Barbecued Cookies Are The Summer Treat You Didn't Know You Needed

stack of chocolate chip cookies
stack of chocolate chip cookies - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Sweet, chewy (or crispy), and with a signature scent unlike any other, the only thing more fun than eating freshly baked cookies is making them. Whether you're making chocolate chip, oatmeal cookies, or the classic snickerdoodle, baking cookies is a fun, satisfying culinary activity for both amateur and professional bakers alike, with a wide variety of tips and tricks to make the cookie-baking process easier and more efficient. But if there's any drawback to the art of baking cookies, it's the amount of time spent in a hot kitchen, which is not at all appealing during the unforgiving throes of summer.

But what if you could bake those rich, decadent cookies outside on your barbecue grill while simultaneously elevating their flavor? You can -- and, as strange as it sounds, grilling your cookies is a surprisingly easy way to bake even, moist cookies infused with a subtly smoky flavor that enhances their richness and balances out their sweetness. With a few intentional steps -- including medium grill temperature and the use of indirect heat in the baking process -- you can achieve delectably baked cookies that are also fun to boot.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

How To Barbecue Cookies

cookies on cooling rack
cookies on cooling rack - Bhofack2/Getty Images

Baking your cookies on the grill is easier than it sounds. You'll simply place your baking sheet on your preheated grill (medium heat, for best results) and bake your cookies for roughly 12 to 15 minutes -- you'll want a shorter time for chewier cookies and longer for crispier ones. However, it's important to bake your cookies over indirect heat -- direct heat is typically reserved for foods that need to cook quickly over high heat. You want your cookies to bake evenly and not burn, so keeping them away from the heat source is best. If your grill's size makes it difficult to find space for your sheet over indirect heat, you can combat this on a charcoal grill by placing a rounded cake pan upside down underneath your cookie sheet. On a gas grill, put your baking sheet on the opposite burner to the one you've turned on.

But keep the lid closed. This is one time you can't watch your cookies as they bake, as opening the grill will disrupt the heat flow, resulting in uneven baking and a longer cooking time. Additionally, if you're grilling your cookies in batches, you want consistent grill heat -- so be sure to reheat your grill in between batches so it reaches optimal cookie baking temperature. Thinking about baking your cookies on a sheet of foil instead? Don't -- foil alone may not allow as even a distribution of heat as a baking sheet will.

Smoke Those Chocolate Chips For Upgraded Grilled Cookies

bowl of chocolate chips
bowl of chocolate chips - Adinath_Graphics/Shutterstock

Are you grilling chocolate chip cookies and want to elevate that flavor to the next level? Consider smoking your chocolate chips for a decadent, lightly smoky flavor reminiscent of the chocolate layer of s'mores. With the richness balancing out the sweetness of your chocolate, smoked chocolate chips are an excellent addition to grilled cookies, as they will upgrade the overall flavor profile for a slightly less sweet but equally flavorful cookie. If you prefer a less intense smoky flavor in your cookies, feel free to store your smoked chocolate chips in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days before you use them in your recipe -- this will give that smokiness time to settle down but still provide a warm, campfire-like flavor without being too overwhelming to your cookies.

Looking to further enhance your grilled cookies? Chocolate chips aren't the only ingredient that will elevate your recipe when smoked -- try adding some smoked brown sugar instead of regular for a deliciously woodsy flavor upgrade. Smoked brown sugar is readily available at most specialty grocery stores, but you can also make your own by placing a pan of brown sugar in your smoker for 30 minutes to an hour or cold smoke that sugar on the stove over a pan of soaked wood chips and a pan of ice for about three hours. Add it to your grilled cookie recipe and enjoy!

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