Friday, September 28, 2012

Dark Chocolate Chip, Pistachio, and Smoked Salt Cookies

I love adding pistachios to cookie recipes (as in these Oatmeal Cranberry Pistachio gems), so I bookmarked Joy the Baker's recipe for dark chocolate, pistachio and smoked salt cookies as soon as I saw it. But what the heck is smoked salt and where was I going to find it?

The recipe sat for a few weeks as I waited for an excuse to bake these cookies, or stumbled upon smoke salt (whichever came first). I was stopping in Whole Foods to pick up some treats for an impromptu dinner with friends, and somehow remembered my need for smoke salt. I tried the baking aisle first, where two gentlemen who worked at the store looked at me confused and asked, "What are you trying to make?" Luckily, one of them thought to radio the man at the specialty foods/cheese counter, who happened to be standing behind a huge glass jar filled with a smoky brown salt. Within minutes I found myself in a circle with these three workers, all sniffing the campfire worthy scent of their smoked salt.

Needless to say, once I had the salt I didn't need an excuse to bake. These cookies are as easy to whip up as any other chocolate chip cookie recipe and I was delighted at their thinness and chewy texture (if you want to hear me talk more on that, check out my classic chocolate chippers).

A smoked, nutty, and chocolately cookie - how can we make it any better, you ask? How about using some homemade vanilla extract. Yes, be jealous, and then make your own. Luckily, the man in my life has a stash of these perfect bottles in his kitchen and I get dibs.

These cookies are perfect for autumn. If you're adventurous, or just enjoy salty foods, I suggest generously sprinkling the smoked salt over the cookies. If you're unsure, do half and half: half of your batch with just a little, and half with a little more. I don't think you'll be disappointed. 

Dark Chocolate Chip, Pistachio, and Smoked Salt Cookies
From Joy the Baker
Makes approximately 24 cookies

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
1/2 c. raw sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 c. dark chocolate, chips or chunks
1 c. shelled pistachios, chopped
smoked salt for topping

Preheat your oven to 300°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat butter and sugars until fluffy in an electric mixer. Beat in egg and vanilla.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Add to butter mixture and beat until just incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips and pistachios.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonful onto baking sheets. Sprinkle generously with smoked sea salt. Bake for 18 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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