Monday, January 25, 2016

The Chocolatiest Cookies with Fleur de Sel

I got this recipe from Happy Belly, but it was adapted from a recipe on Chocolate and Zucchini. The main differences are that the former used a mix of white and whole wheat flour instead of the all-purpose white flour called for in the latter, and it also used fleur de sel on top of the cookies instead of in the batter. In my version, I used white whole wheat flour and kept the fleur de sel in the batter while also sprinkling some on top. For the sugar, you can use either granulated sugar or brown sugar, or a mix of the two. Brown sugar tends to play well with chocolate, and it makes for cakier cookies, so that’s what I recommend (either just brown sugar or a mix of brown and granulated sugars). These small cookies are dense and intensely chocolaty, just the way they should be!

This recipe yielded 33 cookies for me; I baked half of the batch right away and kept the rest in the fridge.

1 cup (120 g.) all-purpose flour (see above)
¾ cup (90 g.) cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
4 oz. (120 g.) quality bittersweet chocolate, divided
½ cup (1 stick) vegan margarine
½ cup (100 g.) brown sugar (see above)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 Tbsp. cocoa nibs
½ tsp. fleur de sel, plus more for garnish

In a large bowl, sift and mix together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.

Roughly chop 3 oz. (90 g.) of the chocolate and place in a heat-proof bowl with the margarine. Put the bowl over a pan of simmering water, without letting the water touch the base of the pot, and leave it to melt. Mix together and leave to cool at room temperature.

Finely chop the reserved chocolate and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk the sugar together with the eggs until well combined. Fold in the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla extract. Then fold in the flour mixture until well-combined. Lastly, fold in the reserved chopped chocolate and cocoa nibs, and ½ tsp. of the fleur de sel. The batter will be thick.

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Scoop tablespoons out the dough (I used my smallest ice cream scoop) and roll them into small bite-sized balls. It will get messy. And line them up, spaced 1 inch apart, on the cookie tray. Press down gently and sprinkle on fleur de sel. Put the cookie sheet in the freezer for 5 minutes or in the fridge for 10 minutes, so that the cookies don't spread as much when they bake. Then put in the oven to bake for about 10 minutes (do not overbake). The cookies should feel a bit soft as you pull them out of the oven so that they're nice and moist on the inside once they have cooled.

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