I have an overdue cookbook because I couldn’t let it go before getting this recipe archived. When you discover one of your favorite cookie recipes ever, the fines are definitely worth it.
I checked out the latest Tartine cookbook because I was excited that it focused on whole grains. Plus, I keep convincing myself that if I read about the process of making naturally leavened breads just one more time I’ll actually try. That has yet to happen. I remain intimidated, but increasingly intrigued. I think I’ll get there. Maybe I’ll cross that bridge after I visit the bakery in a few weeks on my birthday (!!!) (I’m going to San Francisco! To visit a dear friend! I danced around the house for days after my tickets were finalized. I also quickly inquired to see if a trip to Tartine could be fit in. She assured me that we can walk there every day if need be. I’m fairly certain there will be need.)
While I may hesitate to make and feed a starter, I never hesitate to melt butter and chocolate together. Whenever I see a recipe starting out that way, I’m willing to keep reading. This one lured me in completely with the additions of rye flour and sea salt flakes.
What results are basically truffles in cookie form. Or the best fudgy-brownie-cookie I’ve ever tasted. The outside provides a little chew, while the inside melts in your mouth. The salt makes it all sing. I might have even danced a little jig while singing hallelujahs after trying my first. (There’s been a lot of dancing lately.)
I highly recommend not skimping on chocolate quality because it will heavily influence the flavor. In fact, if you only have chocolate chips or some sort of chocolate look alike, I would hold off. These cookies are divine because of the high quality chocolate in them. It makes them more expensive than your average homemade cookie, but not your average truffle. (Such a bargain!) You do get a lot for your money, though. Plus, my husband said they’re his second favorite cookie ever. (This is both of our first, in case you’re wondering.) Are you convinced yet?
If you’ve never dove into the melting chocolate world before, my recommendations include Valrhona, Theo, Green & Black, Guittard, Scharffenberger, and Callebaut. All of these will be far better choices than Baker’s or Hershey’s. Ghirardelli is a step up from those, too.
Tartine’s Salted Chocolate Rye Cookies
Yield: Four dozen small cookies
- 454 g / 2 2/3 cups chopped bittersweet chocolate (70%)
- 57 g / 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 85 g / 3/4 cup whole-grain dark rye flour (I used Bob’s)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used Diamond Crystal kosher)
- 200 g / 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 340 g / 1 1/2 cups muscovado sugar (I used a combination of turbinado and brown- using a scale to pay careful attention to their combined weight, not volume)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, for topping
Fill the base of a double boiler with an inch or two of water (or use a saucepan and place a heatproof bowl above it, making sure that the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water). Bring to a simmer. Melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat to cool slightly once it’s melted.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Using a standing mixer and whisk attachment, whip the eggs on medium-high speed, adding the sugar a little bit at a time until it’s all incorporated. Turn the mixer to high and whip the eggs until they’ve nearly tripled in volume, about 6-minutes.
Reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla and melted chocolate-butter mixture. Mix to combine, scraping down the bowl sides as needed. Mix in the flour mixture until just combined. (I did this gently by hand with a spatula.) The dough resembles a cake batter, very soft and loose. Don’t fret, it hardens as it chills.
Refrigerate the dough in the mixing bowl about 30-minutes, until it is firm to the touch. If you chill it longer, bring it to room temperature prior to scooping.
Preheat the oven to 350℉ / 180℃ and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop the dough with a rounded tablespoon onto the baking sheets (I used a small ice cream scoop with a nifty release mechanism- my favorite cookie dough dispenser). Space the balls about 2 inches apart. (I fit 12 on each sheet.) Sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt on each ball, pressing them in gently so they stick. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cookies have puffed up, have smooth bottoms and rounded tops. Let the cookies cool a minute or two on the sheets before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.
The cookies remain very moist and chewy for several days if you keep them in an airtight container. Speaking from experience, they pair nicely with coffee in the morning, milk in the afternoon and red wine at night.