Some hotels use frequent-guest points programs to foster customer loyalty.
The DoubleTree chain, a part of the Hilton universe, obviously believes in following a more instant gratification route by offering free chocolate chip cookies to its guests.
The numbers speak to the program’s popularity. The company says that it serves more than 30 million cookies a year at its 500-plus properties around the world. That averages out to about 165 cookies a day per hotel, every day.
Good news: For the first time, DoubleTree is sharing its popular recipe.
“We know this is an anxious time for everyone,” said DoubleTree Senior Vice President Shawn McAteer in a statement.
“A warm chocolate chip cookie can’t solve everything, but it can bring a moment of comfort and happiness," McAteer said. "We hope families enjoy the fun of baking together during their time at home, and we look forward to welcoming all our guests with a warm DoubleTree cookie when travel resumes."
DoubleTree isn’t the only major company to recently reveal its culinary secrets. Chipotle shared its guacamole recipe, and Ikea released instructions for its famous Swedish meatballs.
The DoubleTree cookie differs from its classic Toll House chocolate chip cookie counterpart in several key aspects.
For starters, it really packs in the chocolate and the nuts, in noticeably greater volumes.
Slightly larger amounts of granulated sugar and vanilla extract also set it apart; what cookie isn’t improved by more vanilla extract?
Rolled oats give this cookie added heft, although the inclusion of small amounts of lemon juice and ground cinnamon don’t seem to contribute much. There’s also a lower oven temperature and a longer baking time.
(That the recipe includes instructions on freezing and thawing indicates that the hotel relies upon the ease of pre-made dough — a kind of Cookies on Demand program — which means that you can, too. I know I’ll keep a stash of this dough in my freezer.)
All the tweaks add up to a winning formula. Bake it, you’ll like it.
DOUBLETREE SIGNATURE COOKIES
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch ground cinnamon
2 2/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 3/4 cups chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees, and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar for about 2 minutes.
Reduce speed to low. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and lemon juice, and blend for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium, and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as necessary.
Reduce speed to low, and add the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, blending for about 45 seconds. Do not overmix. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
Portion dough with a scoop (about 3 tablespoons), and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until edges are golden brown and center is still soft, about 20-23 minutes.
Remove from oven, and cool cookies on baking sheets for about 1 hour.
Note: Unbaked balls of dough can be frozen, and there’s no need to thaw the balls before baking.