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These Clemen-Thyme Chocolate Chunk Cookies are soft, tender chocolate chunk cookies with clementine zest and a bit of fresh thyme.
I will never get tired of a good chocolate chip cookie. In 50 years, when we’re all making like George Jetson and eating super-advanced space food on the moon and enjoying fancy ingredients that haven’t even been invented yet, I’ll still be clinging to my old standby, the humble chocolate chip cookie. You can keep your astronaut ice cream, just leave me enough chocolate chips to get the job done.
This chocolate chip loyalty doesn’t mean I don’t want to experiment a little bit, however. Chocolate chip cookies are great on their own, but sometimes a few tweaks can make them really outstanding. And I’m not talking about “toss in a handful of chopped walnuts”-style tweaks, either. I’m talking about adding lots of citrus zest, and a big pinch of herbs. Take that, gourmet space pellets!
The inspiration for this recipe came from a charming book I bought last month called At Home With Bungalow Heaven Cookies. Bungalow Heaven is a neighborhood in my town with a lot of historic Arts and Crafts-era houses, and some members of the neighborhood association got together and compiled favorite recipes from the residents. It’s a lovely book full of fun and unique cookies, and I’m sure I’ll be officially baking out of it (and sharing recipes from it!) soon.
The first cookie to catch my eye was a tangerine-thyme cookie, adapted from a recipe in the LA Times. I used my own cookie recipe as the base, but definitely took inspiration from the citrus-herb combination the Times recommends.
I wanted a cookie that was soft and tender, so I used both an egg yolk and cornstarch—two tricks to getting a cookie that stays soft in the middle. I added big chunks of semi-sweet chocolate, salted pistachios, finely chopped thyme leaves, and lots of freshly grated clementine zest. Because while tangerine + thyme has a nice ring to it, this former English major just couldn’t resist the wordplay of clemen-thyme cookies. Groan if you must, but I grin just a bit every time I write it out. Cheeseball, party of one over here.
Aside from the pleasing wordplay, clementines and thyme are two ingredients that are meant to be together. Flavor soulmates, these two. The thyme isn’t very noticeable on its own (I doubt anyone but the superiest of super tasters could identify it in the cookie) but it seems to enhance the floral quality of the clementine zest. The fruity, tangy zest comes through, loud and clear, and the cookies just have a really bright, fresh flavor.
These babies are soft, tender, loaded with pockets of melted chocolate, and are such a delicious, unexpected change from the standard chocolate chip cookie. I try not to rave too much about every dessert that I post, because that gets old quickly (and starts to sound dishonest) but we were seriously over the moon about these. I hope you give them a try!
Not sure you’re ready to stick herbs in your cookies? (Maybe it’s not the right “thyme,” har har.) Here are two other chocolate chip cookie variations I think you’ll love!
Raspberry Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Clemen-Thyme Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- 7 1/2 oz brown sugar, 1 cup
- 1 3/4 oz granulated sugar, 1/4 cup
- 2 tbsp packed clementine zest, can substitute other citrus zest
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves, finely chopped
- 6 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 10 2/3 oz all-purpose flour, 2 1/2 cupa
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 9 oz semi-sweet chocolate chunks
- 4 1/2 oz pistachios, 1 cup coarsely chopped (I prefer lightly salted)
- Combine the sugars, clementine zest, and chopped thyme leaves in the bowl of a large stand mixer. Rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and very fragrant. Add the butter, and mix with a paddle attachment for 30-60 seconds, until fluffy and well-combined.
- Add the vanilla extract, egg, and egg yolk, and mix well. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, corn starch, baking soda, and salt, then add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until combined, and the streaks of flour disappear. Stop the mixer and add the chocolate chunks and pistachios. Stir everything together with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl well.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, until firm. Ideally, refrigerate the dough overnight for the best taste and texture.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F, and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop the dough into large 2-inch cookies (about 2 ounces each) and place them several inches apart on the baking sheets.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, rotating halfway through. They should start to turn light golden brown around the edges and lose the raw shine in the middle, but shouldn't be colored on top—they will continue cooking after they are removed from the oven, so it's okay for them to look less done in the center. Let them cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.
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*drools* those look amazing! I am totally game for that thyme, especially with added citrus–have tried thyme in dessert once before with lemon, and it was FAB. So obviously it would be even better in some chewy, chocolaty cookies… Mmm 🙂
Yesss, I can totally get behind a lemon-thyme dessert. I’m actually super into herbal desserts in general, we need to get on it and make them more popular.
I’m so freaking pysched that it’s that cookie time of year! And I love this flavour combo, as well as the fantastic wordplay of cleme-thyme. I’m not an English major, but I love it anyway.
Hahah, love of cheesy wordplay is not restricted to English majors–all are welcome! Thanks Sarah. 🙂 And seriously, let’s cookie all the things, all the time.
First of all, this look out-of-control, oh my god amazing and I want like 10.
Second of all, I adore you for choosing such a punny name! Heh! Puns are, as I’ve always said, the cleverest form of humor 😛
Eeeexcellent, this is why we’re friends! Love of puns + desire to eat double-digit cookies = straight path to BFF-hood.
omg, these sound crazy good! And look at that, I’ve just added yet another book to my Amazon wish list. Did I mention I just got a delivery yesterday? Siiiigh…
But seriously, I need these cookies in my life. Wow.
Sorry, I’m a total bad influence!
Seriously, though, with your love of cookies, I think you’ll like this book. Some fun family heirloom recipes and lots of interesting, less common ingredients like cornmeal, rose petals, and baker’s ammonia (going to track some of that down to experiment with!) Let me know what you think if you pick it up!
Based on that alone, it’s already been moved to my shopping cart! I just got a delivery this week, so I probably won’t pull the trigger on this one for a couple months at least. I’ll definitely let you know though. Thanks for the heads-up!
You can’t beat the chocolate chip cookie! I was just thinking today about how I am so busy trying to make “special” desserts that I hardly make plain chocolate chip cookies anymore! Those look fantastic! 🙂
I know, it’s crazy how I love chocolate chip cookies so much, but somehow rarely end up making them for myself! Thanks Lexi!
chocolate chip cookies are my life, and sometimes I’m afraid to broaden my taste buds and try something besides walnuts to spice things up. I did do pistachios one time, which rock! This looks so yummy though. And your’e so right. Chlemen-thyme is a pretty lovely word 🙂
Don’t be scurred! In my opinion there are very, very few things you can do to really mess up chocolate chip cookies. I mean, even a bad chocolate chip cookie is better than just about anything else, right? 🙂 Thanks Kathleen!
What a delicious twist on the chocolate chip cookie! I love orange and chocolate. Pinned!
Thanks Krystle! It’s one of my favorite combinations too!
Pffft, I would believe the HECK out of you if you raved about everything you make. Believe it!
Oh, and these. I love them. I’m all about that citrusy herbal thang, and I’m all about using clementines instead of tangerines for the sake of wordplay. Let’s split that cheeseball, eh? Or should I bring my own? BYOCB party, hey hey.
You know I would be so thrilled to attend a BYOCB party, Like, unironically. Get me in a room with a dozen different cheeseballs and cracker platters, and I’m in heaven. Can we make this a thing?
Also, I have regrets. Did we miss a prime opportunity by not using tangerines and going with Thymegerine Cookies? So many questions.
Oh la la – – these are like grown up chocolate chip cookie … yummm!!
Yes, exactly! Thanks Sharana!
I’m loving the mix of herbs and zest. It makes such a classy, adult cookie (one that you won’t feel like your stealing from the kiddies).
I like to imagine Judy Jetson slaving over the space aged stove (ie clicking a button!) in her spacey ugg boots!
How many times have I been jealous of Judy Jetson and her ability to just cook dinner by pressing a button?! Seriously now.
Also, I have no problems with taking cookies from my kid, but it’s nice to have my own cookies now and then. 🙂
Dude, ok I totally LOL’d at the “clemen-thyme”. Then, when I read this post, my mouth is watering, and I’m thinking who does that??? Because herbs in cookies sounds absolutely amazing. And, then I’m thinking – why in the world didn’t I think of that? Girl…you amazing! 🙂 Pinned!
Thanks Kristi! I’ll bet you could do some seriously amazing things with herbs in cookies. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!
I love these gourmet cookies! The flavours must be amazing! I love this tip you shared: “I used both an egg yolk and cornstarch—two tricks to getting a cookie that stays soft in the middle”. Thanks for that!! Happy weekend and I hope this comment doesn´t go to your spam folder :-/ xoxo
Thanks Johlene! I think you angered the giant spam monster with your comment, haha.
I’ve made lemon-thyme shortbread cookies and loved them!! love using thyme in unexpected ways!! and so intrigued by these thyme chocolate chunk cookies!!! they look so good!!! Pinning and I’ve gotta try these yo!
Awesome, thanks Alice! And I think I need to try lemon-thyme shortbread too. Let’s thyme all the things!
I’ll never tire of the classic chocolate chip cookie either, but I really want to try this fancy schmance version. It feels so grown up. Plus, I love the play on words!
Thanks Natasha! Puns make everything taste better. 🙂
You totally made me laugh with all your funny puns – love “clemen-thyme”! These cookies look and sound phenomenal – the flavor combination just can’t be beat. It sounds so unique, I need to try it! Pinned.
Thanks so much, Rachel! Let me know what you think if you give them a try.
I’ve never tried Thyme and Clementines before! And those cookies look amazing. To me, thyme has always been mushroom’s soulmate.. Guess I need to experiment with more herbs and citrus. Thanks for this recipe and your wonderful creativity!
Thanks Tiffany! I most definitely recommend some experiments–no offense to mushrooms, but I’ll bet you’ll love adding thyme to some desserts. 🙂
A fascinating assemblage of flavors!! I would love to try these.
You sound exactly like my husband. He’s ALWAYS begging for chocolate chip cookies. Of course, he wants Nestle’s tollhouse, so I’m in trouble as a blogger. I’d make these for ME. All mine!
I say you make them, and if he doesn’t like them, he can make his own Nestle batch! It’s every man and woman for themselves when it comes to cookies!
Made these this afternoon with lemon thyme & lots of clementine zest!! Maybe there will be some dough to bake tomorrow (maybe not 🙂