RECIPE: Salted dark chocolate chunk cookies nine years in the making

hayes_in_the_fog_salted_chocolate_chunk_cookie_closeup.jpg

I know, I know -- I wait 9 years to *finally* start a blog, and my first post is about chocolate chip cookies?!

Why bother sharing a recipe that commonplace? Because I’m a tinkerer, and this recipe reflects years of tweaking and frankensteining the sh*t out of others' recipes in my quest for cookie perfection.

Along the way, I’ve concluded:

  • Chopped-up (dark) chocolate bar > chocolate chips. Non-negotiable.
  • Sea salt on top elevates flavor and texture. Another must-have.
  • Resting the dough in the fridge overnight really does matter.  (Unfortunately.)
  • Adding in an extra yolk (or using all yolks) adds to a chewier cookie
  • Each oven has its own cook speed, so while I have a suggested bake time below, keep an eye on them and adjust accordingly. 

 

Salted chocolate chunk cookies

Yield: 33-36 cookies using a medium cookie scoop

Author: Kathleen Hayes; recipe inspired by Alton Brown, Claire Ptak, Toll House, and my mother-in-law


 

MISE IT

Wet ingredients

225g unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature

300g brown sugar

100g granulated sugar

1 teaspoon (heaping) vanilla extract

 

Egg add-in

1 egg, room temperature

1 egg yolk, room temperature

 

Dry ingredients

196g all purpose flour

200g bread flour (if you only have all purpose flour, feel free to use 100% of that)

1 teaspoon baking soda

 

Chocolate add-in

4 - 6 oz dark chocolate bar or baking wafers, roughly chopped - keep about 10-20% of the chunks aside

 

For sprinkling on top

Sea salt, to taste; if you omit this, add ½ teaspoon kosher salt to your dry ingredients

 

Special equipment

Parchment paper

Cookie scoop

Baking sheets

Stand mixer

Patience :)

 

MAKE IT

In a stand mixer, cream together wet ingredients (sugars, butter, vanilla extract) on medium speed until combined and airy.

Mix in the egg, then the yolk, on low speed until incorporated.

Add all of the dry ingredients (flours, baking soda) to the mixing bowl and mix on low until just incorporated.

Mix in 80-90% of your chopped chocolate (and any of the chocolate “powder” that remains from chopping it!), on low until the chunks are dispersed.  Sometimes I’ll do this step by hand with a spatula so I don’t over-mix my dough.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop out cookies and place onto a parchment-lined tray.  At this point, add your remaining chocolate chunks to the top of the cookies (this guarantees picture-perfect results -- see picture below for what I mean).

Now for my least favorite (but totally worth it) step: tightly wrap your cookies in plastic wrap and rest the dough for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.  I’ve cheated on this step before, and I must admit the cookies are better when the dough has time to “marinate” and develop.

When ready to bake, set oven to 338 F (or nearest interval).

Take scooped cookies and space 2" apart onto parchment-lined sheet trays and top each with a healthy amount of sea salt.

Bake until cookies are mostly set, 13-15 minutes.  This step may require adjustments depending on your oven.

Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to completely cool…er, who am I kidding?  At this point, sample one while they’re still (too) hot and try your best to let the rest of them cool completely.


 

TWEAK IT

Some ideas to build off of this recipe and make it your own

  • Experiment with the chocolate: try out different brands (I love Tony’s Chocolonely, Guittard, Valrhona when I’m feeling fancy, and Theo), chop your chocolate into different sizes
  • Sub in/out different types of flour; these combos are on my list to test out:
    • 10% rye flour and 90% all purpose flour
    • 100% all purpose flour
    • 10% hazelnut meal, 40% all purpose flour, 50% bread flour
    • 15% buckwheat flour and 85% bread flour
  • Use 100% egg yolks (like Claire Ptak’s recipe calls for) instead of egg/yolk combo
  • Make your cookies bigger or smaller
chocolate_chunk_cookie_dough.jpg
salted_chocolate_chunk_cookie_ready_to_eat.jpg
cookiesKathleen Hayes