Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

promise I don’t exist simply to reblog Smitten Kitchen recipes. It’s just that I follow that blog on Facebook, save a lot of the links, and thus have easy access to them. ANYWAY.

Some time ago my husband sent me this cookie recipe from The New York Times. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad experience with a recipe printed in the Times (in fact, I made this Irish stew for the second time on Friday, it’s easy and wonderful), but this cookie recipe is what I’d call a bit much. The combination of bread flour and cake flour. The freaking Valrhona fèves for heaven’s sake. Chilling the dough 24-36 hours.

I make chocolate chip cookies pretty often and usually on the spur of the moment. It’s hard to make a bad chocolate chip cookie, but I always struggle with them a bit because they look so…blah. They spread out and they’re ugly and yeah they taste fine but I like things to look good, too. This has actually been a big source of frustration to me. How come I can make a passable mokatine on the first try but turn out such ugly chocolate chip cookies?!

I’ve been looking for “the” chocolate chip cookie recipe for a while now, and before we go any further I’ll just say you’d be hard-pressed to ever really go wrong with the standard-issue Toll House recipe found on the back of the chocolate chip package. It’s easy, it makes a lot of cookies, and – most important! – it results in a really delicious cookie. But mine just never look very nice and this irritates me, so I’ve been branching out, trying to find something that satisfies my aesthetic requirements without compromising taste and enjoyment.

At some point, I’ll probably try that Times cookie recipe. But yesterday was not the day. Yesterday was the day for the recipe on Smitten Kitchen, which is actually by Ashley Rodriguez of Not Without Salt. (You can even buy the mix here.)

I was enormously pleased with the results of this recipe. It uses slightly less flour than a traditional recipe, and just one egg; also three different kids of sugar, but you probably have them all on hand. The biggest difference is that whereas the Toll House recipe calls for equal amounts of white and brown sugar, the Not Without Salt recipe reduces the white sugar to just two tablespoons, amps up the brown to 3/4 cup plus two tablespoons, and adds a couple tablespoons of turbinado sugar.

The resulting cookie is very attractive (although I used Guittard extra dark chocolate chips instead of chopped dark chocolate) and extremely delicious. Next time I’d sprinkle even more sea salt on top, but that’s a personal preference and not a shortcoming of the recipe. I saved back some dough to bake more cookies today; so I’ll be able to see for myself if they are indeed less puffy as stated in the Smitten Kitchen post.

I’m very happy to have an answer to my cookie quest. But I’m even more pleased to have cookies!

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