Chocolate cookies. Chocolate cookies that taste of chocolate; rich, dark, intense. Chocolate cookies that are not too sweet, that don’t overpower the chocolate with sugar or butter. Chocolate cookies that have texture, that make people say “wait, what’s that, that’s new.” Cookies that are complex but also recognizable.
Chocolate cookies that are elegant enough to serve after a Black Tie dinner, cookies that hold up in a gift bag for a friend, cookies that are simple enough for a casual gathering.
Chocolate cookies that have ingredients that do not simply serve as a vessel for the chocolate, but that make the chocolate so much more. More intense, more enjoyable, more addictive.
I used to have those cookies in my kitchen, but then I ate them all. Whoops.
And I wrapped them in cute little glassine bags from Papersource and addressed them to my friend Suzhen, who was away while I was photographing these cookies.
These cookies were adapted from the Tartine Salted Chocolate Rye Cookie, found both at Tasting Table and at Saveur. I also played around with substituting the rye flour with spelt, and a half-and-half mixture worked out really nicely. The nuttiness of the spelt flour goes very well with chocolate. Rye flour is more common, so I decided to post this recipe, but if you have spelt, I suggest playing around with it! It can be found in most fancy food stores (Grace’s Marketplace, Fairway, etc.) I use Bob’s Red Mill Spelt Flour.
- 8 ounces of 70% (bittersweet) chocolate, roughly chopped.
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 6 tablespoons (about 56 grams) of rye flour
- 1 teaspoon of all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cups of tightly packed brown sugar (156 grams)
- 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa
- Good quality sea salt, such as Maldon or a flaky fleur-de-sel, for topping.
- Whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
- Place the chocolate and the butter (don't forget the butter!!!!) in a heatproof bowl, and set it over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir the chocolate with a spatula until only a few small chunks of chocolate remain unmelted. These will melt from the residual heat and ensure that the chocolate does not heat too much. Set the bowl aside to cool.
- Crack the eggs, and put the egg whites into a bowl of a stand mixer (or a medium bowl) and the yolks into a small bowl or measuring cup. Whip the egg whites for about 90 seconds at medium speed, until foamy. Add the yolks and continue whipping for another 30 seconds. Set the speed to medium low, and add the brown sugar about half a tablespoon at a time, making sure the sugar is combined after each addition. Remember to scrape the bowl as you mix! Whip for another two minutes at a medium high speed, until the mixture is nearly tripled in volume (it does not have to be exactly tripled, just a bit more than doubled) and rather thick.
- Turn off the machine, and add in the chocolate mixture and the vanilla. Mix until just combined. Add the dry ingredients, and mix until a soft dough forms. Stir a couple times with a spatula to make sure that the dry ingredients are completely incorporated. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes (you can also cover the bowl in plastic wrap and stick the whole thing in the fridge). The dough will firm up in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper or with a lightly floured silicone mat. When the dough is finished chilling, use an ice cream scoop (I use a small one - four centimeters) to scoop even lumps of dough. Roll them a little between your hands, not pressing too hard, and place about 2 inches apart on the parchment-lined pans. Run a spoon under hot water, and dry it quickly on a towel. Use the back of the warm spoon to flatten the tops of the cookies. Sprinkle a little salt on each cookie and lightly press the flakes in with your finger.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, turning the pans halfway through. The cookies should still be a little soft, cooked on the bottom and puffed on the top when you remove them. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the pans, then move them onto a wire cooling rack. They will keep in an airtight container for up to three days.
Use good quality chocolate for this recipe, as a lower quality chocolate will have higher fat percentages and therefore will change not only the taste of the final product but also the texture and how it rises. I recommend Guittard baking chips, or Valrhona.