Sea salt flakes add that certain je ne sais quoi element that completes this tasty treat.
Food has its own version of Project Runway; one moment you are in, the next, you are out. We’ve been pulled in all directions over the debates concerning butter, kale, gluten, sugar, and now, chocolate.
If you know BakeSlave, you know my blogposts are hardly the stuff of rocket science – but today, I think I will attempt to inject some academic balance, well, at least throw in a couple of links – that hopefully should convince you that chocolate is *not* the enemy.
What is in chocolate that has even hardened chemophobes succumb to its decadence? Caffeine. Theobromine. Tryptophan. Phenylethylamine. Good ol fashioned stimulants and neurotransmitters. And here’s the kicker: chocolate contains anandamide – a compound in the same family of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) – the active ingredient in marijuana! (Until an hour ago, I too did *not* know that, but now it makes *so* much sense!).
Moving swiftly on, if you are looking for a delicious crunchy chunky chocolate cookie, this recipe delivers on all fronts. You will need:
156 g (= 1 1/4 cups) all purpose flour
74 g (= 3/4 cups) Dutch processed cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
170 g (= 1.5 sticks) softened unsalted butter
250 g (= 1.5 scant cups) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
113 g Baker’s Semisweet 56% Cocoa Chocolate Bar
80 g Nestle Baker’s Choice Choc Bites Dark Chocolate Chips
65 g candied citrus peels
100 g coarsely chopped pecans
Maldon sea salt flakes for topping
1) Prepare the cookie dough at least a day ahead. The cookie dough benefits from an overnight rest in the refrigerator. Flavours deepen and intensify, resulting in a better bake the following day.
2) Use an ice-cream or sorbet scoop to evenly portion the cookie dough. The cookie dough spreads a tad bit during baking.
3) Please include the Maldon sea salt flakes. These really make the flavours pop, and adds perfect balance to the deep chocolate and citrus notes.
4) It may be difficult to procure the Nestle Baker’s Choice Choc Bites (this, I carried back with me after a trip to Oz recently); however do substitute it with a good bittersweet couverture chocolate of your liking.
Bake the cookies at 180ºC for around 13 – 15 minutes. Better still, let your nose guide you (it’s the Maillard reaction working its science here, folks) – that heady comforting aroma of freshly baked vanilla and chocolate will fill the air soon enough.