Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Salted Chocolate Cookies
I think it’s been a little while since I posted a recipe from Orangette, so here we go. I made these cookies recently, and they were so good! The chocolate taste is rich and deep; the cookies are slightly crispy on the outside, but still chewy on the inside. I made cookies that were about 2 inches in diameter, and I’d say you’ll get between 24 and 30 if you make them that way; you can also freeze them and bake them as needed. I used turbinado sugar to finish the edges and vanilla fleur de sel as a topping – I totally recommend that, but Maldon salt is also very good. Be sure to use a chocolate you really like (I used Ghiradelli 60%, though Valrhona “Guanaja” 70% is recommended in the original recipe). Note that I weighed ingredients most of the time for this recipe, but volume measurements are also provided.
225 grams (8 oz) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
155 grams (1 ¼ cups) all-purpose flour
50 grams (½ cup plus 2 Tbsp) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
115 grams (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used cold margarine)
225 grams (1 cup plus 2 Tbsp) sugar, plus more for rolling the logs
2 large eggs
¼ tsp table salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
75 ml (1/3 cup) lactose-free whole milk
Maldon salt (or vanilla fleur de sel or your favorite salt), for finishing
Pour water into a saucepan to a depth of about 2 inches. Bring to a simmer. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl that will rest securely on the rim of the saucepan, and place it over – not touching – the simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, just until the chocolate melts and is smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy. Slowly add the sugar, and continue to beat until the mixture is completely smooth and soft, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the salt and the vanilla, and then add the melted chocolate, beating to incorporate. Add the milk, and beat until combined. Finally, add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just incorporated. The dough will be quite thick and stiff.
Depending on what size cookie you’d like to wind up with (I made 2-inch cookies, but you can make them smaller if you wish), divide the dough into 2 or 4 portions (I chose 2). Put each portion on a large piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a log, using the wrap to help you smoosh, roll, and smooth it. Twist the ends to seal. Chill overnight. (If you’re into advance planning, the dough can probably be kept in the fridge for at least a week, or frozen for longer keeping, though I’d finish preparing and slicing the cookies first so that I can just pop them into the oven later.)
When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 °F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
Put another sheet of parchment paper on your work surface. Take a spoonful or two of sugar, and pour it onto the parchment, making a ridge of sugar of approximately the same length as your dough logs. Remove a log from the fridge, unwrap it, and roll in the sugar to evenly coat. Using a thin, sharp knife, slice the dough into ¼- to 1/3-inch slices. (If you’re making small cookies, the 1/3-inch thickness is best.) Lay the slices on the baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Sprinkle each cookie with a few flakes of Maldon salt.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until the top of the cookies looks set but still feels a little soft to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack, and leave the cookies on the pan to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.
These cookies will keep at room temperature for several days.