I must have made this recipe at least ten times.
This recipe, by far, is one of my favorite recipes. They are so easy to make and they taste so great! It has a wonderful chocolate flavor and a tinge of saltiness. The recipe calls for fleur de sel which is the key ingredient to giving that wonderful saltiness. I also like the versatility of the recipe that will allow a regular salt substitution in areas where fleur de sel is hard to find. I bought a precious box a while ago which I now keep in the deep ends of the cupboard for use in this recipe only!
This recipe is so simple to make that on the off chance I decided to make it while I was in seattle, starting from ground zero, I could. We got the inspiration when we visited Crate & Barrel on our first day and saw this wonderful cookie jar which says “Fresh Homemade Cookies” in front. That very day, we bought the jar, got all the ingredients and made what must have been…about two hundred cookies. We ended up inviting friends over for cookies and giving them to our friends around us as there were just wayyyy too many.
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (I usually use dutch-processed valrhona cocoa powder with much success)
1/2 tsp baking soda
11 tbsp (1 stick plus 3 tbsp) / 156g unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp fleur de sel or 1/4 tsp sea salt
5 ounces extra-bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I like using ghiradelli’s bittersweet chocolate chips for this and they usually come in big droplets. They are quite large and I like it that way as it makes the chocolate chip parts of the cookie really gooey)
1. Sift flour, cocoa, and baking soda together.
2. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
3. Add both sugars, vanilla, and sea salt and beat for 2 minutes.
4. While the mixer is off, put in the dry ingredients. Turning on the mixer at this stage might cause all the dry ingredients to fly everywhere. I usually use a spatula and gently fold in the flour about 4-5 times. Alternatively, drape a wet kitchen towel over the mixer. When turning on the mixer, pulse it just until the flour disappears into the dough. Work the dough as little as possible.
5. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.
6. To make the cookies into a slice and bake, roll out the dough onto a work surface and working with half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap or parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. I sometimes put it in the freezer if I’m in a hurry.)
I sometimes prefer to roll out the dough and cut them using round cutters instead. To do this, put the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper or between 1 piece of parchment paper and 1 piece of plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until about 1/2 inch thick. Place this slab into the fridge to harden. Continue until all the dough is in the fridge. Check the first slab – if it is hardened, you can use your round cutters to cut them.
7. If using slice and bake method, use a thin knife to slice the logs into round 1/2 inch thick and arrange on baking sheets. If dough falls out, press them back together. For both methods, arrange circles leaving 1″ between the cookies.
8. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Your cookies won’t look done nor firm. If you notice the dough bubbling and flattened out at the edges, the cookies are over baked. This could be due to too low a height or too long in the oven.