Kitchn Love Letters

I Didn’t Need Another Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. Then I Baked This One.

updated Dec 16, 2020
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Credit: Sheela Prakash

This has been the year of chocolate chip cookies. Amidst the madness of 2020, I’ve baked dozens and dozens in an effort to relieve some stress. And while I didn’t think I needed yet another recipe, a version from Claire Ptak of the Violet Bakery in East London (yes, she baked Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding cake) completely changed my mind. They’re buttery, gooey, and completely unique, thanks to one surprising twist: Instead of whole eggs, they’re made with only egg yolks.

Credit: Sheela Prakash

Egg Yolks Make Claire Ptak’s Chocolate Chip Cookies Stand Out Among the Rest

I came across this cookie recipe in The Violet Bakery Cookbook a few years ago and I only wish I had baked them sooner. While their assembly is similar to most chocolate chip cookies, swapping the usual whole eggs for strictly egg yolks makes them surprisingly distinct. You’ll beat softened butter with brown sugar until just combined; stir in three egg yolks and a splash of vanilla extract; then mix in a combination of all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt, along with lots or dark chocolate chunks or chips.

Then you scoop out the dough onto a lined baking sheet and place it in the freezer for an hour before baking. Bake until crisp on the outside and golden, then let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely (or eating one right off the baking sheet).

You’ll notice how special these cookies are as soon as you pull them from the oven. They have a rich, deeply golden hue that’s totally eye-catching. At first bite, they’re crispy-edged and soft-centered, but it’s the buttery, almost shortbread-like texture that counters their gooeyness that makes them exceptional. This is all thanks to the egg yolk. Without egg whites in their way, the yolks can lend an extra dose of tender, rich crumb to the cookies. It’s a small change that make a magical difference.

Credit: Sheela Prakash

If You Make These Cookies, a Few Tips

Before you head into the kitchen to bake a batch of these cookies, keep these tips in mind.

  1. The cookie dough can be made ahead. While Claire instructs you to freeze the portioned cookie dough for an hour, she says you can also freeze it for up to one month. That makes these the perfect cookies to gift to your future self.
  2. Scoop the dough into heaping tablespoons (or larger). It wasn’t initially clear to me how big the dough balls should be, so I used a medium-sized cookie scoop (the equivalent of a heaping tablespoon). This gave me a batch of 40 cookies, so you’ll definitely have plenty to freeze, if you’d like. Later, I realized Claire intended the cookies to be much larger, with a yield of only 16. However, I happened to like the smaller, hand-held size I baked.
  3. Keep an eye on the baking time. The recipe states to bake the cookies for 18 minutes, but because of their smaller size, mine were ready to pull at 15. If you scoop them out similarly, start checking them at around 12 or 13 minutes.

At Kitchn, our editors develop and debut brand-new recipes on the site every single week. But at home, we also have our own tried-and-true dishes that we make over and over again — because quite simply? We love them. Kitchn Love Letters is a series that shares our favorite, over-and-over recipes.