In honor of National Chocolate Day, I’m posting a recipe that is so fabulous it started a worldwide giveaway on my previous blog.
Dark bittersweet chocolate, sea salt, what’s not to love?
The intense flavors of dark chocolate and fleur de sel come together for a party in your mouth. If you have not yet tried this combo, don’t walk, run to the store and pick up the ingredients to make these now. I’m pretty sure that if every human being could eat just one of these every day, there would indeed be peace in the world!
The key to the wonderful flavors in these cookies, and any good pastry, is this: use only the best ingredients. I used Guittard chocolate, with 72 percent cacao, which is one of my favorites. I used my mini-chopper to break it into small pieces. A good fleur de sel is also an important ingredient, I’m using sel de Guérande from France, which you can order through Amazon, but many grocery stores are now carrying good sea salts. Guittard chocolate chips are available in many grocery stores. There’s an extensive list on the Guittard site.
Chocolat Paix Mondiale et Cookies au sel de mer
World Peace Chocolate and Sea Salt Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup plus 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and pale yellow. Add the sugars, salt and vanilla and mix another 2 minutes.
Turn off the mixer. Pour in the sifted dry ingredients, drape a kitchen towel over the mixer to protect anything around it from flying flour. Mix at low speed about 5 times for a second or two each time. Then mix about 30 seconds more. Mix just until the flour disappears into the dough. Work the dough as little as possible. It may look a little crumbly… no worries. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix just until incorporated.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gather it together and divide it in half. Shape into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Using a sharp knife, slice the logs into rounds that are about 1/2 inch thick. (They may crack a bit as you’re cutting them. No worries. Just squeeze the chocolatey bits back onto the cookie). Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them.
Bake each batch, one sheet at a time, for 12 minutes. They won’t look done, they won’t be firm at this point. They’ll firm up and become sandy/crumbly as they cool. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack.