I’ve been craving chocolate chip cookies this week so last night, I decided to make some. I knew I wanted them to be extra salty so I used my last stick of salted butter. Then, I decided to take it up a level and sprinkle some sea salt on top.
My official verdict on these cookies is, they’re better than standard chocolate chip cookies. I know I might annoy a lot of people by saying that, but it’s true. Don’t get me wrong: Regular chocolate chip cookies are delicious. There’s nothing wrong with them. But they go to the next level with extra salt. The salt enhances the chocolate and balances the sweet.
I was going to just make the cookies with salted butter and forget the sea salt on top because I was out of Maldon sea salt flakes. If you’re not familiar with Maldon, think of the big, flaky pieces of salt that you’ll occasionally see sprinkled on baked goods or fish dishes. They’re more like salt sprinkles than grains of salt.
Then I found an almost unused container of fleur de sel de Guérande in my cupboard. Fleur de sel de Guérande is a very specific kind of French salt that’s hand harvested in Brittany, a coastal region in northwest France. One time I got scolded by a French woman for not realizing that the salt was only used in specific dishes. French people are very particular about their salt.
I bought the salt a couple years ago when I found it at World Market, used some for chocolate brownies, and then forgot about it until last night. I felt a little weird sprinkling some on top of my cookies because I felt like a Frenchman/woman would not approve. But then again, the French are always up for food that tastes delicious, so this was a step in that direction.
These cookies are ones to love. They’re crispy around the edges, soft and chewy in the middle, and even more delicious when paired with a cold glass of milk. I’d highly recommend eating one straight off of the baking sheet.
You can adjust baking time depending on your oven but it should take the cookies about 12 minutes to bake. If you roll the dough into bigger balls, the cookies will take longer to bake.
Another good rule is to take the cookies out of the oven when they look slightly underdone. They finish baking on the sheets. When the edges look golden brown and crispy and the centers are pretty much set, you can take them out.
Here’s a song to get you started on your sea salt chocolate chip cookie journey.
Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup salted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 tsp granulated sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
sea salt flakes for sprinkling
Whisk the flour and baking soda in a mixing bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together for about two minutes on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Then beat in the flour, half the mixture at a time. Beat after each addition until the dough just comes together. DO NOT over mix. Your cookies will be rock hard if you do this.
Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. When you’re ready to bake your cookies, line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Scoop the dough using a 1/4 cup measuring cup and roll it into balls. Place the balls about two inches apart on a baking sheet. I put six balls on each sheet.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes in the oven. Start checking at 10 minutes to make sure your cookies don’t burn or over bake. Take them out of the oven when the middles are set but still a little underdone and the edges are golden brown and crispy. Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the sheet and then let them cool the rest of the way on a wire rack. Enjoy!