Spiced Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies

Edited 8/14/14 – I’ve been working on this recipe for a while, trying to make it a little easier to bake (my cookies turned out tough more often than not). As the latest version earned two ribbons in the State Fair (!), I think it’s time to double back and provide you all with an updated recipe. I’ve gone through the original post and rewritten it as necessary.

When it comes to cookies, it’s hard to improve on the classic chocolate chip. Ruth Wakefield was a genius, intentionally or not. Even the best of chocolate chip recipes can get ordinary, though, and if you know me, you know that I am always trying to find new flavors. And with that, I introduce you to a chocolate chip cookie with a range of complex  flavors, from spicy cayenne, to sweet maple, to sophisticated pecan, to wintery rosemary. Yes, you really can taste everything. Speaking of genius cookie inventors, I have to hand it to Hannah of BitterSweet, where I found this recipe, because she has managed to balance all these flavors perfectly. Not to mention the end result is a visually beautiful cookie as well. Oh, and did I tell you it’s also vegan?

This photo is of the old version of the recipe.

This photo is of the old version of the recipe.

The one complicated and time-consuming step for this recipe is snipping all the rosemary into little pieces. I use kitchen scissors, but if you are lucky and have a good sharp knife, you can pull off the leaves and then chop them, and it’s a little faster. You can also buy dried rosemary in the spice section of the grocery store, but it’s just not the same (it doesn’t look as pretty, either). If you are not concerned about keeping the recipe vegan, any butter or margarine should work fine (if using butter, you may want to adjust the ratio to equal parts butter and shortening, i.e. a half cup of each). An important note if you do want to keep this recipe vegan:  Check your chocolate chips! I used to buy semi-sweet baking chocolate (it’s cheaper) and chop it by hand—but recently, HyVee has begun selling vegan chocolate chips. This recipe takes probably closer to three hours to make, if you count all the prep time, and makes about two dozen cookies, depending on size.

This is some version in between the old posted recipe and the new posted recipe, which I entered in the county fair.

This is some version in between the old posted recipe and the new posted recipe, which I entered in the county fair.

Spiced Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
⅓ C vegetable shortening
⅔ C non-dairy margarine
½ C brown sugar
⅓ C granulated white sugar
2 TBS maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1½ TBS fresh rosemary, snipped*
2 C flour
1 C pecans, chopped and toasted
¾ C semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (vegan)
*can substitute 1 tsp dried rosemary

Directions
1. First, prep all the time-consuming ingredients. Chop/snip the rosemary. Chop up your chocolate if you are using chunks instead of chips. And toast your pecans by putting them in a hot oven (400ºF) for just a few minutes. Really, two minutes is enough. Stay nearby and make sure they don’t burn!

2. Preheat oven to 350ºF and prep two cookie sheets with parchment paper, a silicone liner, or a very light coat of grease.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, spices (including rosemary), salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, cream together shortening and margarine. Add both sugars, maple syrup, and vanilla. Blend until smooth and well-combined.

5. Add the flour mixture  to the margarine/sugar mixture in small batches, careful not to over-mix. Finally, mix in chocolate chips and pecans (it’s really up to you how much of each you want to include).

6. Scoop the dough into small balls on your prepared trays, and flatten each cookie slightly with your palm.

7. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until they appear mostly dry (though if you like really chewy cookies, there are no “dangerous” ingredients to worry about in a vegan cookie if they do turn out to be under-baked1Cool on the tray for five minutes before removing and serving. Store in an airtight container if needed.

New version, ready to enter in the State Fair!

New version, ready to enter in the State Fair!

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