Enhance Chocolate Chip Cookies With One Sweet, Boozy Ingredient

There's no better recipe to have in your home-baking portfolio than a good chocolate chip cookie recipe – or multiple, with different upgrades or unexpected ingredients. Sweet cookies plus gooey chocolate chips right out of the oven equals instant crowd-pleaser. While already perfect in their simplest form, you can riff on chocolate chips in infinite ways, whether you add peanut butter, two times the chocolate, or even olive oil for layered flavors and soft texture.

One update, however, guarantees to amplify all of the pre-existing deliciousness in your cookies: rum. Don't worry about booziness coming across in your finished product. While it's true that 100% of the alcohol you might incorporate into a recipe won't burn off in that heat, you will lose a good portion of it and, importantly, you're using a very small amount in the overall mixture — just 1½ to 2 tablespoons. Instead of boozy flavors, you'll get the more complex sweetness of rum, which can include vanilla, honey, brown sugar, and caramel. Imagine being able to add all of those complementary, delectable characteristics to your cookies with one ingredient. The warmth of the rum will also embolden the richness of your chocolate chips, the sweetness of your sugar, and the soft saltiness of your butter.

What type of rum to add and how

There are over a dozen different types of rum, but it's dark rum that you will want for chocolate chip cookies. Overproof rum is so strong that you might just get that boozy character even from such a small amount, white rum doesn't have as much flavor, gold rum is fruity, but dark rum features those vanilla, caramel, and honey notes that are perfectly in tune with chocolate chip cookies. However, you could still try that fruity direction with gold rum or explore a deeper, more molasses-forward character with black rum. Just as you can experiment with different rums, you can even try different spirits in the subtly sweet, complex vein, like bourbon.

To incorporate your rum, add 1½ to 2 tablespoons to your dough when you add the wet ingredients in the stage before you mix in the dry elements. Let's say you're working with Tasting Table's brown butter chocolate chip cookie recipe — you'd melt the butter, stir it in with the sugars, and then you'd add the egg, vanilla, and now rum, all before working in the blend of flour, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. Fold in the chocolate chips, refrigerate the dough, bake for 12 minutes or so, and there you have it: classic chocolate chip cookies with a whole new layer of flavors.