George McFly once said “You can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.” Well, Doc Brown may have inspired the sentiment, but it has never been more true for me than with these cookies. They were absolute perfection. The crispy golden brown exterior gave way to a dense, chewy center swirled with layer upon luscious layer of dark chocolate. And the salt! Why aren’t we sprinkling sea salt flakes on everything? These cookies will change your life. Make them immediately.
Is there a better combination than a cold glass of milk and a warm, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie? Oh, you’re still thinking and haven’t come up with anything yet? That’s what I thought. It helps if the cookies are roughly the size of your face, as was the case with these. I seriously haven’t been able to stop thinking about them. They even came up in casual conversations with friends, for example, a gchat with the one and only Ms. Grinch:
Clearly these cookies leave an indelible mark on any who dare take one soft, chewy bite. I described them to my brother while he was driving and I thought he might run off the road. They are that good. Their deliciousness even translates over the phone.
The dough came together nicely, but the large fancy chocolate disks didn’t incorporate themselves quite the way that chocolate chips do. They kind of stuck out at odd angles and I feared at first that I actually had too much chocolate (there are worse problems to have, I realize this). But they lived up to their hefty price in the end and didn’t show their true worth until the cookies came out of the oven laced with ribbons of melted chocolate. Also, adding cornstarch to the dry ingredients completely negated the need for two different types of flours, which was a bonus. Thanks Caroline!
These chocolate disks do things chocolate chips couldn’t even imagine. In some cases one of the chocolate disks was left exposed on top of a scoop of dough only to turn into a pool of molten chocolate resting in a warm cookie crater.
The chilled dough was a little tough to scoop right out of the fridge. Sadly, my brand new cookie scoop couldn’t even stand up to this uber intense dough. It was a cookie casualty. I ended up using a 1/3 cup measure to scoop and shape the dough and it worked just fine. The sprinkling of sea salt on each mound of dough is really what sealed the deal. Not only does it give the cookies that perfect combination of sweet and savory, but the salt inehrently brings out all the best flavors in the cookies — the molasses notes from the slowly caramelizing brown sugar, the bitter sweetness of the dark chocolate, the floral essence of the vanilla — it’s the whole package, all wrapped up in one ginormous cookie.
These cookies were totally worth the extended refrigeration time required for the dough. Both the flavors and texture benefited from the extra time in the fridge and on top of that, the slowly building anticipation only enhanced the quality of the final product. And by that I mean they were bangin’. Obviously it was difficult not to just start eating the dough right out of the bowl before it even made it into the fridge…which we did anyway. The minute I finished making the dough we pretty much treated it like a bowl of salsa and the over sized chocolate disks like tortilla chips and went to town. So naturally I ended up with an unbalanced ratio of dough to chocolate when it came time to bake. But I found a solution for the leftover scraps! I took one chocolate disk and completely encased it with dough, rolled it into a smooth oval shape, sprinkled it with sea salt, and popped it in the oven. The experiment was a success as it yielded the enigmatically genius inside out cookie pictured above. Even the ubiquitous chocolate chip cookie can end up full of surprises.