Kirbie's Cravings

Ad Hoc Chocolate Chip Cookies

Learn how to make the famous Ad Hoc chocolate chip cookie recipe created by Thomas Keller. These cookies have two kinds of chocolate so they’re rich and chocolatey.

two Chocolate Chip Cookies

I recently purchased Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home cookbook and, to celebrate, I made his famous chocolate chip cookies.

This isn’t a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe and I did find it a little complicated, but I loved the idea of recreating the cookies so I set aside a lot of time to make them. I figured they couldn’t be as time-consuming as the New York Time’s chocolate chip cookies which require three days of chilling time.

a plate of Chocolate Chip Cookies

What Makes these Cookies Special

These cookies are all about the chocolate. The original recipe calls for two kinds: 55% chocolate and 72% chocolate. He recommends using chocolate bars and chopping them into small pieces.

I get why you should do this because high-quality chopped chocolate melts better in the cookies. Chocolate chips are meant to keep their shape and you don’t get those puddles of chocolate in the cookies.

But, I compromised and substituted half of the chopped chocolate for chocolate chips just to save some time.

cookies on a baking rack

The other ingredients are pretty simple and ones you expect in a chocolate chip cookie recipe.


  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • 55% percent chocolate
  • 72% percent chocolate
  • Unsalted butter
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs

The only other change I made with the ingredients was the brown sugar. I didn’t have the dark kind on hand so I used light brown sugar. It did make a difference in the final cookies – they weren’t dark golden brown and had a little less of a molasses flavor.

How to Make Them

Sift flour and baking soda into a medium-sized bowl. Stir in the salt.

  • Once you’ve chopped your chocolate, place it in a fine-mesh strainer and shake it over the trash or sink to get rid of any small fragments of chocolate (chocolate dust).
  • Cream the butter and sugars together until light and creamy. Scrape the bowl and then add one egg and mix it into the butter. Once it’s incorporated, add the other egg and mix to combine.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the chocolate.
  • Use a spatula to fold the dough over itself a few times in the bowl. This will ensure your chocolate pieces are evenly distributed.
  • Form two tablespoons of dough to make each cookie dough ball. Space them two inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes at 350°F. Rotate the pan halfway through the baking time so the cookies brown evenly.
  • Cool them on the pan for a few minutes and then transfer them to a baking rack to cool completely.

 stack of cookies

How to Make the Cookies Ahead

You can freeze baked cookies for up to two months in the freezer, but you can also freeze the cookie dough. This is a great way to have a fresh-baked cookie whenever you want.

Make the cookie dough balls and then freeze them on the baking sheet. Once frozen, store them in a freezer container and they will keep for a few months. You can bake them from frozen, but you will need to add a few minutes to the baking time.

You can also make the cookie dough balls and refrigerate them until you are ready to bake them. They will keep for several days in the refrigerator as long as they are tightly wrapped.

close-up photo of a stack of chocolate chip cookies

These Ad Hoc chocolate chip cookies are really good and I bet they’re even better if you use all chopped chocolate and dark brown sugar. It’s fun to try famous recipes at home – here are a few more you might like to try, too.

More Famous Chefs’ Cookie Recipes

Ad Hoc Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
These cookies are a make-at-home version of the famous ones served at Thomas Keller’s restaurant, Ad Hoc.


  • 2 1/3 cups plus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 5 oz 55 percent chocolate cut into chip-sized pieces
  • 5 oz 70 to 72 percent chocolate cut into chip-sized pieces
  • 8 oz (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar preferably molasses sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs


  • Position racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.
  • Sift flour and baking soda into a medium bowl. Stir in the salt.
  • Put chips in a fine-mesh basket strainer and shake to remove any chocolate “dust” (small fragments).
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat half the butter on medium speed until fairly smooth. Add both sugars and the remaining butter, and beat until well combined, then beat for a few minutes, until mixture is light and creamy. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating until the first one is incorporated before adding the next and scraping the bowl as necessary. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed to combine. Mix in chocolate.
  • Remove bowl from mixer and fold dough with a spatula to be sure the chocolate is evenly incorporated. The dough or shaped cookies can be refrigerated, well wrapped, for up to 5 days or frozen for 2 weeks. Freeze shaped cookies on the baking sheets until firm, then transfer to freezer containers. (Defrost frozen cookies overnight in the refrigerator before baking.)
  • Using about 2 level tablespoons per cookie, shape dough into balls. Arrange 8 cookies on each pan, leaving about 2 inches between them, because the dough will spread. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the tops are no longer shiny, switching the position and rotating pans halfway through baking.
  • Cool cookies on the pans on cooling racks for about 2 minutes to firm up a bit, then transfer to the racks to cool completely. Repeat with second batch of cookies. (The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.)


Recipe source: Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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12 comments on “Ad Hoc Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. Kirbie, Thanks for sharing. I made these yesterday and walked away with the same feeling. The whole chopping chocolate was a bit high maintenance and I too was left feeling these were good, but not the best ever. I could not find 50-55 % so I used 72% and 60%, that was probably part of the issue as I found them a bit more bitter than desired.
    Still love, love, love TK though!

    • I’m relieved that someone agrees with me! I love TK too. In his book he says this is the best choc chip cookie he has come across. So I was expecting more. Oh well.

  2. Looks delish! Have you tried the fried chicken recipe yet?

    • Not yet, but I plan to. Along with almost everything else in the book! Just received it and have been oohing and ahhing over the recipes

  3. I keep meaning to try the Ad Hoc choc chip cookies and then forgetting to do it. Thanks for the reminder! The Jacques Torres cookies are hard to beat, but it’s still fun to taste and compare. Your cookies look delicious!

    • Yes, it is fun to taste and compare. I doubt I’ll find one I like as much as Jacques Torres, but I love trying new ones!

  4. Hi Kirbie,

    I’ve made these cookies countless times – I love them! I hope you try them with the dark brown sugar – it should make them even more moist in the centers than the light brown, plus of course the taste will be different.

    I always decrease both sugars by 2 Tbsp, and they’re just sweet enough for me. They turn out on the flat side, which I actually prefer – crispy on the edges and chewy in the centers. (I don’t do the optional misting).

    For some reason, I didn’t like the 70% cacao in there when I made them the first time, which surprised me, since I prefer eating chocolate out of hand at 70% – 75%. But somehow, I didn’t like that high a percentage in the cookies – in contrast to the sweet cookie, it tasted too bitter. So, now, I use very coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate only. (Ghirardelli).

    I’ll have to check out the Jacques Torres ones, but I never have bread flour in the house. I wonder how they would turn out with unbleached all purpose flour?

    • Thanks for the tips Meryl. I want to try them again really soon and I’ll keep your tips in mind. I’m not sure how the Torres cookies will turn out with regular flour. Perhaps you can borrow 2 cups of bread flour from someone to try this out. It’s a really great recipe

  5. The cookies look awesome! Too bad they weren’t as good as you hoped, but they sure make for some pretty food pictures. I have yet to try the Prime Shipping, regular shipping is sufficient for me, especially when the items are stocked at the Amazon warehouse in Vegas. (I’ve received things the next day on some occasions.)

    • Oh lucky you. Amazon offers a deal to students to get free prime shipping for a year. Since I live with my brother who is in college, I get the benefits too. It’s been so fun. I order almost everything I can on Amazon because it’ll be here either the next day or the day after.

  6. Oh I love paler chocolate chip cookies. For some reason, darker brown CC cookies always gives me the impression that they are crispier and I prefer a chewy cookie. Not sure I’d go to the trouble of chopping chocolate cuz it’s so messy! But these cookies look good and I love the height of them

    • I agree. The dark brown ones always make me think they are really crispy also. I usually like the paler, softer ones. chopping chocolate is a skill I don’t quite have down. Maybe I need a better knife.