Ina Garten's Favorite Cookie Recipe Is A Real Crowd Pleaser

For the most part, Ina Garten's recipes are appealing to the masses. Her brand has become synonymous with simple, comforting, yet elegant dishes that aren't complicated for home cooks to make. This is certainly in line with a cookie recipe that the Barefoot Contessa calls her absolute favorite: salty oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies. In true Garten style, they are delicious, easy, and include a little more glam than a standard chocolate chip recipe. Really, there's something in these cookies for everyone.

You could almost say that Garten's recipe is a mashup between chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin ones. She combines the elements, twists them up a bit, and hits them with some fancy sea salt at the end, almost like a pinch of glitter, not only for looks but more importantly for fabulous flavor and crunch. These salty oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies would be fantastic any day of the week, but are equally impressive served at a party. To make them, start with something like a crispy chocolate chip potato chip cookie recipe, but instead of potato chips, use old-fashioned oats and add as much dried cranberry as you like.

What sets these cookies apart

Ina Garten's take on chocolate chip cookies begins like a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe, with a butter and flour base. Where things get interesting are the add-ins, which include chopped pieces of good chocolate as opposed to chocolate chips. Chips contain stabilizers that help them keep their shape, but chopping up a bar of chocolate will lead to different-sized pieces of melty chocolate all throughout the cookies.

Garten also includes old-fashioned oats, which contain lots of starch, leading to a nice chewy texture in the cookies. Instead of opting for classic raisins, which actually give you a nice energy boost, she includes dried cranberries. The zingy tartness of cranberries is the perfect foil to the sweetness of the cookie and will boost the chewiness even more. Garten is a big advocate for including salt in sweet recipes, so she seasons her dough with a bit of kosher salt, but also lightly sprinkles French fleur de sel on the top of each individual cookie before they're baked. The crystals give the cookies a slight crunch and beautifully amplify all the other flavors in each bite.

Tips for better cookies

Ina Garten's recipes are generally perfect just the way they are — but that doesn't mean you can't put your own spin on them with some tips that could improve any cookie recipe. Instead of baking them right away, try chilling the dough first for cookies that will be full instead of on the flatter side. An hour-long stint in the refrigerator is all it should take to get tender, taller cookies. Dried cranberries taste fantastic in cookies, but you can make them even better by soaking the fruit in liquid to plump them up. And if you love raisins above all other dried fruit, by all means, use purple or golden ones in Garten's recipe — or even dried cherries, dates, or figs.

Garten's addition of sprinkling fleur de sel on top is a genius trick to enhance these cookies with a final, special touch of flavor, but be sure to add it with a light touch. As lovely as this type of salt is, it's still sodium-heavy and too much of it can ruin a recipe, even cookies.