Thursday, 29 May 2014
Salted Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
My buddy Jae has been a big cookie fan since he was a kid. A few summers ago we made a few different cookie batches together. The phase didn't last long but for ages we've been saying we should make another batch (usually referring to it as having a "cookie party", lol). It was a long time coming but we finally baked another batch of cookies. I think this was our best yet! I brought the leftover cookies into work today and they were quickly gobbled up. They were still chewy the next day too! I let Jae choose the kind of cookie we would make and all he suggested was "something with chocolate". What better "something with chocolate" than triple chocolate? We made a chocolate cookie batter and added semi-sweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips.
The recipe calls for 2 cups of chocolate chips. I used 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 cup milk chocolate chips. You can do any combination you like. White chocolate, milk chocolate, semi-sweet, dark... you might be surprised how many different kind of chips you can find. Be creative and do whatever floats your boat.
You will also notice that there are two different kinds of salt in this recipe. Rarely in my own cooking do I use salt to make things taste salty. Salt is commonly used as a seasoning to enhance and bring out flavours in other ingredients. Most baking (bread, cake, pastry, muffins, biscuits, etc...) do contain salt as a slight flavour enhancer. That's what the fine salt in this recipe is for, but that's not why they're called salted chocolate cookies. We're also going to be sprinkling coarse sea salt over each cookie. Why add extra salt to sweets? Adding a dimension of saltiness to the flavour profile rounds out the flavour, adds a little complexity and very much compliments the sweetness. You'll have to try it to believe it if you haven't already. Sea salt on sweets (especially chocolate and caramel) is divine. It is so important that you use sea salt. Kosher salt is saltier in flavour (too intense for this application) and doesn't taste as good on its own. Trust me, opt for coarse sea salt if you try this recipe.
For this recipe I am not greasing my pan. Some cookie recipes may ask you to do that first. This one really doesn't need it. If you want, you could lay a sheet of parchment paper on your cookie sheet. Otherwise a regular non greased cookie sheet will work just fine. Adding grease such as oil or butter may cause the bottom of the cookies to fry and become too crispy/overcooked. It can also cause the cookies to spread out too much, making them thinner and less chewy. There may be a little residue from the cookies left on the pan but it will be very easily cleaned off as long as you do so within a couple hours of baking.
How many cookies you make with this recipe depends entirely on how big you make them. I make mine fairly big because the thicker they are the chewier they will be. If you make your cookies smaller you can yield more of them and they'll take less time to cook (unless you want really crunchy cookies). I used an ice cream scoop which yielded well over a tbsp of batter per cookie. This recipe made about 18 cookies, but if you want them smaller this could yield up to 48 little cookies.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (soft)
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 tsps vanilla extract
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine salt
2 cups chocolate chips
Coarse sea salt (a light sprinkling on each cookie)
Preheat oven to 375 F/190 C.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together (which just means mix, let's be real) with the eggs and vanilla extract until combined and fluffy. In the first couple of photos I used a spatula but I ended up switching to an electric mixer. I recommend using the mixer for this whole process. It will be much easier.
Incorporate the flour into the mixture in 2 or 3 stages. This will make mixing easier.
While mixing, add the baking soda, fine salt and cocoa powder to create a basic chocolate cookie dough.
Add the chocolate chips and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until evenly distributed through the batter. Adding the chips in stages will save you a little time and effort.
Using an ice cream scoop, drop rounded spoonfuls of cookie batter onto a non greased cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each cookie to accommodate for spreading. Sprinkle each cookie with a little coarse sea salt (from a height, to promote even distribution). You will likely need to cook in batches, but you can use multiple cookie sheets if you have them.
Place in a preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the cookies have bonded enough to hold their shape when scooped up by a spatula. Cookies turn out best when they just reach this stage. Keep an eye on them. Once removed, set the cookies on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes before devouring (maybe with a glass of cold milk).
These cookies were the bomb! If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: I don't have much of a sweet tooth. I'm not one of those people who can sit and eat a bunch of sweets in one sitting. Although warm, homemade, fresh cookies do tend to push my limits. It's incredible how that seemingly insignificant step of sprinkling sea salt can completely elevate and transform your cookies into a truly unforgettable munching experience.
Have fun with this recipe and do whatever you like to make it your own. Kids would love these as well as adults. Not to mention they're easy and fun to make. Treat yourselves. ;)
Until next time,