Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies
These cookies are famous.
Not actually famous, but in my world, they are by far and away the most popular dessert that I've baked -- not once, but countless times. The recipe started as any other recipe out of one of my very favorite cookbooks, Baking Illustrated, but after years of repeats, I eventually made 2 small adjustments that make some pretty big differences:
And with those updates, these are pure and utter magic. I am a firm believer in chopping chocolate for cookies rather than using chocolate chips: Why get a tiny smidgeon of semisweet chocolate in your cookie when you could get a melty mouthful of a chocolate chunk? And then you get a bite of flaked salt to send these cookies completely over-the-top.
If you don't like these, I encourage you to contact me personally - not to justify the recipe, but to make sure you're in a healthy mental state. (My email is on the third tab of this website.)
2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugars and beat on medium speed until smooth. Beat in egg, egg yolk and vanilla until combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, beating after each, until dough is just combined. Fold in chocolate chunks.
Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes before baking, preferably overnight.
When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 F. Roll a scant ¼ cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough’s uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2½ inches apart. * Sprinkle cookies with flaked salt.
Bake until the cookies are light golden brown and outer edges look done, 15 - 20 minutes. Cool cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with more flaked salt, if desired.
* This method is a tip from Baking Illustrated, and it gives the cookies a much more attractive appearance and helps keep them upright while baking. It's not necessary - if you prefer, simply roll dough into balls and plop onto baking sheets as usual.