Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Last Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe You'll Ever Need For the Rest of Your Life

I know. I have a flair for the dramatic when it comes to food.  Before I get in to the recipe, let me qualify this by saying I've eating and made a LOT of chocolate chip cookies in my day.  This is by far THE best chocolate chip cookie I've ever made and I use it for everything.  It's got the chewy texture, loads of chocolate chips and that addictive salty edge that makes everything taste just a tiny bit better. 

Seems like the salt-in-desserts kick has definitely taken the food world these last few years by storm (salted caramel ice cream, cake pops, Seattle's own oh-so-famous salted caramel chocolates even the President can't get enough of, etc.). I get the finely ground stuff from my faaaaavorite wholesale store which works really well. I made these cookies for a few years and while amazing, I was always finding I'd eat the cookies top-side down so I could get that salty kick first - but nobody eats cookies like that. So I decided to sprinkle a little salt underneath the cookie dough and on top.

Mind.  Blown.

And now I don't have to get those weird semi-polite looks from people when I tell them they should eat the cookie upside down which invariably had people thinking I was asking them to head stand or find some damn monkey bars so they could hang upside down to eat this cookie. 

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

heavily adapted from this recipe

Makes about 5 dozen small cookies

2 sticks butter, unsalted & room temperature

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)

1½ cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

3½ cups all-purpose flour

1½ c. chocolate chips

Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Cream butter and sugars together until the butter is light and fluffy - pale yellow, scrape down the bowl and mix a few more times.  One ingredient at a time, add eggs, vanilla, baking soda and salt, scrape down bowl and keep mixing.  If you're using a stand mixer, turn the mixer to the lowest speed and add the flour in a cup at a time until just combined.  Don't over mix the dough or you'll get a tough cookie.  After all the flour is incorporated, fold in the chocolate chips.  Sometimes it's helpful to switch to the dough hook so you don't break up all the chips while they're mixing - or just fold in with a spatula by hand and count it as your workout for the day.  Remember though, don't over mix!

Dough is done. 

Sprinkle a tiny pinch of salt where you plan on placing your cookies on the baking sheet.  I do this step all at once, just make a little grid on the baking sheet in a 4 x 5 pattern leaving about 3" between each sprinkling of salt.  Scoop mounds of cookie dough on each pinch of salt.  The recipe makes about 5 dozen cookies if you use the small version of this scoop - leave them mounded, they will spread and flatten during baking. 

Place the dough about 2" apart and you can usually get about 20 cookies per half sheet pan.  Depending on your oven, bake for approximately 11-13 minutes.  Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack for at least 20-30 minutes if you can wait that long. 


They may seem slightly under done when you take them out and maybe just the slightest bit golden on a few edges but definitely not browned.  This way, when they cool they'll have that yummy chewy texture.

These cookies are also a great do-ahead recipe.  I almost always have these cookies ready to bake from a frozen state so if you're going that route, use a 1½" cookie scoop to dish out on to a parchment sheet lined baking sheet and freeze them.  They pop off the sheet and go in to a ziplock bag and store for weeks in the freezer.  You can just take however many you need and bake off.  I usually set the oven at 360ºF and bake for an extra minute or two from a frozen state.

"Sometimes you feel like a nut."  And when you do, add in a cup of chopped walnuts when you're mixing in the chocolate chips.  I'm married to a no-nut-in-desserts person.  Grrr.

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