My Fourth of July weekend was quite the Franco-American extravaganza. It started on Friday with a trip out on the high seas to go meet the Hermione, a replica of the frigate that the Marquis de Lafayette sailed to America in 1780 to help win the Revolutionary War. My seafaring friends and I caught up with the ship beneath Fort la Latte a 14th century castle on the English Channel (restored, but not a replica) while still under sail. And oh, how my heart swelled to see La Cancalaise, the 2-masted wooden bisquine from Cancale, sailing alongside.

To honor the occasion (and contribute to the lunch we only half-ate because the waves and the weather were so unpredictable), I made chocolate chip cookies.

My chocolate chip cookie recipe is just one of thousands upon thousands out there in the world—but it does have a few aspects that make it dear to me. The first is that it is made with melted, not softened butter. This makes the cookies lightly crisp on the outside, soft and tender in the middle and eliminates the need for an electric mixer. The mixer-free method also means you can make cookies in even the most sparsely equipped kitchen – like, say a vacation rental.

The second big advantage to this this recipe is that it’s easily halved—for those times when you don’t want forty-odd cookies. Half a recipe and two baking sheets in the oven at the same time will give you twentysomething four-inch cookies. Plenty for a day out on the water to catch a glimpse of history.

hermione ship lafayette saint malo

Chocolate Chip Cookies Fit for a Marquis

Once you’ve tried making chocolate chip cookies with melted butter, you may never want to go back to the Toll House tradition of electric beaters and a higher cooking temperature. These cookies come out crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, with just enough extra vanilla to make them taste rich and luscious.

8 oz./2 sticks (230 g.) melted butter
1 1/2 cups (300 g) lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (110 g.) granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. (4 g.) baking soda
1 tsp. (5 g.) salt
2 2/3 cups (360 g.) flour
2 cups/12 oz. (350 g.) chocolate chips

Preheat  the oven to 325˚F, and line baking sheets with parchment paper (parchment paper can be reused for several batches)

Whisk together butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in large bowl. Whisk in eggs and vanilla, then baking soda and salt. Stir in flour with spatula or wooden spoon. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover bowl, and chill 30 minutes, or up to two days.

Scoop 2 Tbs. rounded balls of dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, switching baking sheets from upper to lower racks halfway through baking time. Cool cookies on baking sheets. Makes 44 – 48 cookies

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