Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Salty Chocolate Chunk Cookies

This past Sunday I was suddenly struck with an urge to bake.  It happens from time to time, but I'm usually struck with the violent desire to make a particular type of baked good (like pumpkin bread) or I happen to have something in the apartment that I need to use before it goes bad (this happens pretty regularly with bananas and banana bread).  This time I just wanted to bake something for dessert.  I had a bunch of chocolate in the apartment so it was a foregone conclusion that I would make something chocolate-y.  I was originally going to try to make something with the heavy cream or whole milk we had in the apartment, but I gave up on that idea pretty quickly.  I briefly considered making brownies (because who doesn't love brownies), but this cookie recipe was too delicious-sounding to ignore.  The funny thing about these cookies was how much the cookies changed from Sunday night (when I baked them) to Monday morning.  Both versions were delicious, but I wasn't expecting them to turn quite as crispy on day two.  I wish they had stayed a little softer, but c'est la vie.  Watch them carefully in the oven because you want to pull the cookies when they are just starting to turn lightly golden around the edges.  Don't wait until they are golden brown or they will be too hard.  These cookies are definitely an adult version of chocolate chip cookies - if you want to make them kid-friendly I would suggest leaving out the Maldon sea salt.  I think the combination of sea salt and chocolate is an acquired taste that is more appealing to adults than to children.  Then again, I know that some adults (like my mother) do not enjoy the combination of salty and sweet, so it is definitely a question of personal taste.  My officemates and I regularly inhale Lindt's dark chocolate with sea salt by the truckload and so I knew I would have a rapt audience if I brought them in to work.  They disappeared pretty quickly so I think they were a success.  If I were to make them again in the future for a different group I might sprinkle half of the cookies with sea salt and leave the other half salt-less so that everyone could enjoy. 

Recipe after the jump!

Salty Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Bon Appetit
January 2013

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 (we used 6 oz of Scharffen Berger 70% bittersweet chocolate chunks and 2 oz of Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate chips)
Maldon or other flaky sea salt

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.

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