Recipe Review

I Tried Mama Kelce’s “Famous” Chocolate Chip Cookies and I Get Why Travis Loves Them

published Oct 10, 2023
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Donna Kelce chocolate chip cookie, cooling
Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

If anyone knows exactly what Travis and Jason Kelce need before a big game, it’s going to be their mother, Donna. Just before the start of Super Bowl 57, Donna arrived on opening night with a wholesome gift for her boys: home-baked chocolate chip cookies. The gesture, which had Jason teasing his mother on X (formerly Twitter) by writing “Mom, you don’t have to bring cookies everywhere you go,” did not go unnoticed by fans who were awestruck by the thoughtful gift.  

On October 6, Donna shared her recipe with Today news hosts Al Roker and Hoda Kotb, and was met with even more glowing reviews. The recipe, which uses both Ghirardelli white chocolate chips and Ghirardelli milk chocolate, isn’t necessarily your basic run-of-the-mill chocolate chip cookie recipe. As a fan of football and adorable family moments alike, I knew that Donna Kelce’s recipe was just what the doctor ordered for me on this fine fall day. 

Get the recipe: Mama Kelce’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

How to Make Donna Kelce’s Famous Cookies

Start by melting butter in the microwave, making sure to work in 20-second intervals so as to not overheat. Pour the melted butter into a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, and set aside to cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Once cooled, add both brown sugar and white sugar to the butter and mix for 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl before moving onto the next step. Add eggs (one at a time) and vanilla extract, then mix for 30 seconds before adding the baking soda and giving it one final mix. 

In a separate bowl, add all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; mix until combined. Slowly add the flour mixture (1/2 cup at a time) to the butter mixture and scrape down the sides until everything is incorporated and no dry spots remain. Add both white and milk chocolate chips, and (if desired) pecans, then use a wooden spoon to mix everything together. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or, ideally, overnight. 

In the morning, prep by making sure the dough is at room temperature before baking. Preheat the oven to 350°F and scoop the cookie dough onto a prepared baking sheet, leaving two inches between each scoop. This part of the process should happen about five minutes before baking. For smaller cookies, bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden around the edges. Alternatively, larger cookies should be left in for 13 to 15 minutes. You’ll know the cookie is ready if the cookie bounces back instead of indenting when you touch the top of it.

My Honest Opinion of Donna Kelce’s Famous Cookies

The sad truth is that I have absolutely zero willpower when it comes to chocolate chip cookies. Prepare them however you like — as long as they’re fresh-baked, warm, and soft, I won’t think twice about devouring an entire batch. That being said, I had high hopes for this recipe, and Donna Kelce did not disappoint. I made two batches, one with slightly bigger cookies than the other, and both sizes turned out amazing. 

Kelce’s instructions are straightforward and easy to follow, and I can see why Kelce makes them for her sons so often. Now that I have the official Kelce cookie recipe, I’ll definitely make it a point to whip out a batch or two come game day. 

Two Tips for Making Donna Kelce’s Famous Cookies

  • Use your judgment. Every oven is different, so the baking intervals listed above could vary by a minute or two. Keep an eye on the cookies during those final minutes and watch for that delicious-looking, lightly golden brown color around the edges. If it gets too dark, you’ll be dangerously close to an overly crunchy cookie. 
  • No cake flour, no problem. You can easily substitute cake flour by taking 1 cup of all-purpose flour and removing 2 tablespoons from it, and replacing those 2 tablespoons with an equal amount of cornstarch or arrowroot powder. Mix well, and voilà.