According to food lore, the chocolate chip cookie was an accident. A woman named Ruth Graves Wakefield had set about to make a batch of cookies, when she discovered that she had no more cocoa powder for the chocolate cookies she intended to make. She decided to throw in a handful of chocolate chunks into the dough, with the hopes that the chocolate would melt during the baking process to make chocolate cookies. But nope, they kept their shape and eventually, the recipe became the chocolate chip cookies we all know and love today.
But as much as I love chocolate chip cookies, I can't help but wonder why we only have a handful of drop cookie variations. Off the top of my head, I can think of only the following types: a variation of your standard chocolate chip cookies, a chocolate dough based cookie, an oatmeal variation, and a ginger variation. Sure, you'll get different variations like "chocolate chip cookies with cornflake and mini marshmallows" or "ginger, cardamom, and molasses cookie", but the basic idea stays the same. It's rare that you see drop cookies with fruit in them, or candies that aren't M&Ms — how did we come up with the list of what's standard to put in a cookie, and what's not? Why don't we have candy corn cookies (which, admittedly, sound a little gross but HEY you never know!) or peanut butter and banana chip cookies (which, quite frankly, sound BALLER)?
While I still don't know the answer to that question, I realize that I've been subconsciously trying to break this idea for a few years now — in my archive, I've got recipes for cookies with sprinkles or with chunks of crushed Oreos in place of chocolate chips.
This particular recipe, however, is the first time I've tried to break the barrier with fruit. Well... actually, that's not true. Last summer, I'd tossed a handful of fresh blueberries into this recipe for chocolate cookies in an attempt to make chocolate blueberry cookies. The result was a disaster — the blueberries added way too much liquid into the recipe, and the resulting cookies were a cakey, blobby mass.
This time around, I decided to mess with dehydrated fruits. I started with my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and added an ounce of dehydrated raspberries, as well as swapping out the dark chocolate chips for with white chocolate chips and pistachios. For fun, I also added some fresh orange zest into the dough. The result was a classic, butterscotchy cookie with a series of new flavors: freshness from the orange and raspberries, salt from the pistachios, and richness from the white chocolate. Wonderful.
Some baker's notes:
- Plan ahead for this one! The recipe requires you to refrigerate the dough overnight to fully infuse the cookie flavors together. You can, of course, skip this step but your cookie will likely not be as intensely flavored, especially with the orange zest. Letting the dough rest overnight also allows the raspberries to rehydrate themselves, adding a cool, unique texture to the cookie.
- Dehydrated raspberries are also known as "freeze-dried raspberries". They are available online, or specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods. I got my bag at Trader Joe's, which sells a variety of dehydrated berries and stone fruits (I saw blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and peaches available as well). Feel free to mess around and substitute out the raspberries with the fruit of your choice!
- 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- fresh zest from 1 medium orange
- 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8.5 ounces) cake flour
- 1 2/3 cups (8.5 ounces) bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure orange extract
- 15 ounces white chocolate chips
- 5 ounces salted and roasted pistachios
- 1 ounce dehydrated raspberries
- In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whisk together 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar until well combined. Use your fingers to rub fresh zest from 1 medium orange into the sugar mixture, helping to release the oils from the zest and infuse the sugar with orange flavor. Set aside.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour, 1 2/3 cups bread flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk until fully incorporated. Set aside.
- Return to the sugar mixture and add 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter to the sugar. Cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, creaming for at least 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add 2 eggs one at a time, only adding the next egg when the precious one is fully incorporated. Add 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon pure orange extract, and continue creaming for 1 more minute.
- After 1 minute, reduce speed to its lowest setting and add the dry ingredients (from the 2nd step) and mix until just combined — do not mix for more than 1 minute. At this point, it's okay to have a couple flour streaks left in the dough. Add 15 ounces white chocolate chips, 5 ounces pistachios and 1 ounce dehydrated raspberries all at once and continue mixing on the mixer's lowest speed until the ingredients have fully dispersed into the dough. DO NOT MIX FOR MORE THAN 2 MINUTES.
- Press plastic wrap against the dough and refrigerate overnight, at least 24 hours. Once the dough has been chilled for 24 hours and you're ready to bake the cookies, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 (F). Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Working in batches, use a cookie dough scoop or an ice cream scoop to measure out four 3.5 ounce mounds of dough. Bake until golden brown but still soft, around 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then use a metal spatula to carefully transfer the cookies onto another rack to cool for another 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough, baking in batches of 4 cookies.