Monday, August 23, 2010

break the butter rules

If you ask me to describe myself in a nutshell, I will answer with one simple fact: I put salt in all my sweets. I think this is actually a profound statement that speaks to just about all aspects of my personality. And I don't mean that little pinch of salt that every baking recipe calls for, claiming it enhances the sweetness of the sweet. If it calls for a pinch, I throw in two or three, and I'll still top that cookie with some flaky sea salt for good measure. So it only makes sense that I would be inextricably drawn to a recipe for cookies that actually calls for salted butter. And not just run-of-the-mill salted butter, but beautiful French butter with fleur de sel. I used a brand called Pamplie, an old brand made in a region of France called Deux-Sevres, which is apparently known for its fine dairy products.

I took the recipe one step further by sprinkling some more flaky sea salt atop the cookie. I imagine that might push it over the salty edge for some people, but for me it was perfection. It's all about balance - sweet needs salty, chewy needs crunchy. I try to live by the wisdom of the salted butter chocolate chip cookie. Recipe after the jump:

Adapted from the recipe by David Lebovitz

4 ounces salted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or kosher salt
1 cup coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
flaky sea salt for sprinkling

In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the butter with the sugars until smooth and creamy. Beat in the egg and the vanilla.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Add the flour mixture into the beaten butter until well combined, then mix in the chopped chocolate (including any chocolate dust) and the chopped nuts.

Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, preferably 24.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpat or parchment paper. Use a small ice cream scoop to make rounds about 1.5 inches in diameter. Place the mounds evenly spaced apart on the baking sheets, and press down the tops to flatten them so they are no longer domed and the dough is even. Sprinkle each cookie lightly with flaky sea salt.

Bake the cookies for ten minutes, rotating the baking sheets midway during baking, until the cookies look about set, but are not browned.

Remove from the oven and quickly tap the top of each with a spatula, then return to the oven for two more minutes, until the tops of the cookies are light golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.

Storage: The cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to five days in an airtight container. The dough can be refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for one or two months.


Jazz said...

I have always loved chocolate and salt together and it's a shame that there aren't more cookie recipes out there with the added fleur de sel "crust".

2 of my favorite things are dark chocolate and salt together. I don't normally bake (I leave that to my sister), but I just might have to make these cookies and keep them all for myself!


Michael Vandeven said...

These cookies would be great to trade on!

Jenny O said...

Wow, I would have never thought of doing this. What a great idea. I will try adding a bit more salt to my next cookie batch and see how it turns out!

lexa michaels said...

I love cookies! im a professional painter and sometimes when I look for Clown Face Paint Ideas I eat sinful foods like these.

Irvine said...

Hi thanks for this post i really love cookies ,especially the one's that mama gave me.. now i do usually buy for sometime and exactly i found this recipes.. geez thanks alot

The Chambs said...

So glad I found your blog!
Cookies are really my favorite type of dessert, which I could learn to make them better.
Hope you can visit me at
I'm currently doing a pumpkin cooking challenge if you'd like to see it.
I'm a new follower of yours!