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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fleur de Sel Double Chocolate Cookies

Nothing inspires me to bake more than tasting something amazing baked by someone else.  I'm always thinking (maybe a little egotistically) "I could make this!"  

The first week after moving in together, Jon and I went a little crazy with eating out.  Since the kitchen was half unpacked, there was only water and Diet Coke in the fridge, and it was 104 degrees I was perfectly okay with that.  We tried a few new places and my favorite was Sunflour Baking Company.  It's close by in Elizabeth and I'm already dreaming about being able to stop by on my way to my new school and getting coffee and one of their yummy pastries for breakfast.  

We stopped by for lunch and while ordering my sandwich I was spying all the baked goods out of the corner of my eye.  After finishing up my grilled cheese, I went back up and bought their Fleur de Sel   
cookie.  It was super dark chocolate with the right amount of chocolate chips and sprinkle of Fleur de Sel on top.

I always like a little salt with my sweet.  Once I made a whole batch of chocolate chip cookies and then realized I left out the salt.  I'm sure someone ate those cookies but it wasn't me.  It made such a huge difference.  I've heard people ask before "Why does a dessert recipe need salt in it?"  My answer, simply "Because it does!!!"  It really does make a difference when working with rich ingredients such as chocolate, caramel, etc.  So, the Fleur de Sel or "flower of salt" is just there to bring out the extra oomph of the chocolate.  Don't skip it.  It will change your baking life.  It may be a little hard to find and definitely costs more than your average table or kosher salt but you fall in love with it you'll find more recipes to try it out on.

For my recipe, I used my old standby-Ina Garten's Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe except, I substituted the white chocolate for bittersweet and semisweet chocolate chips.  They turned out pretty close the the original inspiration.  I was impressed!  I liked that I didn't have to find a whole different recipe from what I already knew worked well.  This bakery will be giving me some ideas from now on.

Fleur de Sel Double Chocolate Cookies-
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup good unsweetened cocoa
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips ( I used Ghirardelli for both)
Fleur de Sel for sprinkling on top

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream the butter and 2 sugars until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix well. Add the cocoa and mix again. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and add to the chocolate with the mixer on low speed until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using an ice cream scoop or a rounded tablespoon. Dampen your hands and flatten the dough slightly. Sprinkle each cookie with Fleur de Sel.  Bake for exactly 15 minutes (the cookies will seem underdone). Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.