It’s my birthday this week, so cookies are back. It’s my party and I’ll gorge myself on browned butter if I want to.
It’s probably a symptom of having older siblings, but it’s hard to forget how old twenties always used to sound to me, how much I thought I’d have sorted by now. But then, I thought that at 18 and 21 too, so I suspect my heart and my brain will forever be playing catch up to the passing of timing and the aging of this bundle of cells. I also suspect we all feel the same way.
But these cookies are probably one of the most grown up things I’ve achieved so far. They’re dark and toffee-y and use fancy salt — when did I become a person who gets excited by fancy salt? — in ways that take them a million miles from Maryland’s excuse for cookies.
The making of them completely feels like magic — the process of browning the butter, then whisking it with sugar and leaving it for a bit means that you start out with a gritty mix but end up with a gorgeously thick, glossy mixture. And then! And then you add the flour and the chocolate and it becomes the most gorgeously rich, nutty cookie dough imaginable.
It’s not a cookie to hand out to children — it’s one to be served warm, and savoured, the crisp outside giving way to a soft chewy inside, studded with dark chocolate brought to life by smoked sea salt. It’s an indulgence that, dipped into coffee, makes grey Monday mornings at your office job a lot brighter. It’s most certainly a cookie for grown ups.
Dark chocolate chip cookies with smoked sea salt
- Allow the baking tray to cool between batches. Using a hot tray will melt the dough prematurely and give you overbaked edges. Ew.
- Don’t be tempted to make smaller cookies. Using the right amount is important to ensure you get the crunchy edges and chewy middle.
- Like all cookies, they’re best served warm. If preparing ahead of time, pop them into a warm oven for about 4 minutes before serving just to get that gooey, melty centre again (or microwave for around 20 seconds).
Adapted from the Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book
Yields 14-16 large cookies
250g plain flour