10 Weird Chocolate Chip Cookie Ingredients To Try If You Dare

Sometimes, even a classic needs a new twist to keep things exciting. Let's consider the chocolate chip cookie, America's dessert sweetheart. What if you dared to add an unexpected ingredient to the classic mix? You might want to consider this list of unlikely suspects which, while they might not immediately make the top of your grocery list when preparing to bake, they may just be the perfect additions to your next batch of chocolate chip cookies.

Sesame seeds

Rich in good-for-you minerals like copper, calcium, and magnesium, studies have shown that sesame seeds help lessen pain from inflamed joints, improve respiratory wellness, and prevent migraines. With all these health advantages, it might be surprising to learn that they're also wonderful additions to a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Sesame seeds not just lend subtle crunch and a unique nutty flavor to cookies, but to a wide variety of sweets. They're often used in making Chinese pastries such as moon cakes — for celebrating the mid-autumn festival — or sesame seed balls to ring in the Lunar New Year.

This recipe from America's favorite blogger-next-door, Joy the Baker, brings together velvety dark chocolate, black sesame seeds, and a splash of soy sauce for a salty kick. These two unexpected ingredients lend the cookies a nice texture, while creating a deep sweet-and-salty contrast you won't be able to get enough of. Eating only one of these cookies will prove nearly impossible.


A smooth sesame seed paste often used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking, tahini carries the intense nutty flavors of sesame seeds in condiment form. While you've most likely enjoyed it in hummus, halva, or baba ghanoush, you may not immediately consider using it to bake with. So what does tahini bring to desserts? Well, it lends just a touch of extra richness and an impossibly delicious savory flavor that's both unexpected, and exactly what you've always wanted.

Israeli chef Danielle Oron's recipe for the New York Times proves that sesame desserts are due for mainstream glory. These cookies bake up golden brown, with slightly crisp edges and soft interiors. The addition of an egg yolk lends richness, while the tahini keeps the cookies moist and full of subtly salty, earthy flavor.


For many of us, bacon is most often associated with savory preparations. In recent years though, bacon's high profile has it showing up in a great variety of sweets as well. From artisanal chocolate bars to candied bacon for snacking, using this salty, umami-rich pork in desserts is a culinary practice that's gaining great popularity, so why not bake it into your cookies next?

This recipe from Serious Eats combines the smoky flavor of thick-cut bacon with rich chocolate, for the ultimate sweet-and-salty combo. The brown sugar in these cookies help them achieve maximum softness, while a splash of vanilla lends delicate flavor to balance the bold flavor of bacon. The additional eggs in the recipe make these cookies extra rich, decadent, and pretty close to ideal.


The avocado's popularity has grown exponentially in the last ten years, and we can certainly understand the reasons. With their smooth texture, rich flavor, and high level of healthy fats, avocados are infinitely versatile. They are tasty eaten with a sprinkling of good sea salt, filling mashed over hearty toast, and delightful blended in a smoothie.

Beyond guacamole, there are countless other ways to enjoy avocados. This vegan recipe makes a strong case for why avocado chocolate chip cookies might be the next big thing. Made with mashed avocado, coconut oil, and brown rice syrup, these cookies bake up light and fluffy. If you are a fan of soft, chewy cookies (as opposed to crispy ones), you'll discover that the addition of avocado lends a delicate creaminess, making these incredibly tender to the bite. And since they are relatively bite-sized, there's no harm in eating two ... or ten.


We highly recommend adding unsweetened applesauce to your cookie-making arsenal. While pureed apples are great for enjoying after painful dental work, or as a healthy sweet snack time treat for children, they also have the ability to make your cookies sing. Whether you make your own applesauce, or buy it ready-made from the store, this ingredient is one you might consider adding to a future batch of cookies.

This recipe for applesauce chocolate chip cookies is simple to prepare and always tasty. You'll notice how soft these bake up, as adding applesauce to cookies makes them ridiculously light and fluffy. We also like the use of nutmeg and cinnamon in these cookies. The result is something chocolatey, delicate, and warmly spiced.

Cayenne pepper

You may be accustomed to using a dash of cayenne pepper in your cooking when you're looking to add a little heat to dinner. A common household spice all around the world, cayenne is often incorporated into hot sauces, other spreads and condiments, or meat and poultry seasonings. However, it is less frequently incorporated into desserts. We hope this changes soon.

These salted double chocolate chili cookies from Local Milk Blog prove that spicy sweets is one bandwagon worth hopping onto. Cocoa powder and two types of chocolate make these cookies unbelievably rich, bursting with nuanced chocolate flavor. The cayenne and sea salt are well-balanced throughout, giving the cookies a little kick without ever overwhelming them. These indulgent cookies have the most tender crumb, too.


Sure, bananas are great for healthy snacking and banana bread, but more surprising is how delicious they are incorporated into cookie dough. They bring moistness to cookies, making them soft and chewy while imbuing them with a subtly sweet caramelized banana flavor.

This cookie recipe from Averie Cooks brings together all the heavy hitters. Hearty oats, tenderizing bananas, and chocolate chips come together for some epic cookies that smell and taste like pure home comfort. Since the dough is looser due to the addition of bananas, chilling it before baking helps the cookies retain their shape. Try to use the ripest bananas you can find, since they're much sweeter this way. If you need to ripen your bananas quickly, try enclosing them in a paper bag and setting them aside for about a day.


A summer squash that might get a lot of grill action during the warmer months, zucchini is beloved for its delicate, mild flavor, as well as its sheer versatility and ease. For a quick saute, all it needs is a splash of olive oil, salt, and pepper. When slightly cooler temps hit, warm zucchini bread is a must for any baker. Since it naturally contains a lot of water, zucchini lends moisture to baked goods—like chocolate chip cookies.

This recipe from Kitchen Treaty bakes up a lovely batch loaded with subtly sweet zucchini and semisweet chocolate chips. Combining the lightly spiced flavor of zucchini bread and the soft, chewy texture of classic chocolate chip cookies, these crowd-pleasing treats will get you thinking about your veggies in a whole new way.


We all know why we drink whiskey, but why bake with it? In addition to pairing well with certain dishes or tasting like perfection as a nightcap, rye whiskey adds a special kind of richness to desserts. It balances their sweetness with a tang we invariably want more of. Go figure!

These whiskey and rye chocolate chip cookies from Bon Appetit bring together all-purpose and rye flours, rye whiskey (or bourbon), and lots of chocolate. Plus, they're shaped in the form of discs, so they melt into large velvety puddles when baked. Made with both white and brown sugars along with real vanilla bean, the flavors of these cookies are complex and sophisticated. We can't recommend a better (or more grownup) way to enjoy your favorite childhood snack.

Olive oil

When you think of olive oil, perhaps cookies are the last things that come to mind except to maybe grease the baking pan. Let's change that. Baking with heart-healthy olive oil, instead of butter, has both natural health benefits and produces shockingly scrumptious results. Cookies and cakes baked with olive oil boast a delicate depth of flavor that's distinctive and slightly savory. It's important, however, to choose a light olive oil, as they won't threaten to overpower your dessert like a heavier one might.

These chocolate chip cookies from Broma Bakery are at once decadent and extremely moist, and soft on the inside. The sweetness of the sugar and chocolate play nicely with the savory flavor of the oil and the briny notes from sea salt. If you're looking to start your Mediterranean diet by using more olive oil, why not start here?