A DoubleTree Hotel would be interchangeable from any other mid-priced hotel—identical beds, sad brown desk, flimsy little writing pad to doodle on while watching junk TV and waiting for your traveling companions to finish getting ready so you can get the hell out of the boxy room—if it weren’t for the warm chocolate chip cookies given out with the plastic room keys. Those toothsome yet fluffy, sweet-but-not-too-sweet cookies make the pains of travel and idea of sleeping beneath a communal comforter just a little bit more okay.
And perhaps because we’re all in need of a bit of comfort (and the guest-less hotels probably need some free press) DoubleTree has released their chocolate chip cookie recipe for the first time since they started handing out baked goods in 1986 and the secret ingredient is...lemon juice.
I’ve been shamelessly begging front desk clerks for more than my fair share of those cookies since at least 1990 and have never detected a hint of citrus, which made me wonder if the lemon juice might just be a throwaway ingredient like the walnuts or the oats. However, a quick read of several of science websites intended for children has informed me that when mixed with the teaspoon of baking soda also included in the recipe, a quarter teaspoon of fresh lemon juice produces carbon dioxide. I’m assuming this chemical reaction adds a bit of puff and chewiness to the finished cookie, since otherwise the recipe is a pretty much standard chocolate chip fare, making them slightly better than other, non-acidic cookies.
I’m not completely convinced that the deliciousness of DoubleTree cookies doesn’t mostly come from the fact that they are free and made by someone else, but this lemon juice revelation does give us all something else to try and Instagram when sourdoughs have at long last lose their hold on our collective attention.