Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Next Level Chocolate Chunk Cookies

This is it. 

This is the cookie I will make all year. They are truly NEXT LEVEL.

It's not just the gold that makes these cookies glorious, it's a couple of awesome ingredients too!

Can you believe these cookies are made with 100% whole wheat flour? I don't mean just 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup... I'm talking everything! ALL of the flour in this recipe is whole wheat flour

Will you sacrifice flavour? No
Will you sacrifice texture? No
Will you sacrifice looks? No

These cookies are full on chocolaty with this underlying nuttiness and satisfaction via sweet & salty perfection!

They are crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle - just how I like them. Some of the bran caramelizes around the edges and adds this unique soft "crunch" that is so wonderfully pleasing. 

And they are perfectly thick with the right amount of spread with those cracks at the surface.
I'm am full on SMITTEN.

Let's break it down:

Special ingredient #1 is... whole wheat flour (WWF).

You know this by now: these cookies are made with whole wheat flour and it's like they were made to be that way! Often times we don't bake with WWF because it leads to drier doughs and batters, creates a dense or heavy texture and adds a distinctive taste. That leads me to this: make sure your flour is fresh! Since WWF contains the germ portion of the grain, it has a shorter shelf life. The "germ" is where majority of the fat is stored in wheatberries and fat can oxidize and turn rancid over time. Fresh is best! Store your whole wheat flour in the fridge to retain freshness.

WWF also contains the bran, which is the outer layer of the wheatberry and is the source of dietary fiber. It is the bran and germ portions in whole grain flours that absorb more liquid than just plain white flour so recipes typically need to compensate for this additional moisture uptake.

Special ingredient #2 is... salted butter.

Salted butter ads a richer savoury dairy note that is more in your face compared to the smooth creaminess of unsalted butter. If you can find cultured salted butter - even better! I use salted butter in brownies and certain cookie recipes (like for sablé and whenever I brown butter). Most other places, though, I use unsalted.

Special ingredient #3 is... soy sauce.

It does a couple of wonderful things - salty savoury for one! It just enhances those chocolate notes and plays off the nutty bran flavour from whole wheat. It also contributes just the right amount of added moisture to the dough to help offset the drying power of the bran. A multi-purpose ingredient it is.

Special Ingredient #4 is... salted potato chips!

It adds another element of unexpected crunch and salty savoryness. So darn good!

Now there's a trick to make chewy moist cookies that goes against everything you may have ever been taught: Do not beat the heck out of the butter and sugar! 

Creaming for 3-5 minutes is nonsense and will lead to dry crumbly cookies. Creaming incorporates air and all this air can actually make it dry. Also, when you have very fine air bubbles, the texture becomes brittle. This is great for crisp edges but not for chewy centers.

For soft drop cookies, just cream for 1-2 minutes on medium speed until the butter and brown sugar forms a smooth thick paste that looks like wet sand. You can even do this by hand in a bowl with a rubber spatula, and as a matter of fact I prefer this method most times. A slight change in colour is good, but creaming until very pale = dry.

These cookies are everything BUT dry. And that melty chocolate... well... yup.

I can't wait for you to make these, and do let me know what you think!

Big love xo

NEXT LEVEL Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chunk Cookies
makes 16-18 cookies

½ cup (113g) salted butter, softened
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
½ cup (110g) packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tbsp (160g) whole wheat all-purpose flour
¼ cup (22g) light Dutch-process cocoa powder (you can also use natural cocoa)
½ tsp baking soda
6 oz (170g) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
3-4 ruffled salted potato chips, crumbled

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a medium mixing bowl if using a hand mixer), beat butter until creamy. Add both sugars and vanilla and beat for 1-2 minutes on medium speed until smooth and a bit fluffy, but more like wet sand or a thick paste. Beat in egg until well combined. Mix in soy sauce.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Add to butter mixture and mix on low until just combined. Mix in chocolate chips and crumbled potato chips on low until evenly incorporated. 

Cover dough in the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Scoop 1.5 oz portions of dough onto prepared baking trays and flatten with the palm of your hand. Space them 3 inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes until just set around the edges and still soft in the center. Remove from oven and transfer pan to wire racks. Let cookies cool 2 minutes on trays before transferring individually to the rack to finish cooling.

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