Salty Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Salty Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I am becoming a chocolate snob – ok, maybe I am already a chocolate snob, but I am finally able to admit it.  This has been a long time coming – it probably started when I was in high school, and visited England for the first time.  We had a few hours free, and I ventured to Harrod’s and went to the Food Halls.  Yes, at 14 – I was already obsessed with visiting special food places when I travelled.  Chocolate was just about the only thing I could afford, so I bought some Cadbury bars…wow, they really put Hershey’s to shame.  Now, at that point in my life, milk chocolate was all I really enjoyed, and even that was a stretch, but I would take a Cadbury bar any day of the week.

I have told the story already about the chocolate when I studied in France during college – and my friends and I found the Cote D’Or factory in Brussels – I swear we smelled our way to that pot of gold.  Still, my favorite chocolate in Europe was Lindt.  I was so excited when I found some Lindt bars in the US, only to discover that they don’t export the same quality chocolate as they have in Europe.

For some reason, even though I knew what good chocolate tasted like – I continued to use Nestle’s chocolate chips when I made cookies.  When I first moved to Seattle, a friend of mine asked if I wanted to share a CostCo sized Nestle bag of chips – of course I couldn’t say no – and much to my disbelief, it took no time at all to go through all those chips.  It only took a few times of sharing before I realized I had to start buying my own bag.  And would you believe that I only baked with these?  No, they were not getting eaten any other way.  It was only recently that I stopped buying the big bag at Costco – that was when I discovered the dark chocolate chunks I found at Whole Foods – this was real chocolate – real dark chocolate.  Dark chocolate that I have begun to really love.  And now I can’t go back…

I found this recipe in Bon Appetit and I loved how you used good quality chocolate and chopping it coarsely.  That is definitely the way to do it.  Not only are the big chunks better, the smaller chunks really get integrated into the batter.  The salt on these cookies were the best part.  I swear these were some of the best cookies I have made in a while.  They didn’t rise as much as I had expected (probably because of the type of butter I used), but they were still amazing.

Whether you are a chocolate snob or not, you will love these cookies – and if you are just starting out on the chocolate road of life – go ahead and use any type you want – even Nestlé’s will make a great cookie.  Just don’t blame me if you happen to use some good quality chips for this batch, and then you can’t go back.  Not only is it an expensive habit…it is hard work chopping up those delicious bars!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose  flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking  powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher  salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking  soda
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla  extract
  • 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 72% cacao),  coarsely chopped
  • Maldon or other flaky sea  salt

Preparation

Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to  375°. Whisk flour, baking powder, kosher salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl;  set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown  sugar, sugar, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add egg  yolks, egg, and vanilla. Beat, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl,  until mixture is pale and fluffy, 4-5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low; slowly  add dry ingredients, mixing just to blend. Using a spatula, fold in  chocolate.

Spoon rounded tablespoonfuls of cookie dough onto 2 parchment  paper-lined baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart. Sprinkle cookies with sea salt.

Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until just  golden brown around the edges, 10-12 minutes (the cookies will firm up as they  cool). Let cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks; let cool  completely. DO AHEAD: Cookies can be made 1 day ahead.  Store airtight at room temperature.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Salty Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Salty Chocolate Chunk Cookies 3

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am getting to the point again when life it just so hectic, I can’t see beyond the next hour.  I almost didn’t post tonight, but I remembered these cookies, and I actually smiled. 

Chocolate chip cookies to me are like banana bread.  They are a staple – everyone makes them – and everyone has their own favorite recipe or version.  There was a period of time when I would use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour, or I would add an extra egg white to make them a little more chewy, or I would hand cut the chocolate for the chips – all different variations looking for that perfect one.  What I realized is at the end of the day, they are all great – whatever recipe I used, they all turned out wonderful.

I was planning to bring this to a friend’s house – but there were 12 of us, and as I explained in the post, I didn’t have enough peaches to make a full recipe.  So, at the last-minute I took out my trusty Martha Stewart Cookie Book, and decided to make a batch.  They were incredible.  So buttery and soft – jut like the title.  With two sticks of butter, what else can you expect?  If you are looking to make someone happy today – make them a batch of these – I promise it will put a smile on their face.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Makes about 3 dozen.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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