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By now, you know me well. You know I’ll eat almost anything homemade, and you might even remember that I am always in hot pursuit of “ultimate” recipes: ultimate chocolate cake, ultimate chili, ultimate salad dressing. Once a recipe hits the mark for me, I am done and no longer interested in seeking new creations for the same thing. Call me stubborn, but I move on to new territory and instead try novel, appealing recipes that speak to me.
So how in the heck did I end up replacing my many-year-long, tried and true Cook’s Illustrated chocolate chip cookie recipe made without a micr, with browned butter? Good question, thanks for asking. I happened to read a Smitten Kitchen blog post, and the author began waxing poetic about these cookies; I checked out the original source(s) and thought what the heck!? I was downright curious about what this fuss was about AND intrigued by the addition of salt flakes and the ease of preparation compared with my Cook’s Illustrated recipe (the one that that features hand whisking for a long time with pauses in between).
My brother came over and we attempted this recipe together. I purchased the ingredients I didn’t already have on hand (really, just the chocolate chunks). He measured the flour and sugars while I measured the rest. I mixed, he scooped, I washed, he dried. If you have a brother like mine, try cooking together. It’s the best.
And you know what? These struck my chocolate chip cookie chord within. They are my new favorite dessert and although I have 20 huge cookies cooling on my counter right now, I know they won’t last long. I also know that I’ll be making them again and sending this recipe to every man, woman and child who bakes and who isn’t gluten free or sugar free or dairy free or calorie obsessed. That would be my siblings and kids.
Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies
From Smitten Kitchen blog via Ashley Rodriguez’s Not Without Salt – along with My Global Kitchens personal flourishes and changes
Yield: Approximately 20-24 cookies ( 3 inches in diameter finished size!)
- ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp granulated (white) sugar
- 2 Tbsp turbinado sugar-this gives the cookie a little extra crunch
- 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- Slightly rounded ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chunks. (I used my favorite Scharfenberger chocolate bittersweet (70%) chunks which were already the perfect size)
- Flaky sea salt, to finish (we used Maldron sea salt flakes, if you must know)
Heat oven to 360°F (340 degrees if you have a convection setting) and line three baking sheets with parchment paper. Move the three racks equal distance apart.
With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, at least five minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beating until mixed with the other ingredients. Add flour, salt and soda which have been mixed together with a fork. Do this on low speed just until everything comes together. Add the chocolate chunks and mix a minute more. Note: at this point you can refrigerate the dough for up to a couple of days, or scoop and freeze balls of cookie dough or proceed pronto to make the cookies. Also note if you are checking the original recipe that I didn’t find the dough to be crumbly at all.
We used a cookie scoop to make things even and made cookies into what looked like 1 ½-2 tablespoon mounds (my ice cream scoop said #30) spacing them apart on the prepared baking sheet, six to eight cookies per sheet. Press down slightly and sprinkle each dough ball with a few flakes of sea salt. We then pressed down very slightly again to imbed the salt flakes – we didn’t want them to fall off. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, until golden on the outside but still very gooey and soft inside. Take them out of the oven, let rest on baking sheets on the counter and after five minutes transfer the individual cookies to a cooling rack. They should easily come off the parchment with a metal spatula.
Pour a large glass of milk and enjoy.
Following this baking adventure with my brother – I learned that my sister in Santa Cruz also made these amazing cookies. The first picture in this post with the bite out of the cookie was hers! The note along with it said, and I quote, “Yeah baby, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. Mmmmm! Show me ONE other family where 3 sibs tried a new CCC recipe within days of it being posted on a blog. Sick-o’s.”