Double chocolate chip cookies loaded with sesame honey almonds and candied ginger.
These are really just pimped out chocolate chip cookies. If you're looking for regular chocolate chip cookies (and there's nothing wrong with that), this is the best chocolate chip recipe ever. (Yes. EVER.) And, while there is certainly a time and a place for good, old fashioned chocolate chip cookies, sometimes we all want more. It's ok. Don't be ashamed.
A few years ago, we were blessed with a couple of Trader Joe's stores here in Colorado. Their entrance into our state was the talk of the town for, like, months. When they opened, there were lines out the door. It seemed like everyone in Colorado was suddenly shopping there. Except me.
Try as I might, I just couldn't get excited about a new grocery store. It's not personal. I can't imagine getting excited about any store. I'm just not a shopper. Shopping is something that must be done... like brushing your teeth or driving your kids to soccer practice. It's not always an entirely bad experience. It's just nothing to write home about. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy bringing home new things - especially new books and bottles of wine. I just don't really like the actual shopping part. If I could wave a magic wand and have the things I want magically appear in my living room, I would be one happy camper.
It's just that... I just don't see the point of browsing. And browsing seems to be what most shoppers like about the whole experience. I shop like I'm on a mission. Which, of course, I am. I bring a list. I know exactly what I want. My entire goal is to get in and get out. (Ok, ok. There is an exception to this rule: books. I could happily get lost in shelf after shelf of books for hours. Days, maybe.) Regardless, the arrival of a few Trader Joe's stores was just not that exciting to me. Plus, of the two Trader Joe's stores Colorado received, neither is very close to my house. If I was a shopper, I'm sure I wouldn't mind driving 45 minutes to a store I really loved. But, I think we've already firmly established that I'm not.
However, a couple of months ago, my neighbor invited me to go with her to brunch at Lucile's Creole Cafe in Denver. They make amazing biscuits and she wanted me to help her figure out how they get them so damn fluffy. (They really are amazing. Still... not gonna lie, I like these biscuits better.) After we'd plowed our way through copious amounts of fresh squeezed orange juice, shrimp and grits and a plate full of steaming beignets (Oh. My. God.!), my neighbor (who IS a shopper) said to me, very excited like, "Let's go to Trader Joe's!"
I said, "Uh... yeah.... ok. I've never been." To which she said.... well, she was just really, REALLY excited. I mean, who knew that she'd been living right next door to a Trader Joe's virgin all this time?! So we went. And, here's the thing... it's a pretty great store. The prices are great. The produce is awesome. The cheese selection is fabulous. The employees seem to actually want to be there. I bought some great stuff. It was actually kind of fun. I jumped on the band wagon.
The store is, still, 45 minutes away. And, as great as I think it is, it's not great enough to warrant a trip for it's own sake. BUT - it's close to where my son lives and fairly close to a couple of my clients. It's also only 10 minutes away from where my girls and I have our hair cut. So, I just plan accordingly. Attend a client meeting, stop at Trader Joe's. Visit my son, stop at Trader Joe's (Well, Trader Joe's before I visit him, so I can remind him that not all food comes from a box). Drop my girls off for a hair cut and do a little shopping while I wait. It's all good.
Ok. So, yes...
this post is still actually about Chocolate Almond Sesame Ginger Cookies.
I'm getting to that. On one of my recent trips to Trader Joe's, I discovered these sesame honey almonds.
I ate nearly all of them on the way home. My family devoured the remainder in about 5 minutes. The next time I went, I bought more than one bag. We eat them plain, sprinkle them over salads and any dish involving rice noodles. And this week, I added them to cookies. (Which was just a matter of time, really.)
If you've made it with me this far, this recipe is your reward. 🙂 Chunks of milk and dark chocolate mingle with candied ginger and sesame honey almonds in a buttery brown sugar dough. Delicious. But, I can already hear some of your objections... "There isn't a Trader Joe's near me." "My Trader Joe's doesn't have sesame honey almonds." "I don't like almonds..."
It's ok. Calm down. They are cookies. You can do whatever you want with them. Tap into your inner anarchist and toss in whatever works for you: plain, roasted almonds, honey roasted almonds or peanuts, or any kind of nut. Or, leave the nuts out altogether. They will still be delicious.
One note about the candied ginger - the ginger really makes these cookies unique. Without it, you basically just have regular chocolate chip cookies with some fancy almonds thrown in. I absolutely LOVE the combination of ginger and chocolate. But, candied ginger can be quite pricy when purchased at your standard grocery store. However, you can find it in big, much more affordable bags on Amazon. No shopping required. 🙂
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup chopped dark chocolate (or dark chocolate chips)
- 1 cup chopped milk chocolate (or milk chocolate chips)
- 1 ½ cups sesame honey almonds(*see note at the top of this recipe), chopped into large chunks
- 1 ¼ cup candied ginger chopped into pea size pieces
- Beat the butter and both sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds, until nearly homogeneous.
- In a medium size bowl, stir the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda with a wire whisk to combine. Add to the butter-sugar-egg mixture and beat on low speed just until combined.
- Stir in the chocolate, sesame honey almonds and ginger.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat. Scoop out 1 ½ - 2 tablespoon size chunks of dough, shape into balls and place 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet.
- Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes, until the cookies look "set" and the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on the cookie sheet al least 5 minutes before removing the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an air tight container for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 2 months.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 46 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 161mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 22gProtein: 1g
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