Happy National Cookie Day! December 4, 2018, marks this year’s official celebration of all types of cookies — sugar, shortbread, chocolate, peanut butter, store-bought, or homemade — but you can’t really beat the classic chocolate chip.
I bake a lot of cookies. Blame it on my dad: He bakes when he’s stressed, so in a classic case of “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” I do, too. After countless years of churning out warm, chewy, and delicious chocolate chip cookies, I can tell you three things with utmost confidence: First, better-quality vanilla makes for exponentially better cookies; second, if you’re anything like me, you’ll eat half the cookie dough before it hits the baking sheet; and third, you absolutely need to start adding soy sauce to your cookies.
I know that last part might sound like a crazy idea. After all, soy sauce is typically used to enhance savory dishes such as sushi and fried rice, not desserts. When I first stumbled upon the unexpected ingredient in a recipe on the blog Joy the Baker, I was more than skeptical. But once I finally tried the intriguing “Salty Sesame and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies,” I ended up loving them. Although I don’t make this same exact batch every time I have a cookie craving, I do always spike my cookies with soy sauce — and I think you should, too.
As it turns out, the salty nature of soy sauce may be a key reason why this cookie recipe — and so many others like it — works so well. After all, salt has a borderline magic ability to make sweet treats simultaneously sweeter and more complex. It gives your taste buds a break so that you can truly appreciate the sugar-laden dough and the bittersweet chunks of chocolate without getting the stomachaches that usually follow when one eats too many sweets.
All you need is one teaspoon for an entire batch. Go ahead, try it! Your friends and family members will ask for your secret ingredient — and that’s a promise.