Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hickory Smoke Salt and Browned Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies! When The Spice House Baking Challenge was announced, I knew I wanted to bake some, but I also knew I wanted to do something a little different. I started poking around online and I ran across a recipe that called for smoked salt and dark chocolate in chocolate chip cookies. Smoked salt AND dark chocolate together?? Hello!!! I was instantly intrigued! My husband was skeptical, but I had an inkling these cookies were going to be something really special. And they were! Who would have thought that smoked salt would ever go in a cookie? But it did, and these were insanely good!

The Spice House's Hickory Smoke Salt was the perfect addition to these cookies. The aroma of smoke when you open the jar is heavenly. I can't wait to try it in other recipes. I have been a huge fan of The Spice House's Vanilla Sugar ever since our first Spice House sponsored challenge. I use it in whipped cream, I've sprinkled it on oatmeal, on top of biscuits before baking, incorporated it into an apple cake and I've even used it in my coffee. I just knew it would be perfect in these cookies. I hope you love them as much as we did!

Hickory Smoke Salt and Browned Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
by Susan W.
Adapted from The Baking Fairy’s Smoked Salt Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes approximately 32 cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon The Spice House Hickory Smoke Salt, plus more for sprinkling on top of cookies
3/4 cup unsalted browned butter, room temperature (see “Tips” below)
1/2 cup The Spice House Vanilla Sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature
2 cups (approximately 10 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped (I used a half and half mix of 78% and 85% dark)

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and smoked salt and whisk together. Set aside.

Using the paddle attachment that goes with your stand mixer, combine the browned butter, vanilla sugar and brown sugar. Beat until combined well.

Add the egg and egg yolk and beat well, until it's light and fluffy. Add in the dry ingredients, in thirds, and mix until combined. Fold in the chopped chocolate with a spatula.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Using a cookie scoop (or a regular teaspoon), drop uniform balls of dough onto a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a silicone sheet. Sprinkle a little more smoked salt on top (or a little more than a little more, like I did).

Bake until golden, about 10-13 minutes (depending on your oven). Let cool for a minute or two on the cookie sheet, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Now go pour yourself a big glass of ice cold milk and grab a few of these delicious cookies.

For a great how-to on browning butter, check out these directions on the Serious Eats website. And when the directions say watch closely after the butter starts to foam, they’re not kidding!

For 3/4 cup of browned butter, you will need two sticks.

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