes and Techniques for Turning the Ordinary into the Extraordinary. That remains my gold standard for cookie books published this year. But don’t let that comment dissuade you–if you love cookie cookbooks like I do, I think there is room for both on your shelves. Some examples of “twists” in Ellen Jackson’s book include cardamom in Key Lime meltaways; Brown Sugar Sesame Icebox Butter Cookies; Rosemary Chocolate Shortbread (LOVE the idea of that one!); and Salted Caramel Tray Bakes. As a matter of fact I am feeling the urge to bake right now just listing them!
And as for these cookies? They disappeared fast! (“Mom!!! Couldn’t we please have 3 because they are kinda small!!!!) I am planning Sammy’s first birthday party this weekend (the one with my family coming down from Columbus) and she was trying to sweet talk me into making them again as a matter of fact!
Choctoberfest rolls on, so please be sure to check out all of the other chocolate goodies being made below!
Barely adapted from Ellen Jackson. Unlike almost any other drop cookie I make, DO NOT rest this dough. The vinegar will activate the baking soda instantaneously, so you want to get them in the oven quickly.
Do your best to split all of the dough between 2 cookie sheets, 20 cookies to a sheet. I had a little leftover, and wished I had just made the cookies a tad bigger because the later batch of about 7 cookies was noticeably flatter.
- 2 cups (252 g) AP flour
- 1 t fine sea salt
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1/2 t baking powder
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks, 170 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 t instant espresso powder
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (I use an organic "light" brown sugar which is quite dark)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 t vanilla
- 1 T cider vinegar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- coarse sea salt or flaked sea salt for sprinkling (I used Maldon)
Place the oven racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 cookie sheets with either parchment paper or silicone mats. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, sea salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
Beat the espresso powder and butter until creamy. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat in the sugar, scraping the bowl as needed, but beat on medium speed until incorporated and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again.
Whisk together the egg, vanilla and vinegar in a small bowl. Beat into the butter sugar mixture for about 1 minute, until incorporated.
Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again. Mix in the flour mixture on the lowest speed. When it is mostly incorporated, add the chocolate chips and mix just until completely evenly incorporated.
Using a 1-inch cookie scoop (or 2 spoons), scoop 1-inch balls of dough and place them on the prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with just a tiny bit of a good quality salt--remember these cookies are tiny.
Bake for 16-18 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through (front to back and top to bottom). The cookies are done when they have become golden brown. Let them cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving them to a cooling rack.
Check out what everyone else made!
And for those who love collages for pinning: