Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dark Chocolate, Walnut, and Smoked Sea Salt Cookies


Nothing says an interminable winter like making cookies. Here we are, almost halfway through March, and there's still about 4 feet of snow outside my window. Thanks again, polar vortex. But it does allow multiple consoling sessions via chocolate. And hey, if it just so happens to be chocolate mixed with salt, all wrapped up in a cookie, well, so much the better. You will not want for chocolate in this recipe. Oh, no sir. This is not a recipe where you hunt for the chocolate in your chocolate chip cookies. It will smack you upside the head with how much chocolate there is. As is only right.

And don't let that whole "smoked sea salt" thing scare you off. Regular old sea salt would obviously work just fine here. I just happened to have an entire handy jar of the smoked stuff, a culinary Christmas gift from many years past. And finally, after years of randomly sprinkling it on meats and whatnot, I finally had a recipe that called specifically for it. Sure, certain other substitutions were made (such as walnuts for pistachios). But the salt? Such deliciousness. But again, I repeat, if you don't happen to have a jar full of the stuff, regular ol' sea salt will certainly do the trick.

Maybe it's ok if spring never comes, if it means I get to eat these cookies forever.

Yield: About 24 cookies if you make them small. I'm a big cookie person, so the recipe made about 15 for me.

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

1 cup walnuts and/or pecans, coarsely chopped

smoked salt for topping


Method

Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars together until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the egg and beat in for about 1 minute. Add vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the mixture all at once to the butter mixture. Beat on low speed until just incorporated. Finally mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Dollop or scoop cookie dough by the 2 tablespoonful onto prepared baking tins. Leave about 2 inches of room between each cookie. Sprinkle generously with smoked sea salt.

Bake cookies for 22 minutes, or until just golden brown. 

 Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will last, well wrapped at room temperature for up to 4 days

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