Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am a confessed saltaholic.  Have been since I was a kid – sweets just didn’t have the same allure as a nice salty snack.  So a couple of years ago when everyone started putting sea salt on desserts I knew I was going to have to add more spin classes to my schedule!  Salted caramel ice cream, yes please.  Crunchy Himalayan salt on your brownie?  Of course!  These cookies are incredible but it’s not just because of the addition of the sea salt.  A pretty exacting and somewhat complicated cookie (at least compared to the Toll House version) somehow all of the elements come together to create a nice chewy on the inside, crispy on the edges, decadent chocolate chip cookie.  A former colleague shared the recipe with me and as first I was off put by the different kinds of flour, the 24 hour chilling and the milk powder (???) but they are seriously worth it.  If you are a baker you probably have cake flour and bread flour on hand already – if not you can store flours in the freezer in plastic baggies to keep them fresh if you don’t use them often.  I went online and found this milk powder which supposedly lasts for years.

I guess you could bring it camping if you are into that kind of thing – my guess is once you make these for your friends and family they will request them so often you will work your way through these ingredients pretty fast.  The amounts here are very specific so I am going to recommend again you go out and get yourself a kitchen scale (reminder I like this one).  Even with a baking recipe that isn’t this specific you will always get a better result if you weigh your ingredients.  A cup of flour can vary a lot depending on how much you pack it down, if you fluffed it before you measured or if it’s not exactly level.  This small investment will pay real dividends.  This recipe makes pretty big cookies but don’t cut down on the size or you won’t get the right texture.  It’s actually better that they are so big as it can help you from eating multiple cookies in one sitting (I am not promising anything).  So bake up a batch, leave some for Santa and you will be assured everything on your list!  I will be taking Christmas day off but will be back in action next week with ideas for New Years.  Happy holidays!

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 8 1/2 ounces cake flour
  • 8 1/2 ounces bread flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried milk powder
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 10 ounces light brown sugar
  • 8 ounces granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 20 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • Sea salt

In a medium bowl combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, milk powder and salt with a whisk.  Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes (or use a hand mixer).

Add the eggs, one at a time, then add in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low so you don’t cover yourself with flour and add the dry ingredients.  Don’t overmix here – do it just until combined, then add in the chocolate chips and mix for another couple of seconds until they are mixed in.  Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours.  When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.  Make the cookies about the size of golf balls and space them apart with at least an inch in between.

Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then use a spaulta to transfer them to a baking rack to cool a bit more.


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