today’s taste: sea salt chocolate chip cookies
Even though we didn’t know each other as kids, the first recipe either of us remembers making is the famous Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe. Almost anyone can recognize that classic recipe found on the back of the bag of Nestle chocolate chips. With crisp edges, chewy middles, and melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, the Nestle Toll House recipe has become a classic in many kitchens not without good reason. There’s even an episode of Friends about how delicious this recipe is – it’s that good.
So, when Morgan suggested we make sea salt chocolate cookies for the blog, Emily was a little skeptical of any chocolate chip cookies that weren’t the same ones from her childhood. I mean, you don’t want to mess with perfection, right? However, after some convincing on Morgan’s part (let’s be honest – it didn’t take that much convincing), we decided to put these cookies to the test. After our official taste test, we both agree that this recipe can hold its own against the classic one we grew up with. Considering that Emily’s mom knows the Toll House recipe by heart from how many times Emily and her brother requested it over the years, that’s saying something.
What makes these new cookies so great is that they are the perfect amount of chewy without being too thick, soft, or cake-like. To give the cookies the warm and melty center without sacrificing the crisp edges, the steps immediately before placing them in the oven are essential. After you’ve laid out the dollops of dough (and licked the spoon clean – Morgan is a salmonella non-believer), splash your hands with water (to prevent them from sticking) and gently flatten each ball into a disc. Additionally, avoid over-baking the cookies; take them out of the oven right at 15 minutes, even if the centers look slightly underdone. They will firm up as they cool.
We also love that the sea salt adds a more “grown up” flavor and texture – this isn’t your lunchbox chocolate chip cookie (but in the best way possible). Make sure to use coarse sea salt; anything finer gets lost during the oven time. (If you don’t have coarse sea salt in your kitchen, now is the time to invest. Its more intense flavor enhances both savory and sweet dishes, and don’t get us started on the sea salt and caramel combination. That’s a taste for another day…)
Whatever you do, have a glass of milk nearby when you pull these out of the oven – milk and cookies may be the truest friendship the world has ever known (we’re aiming for a close second). Trust us when we say that you will be wanting it!
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 20 oz chocolate chips
- 1/2 tablespoon coarse sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla and mix in.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix in.
- Stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in three separate additions, mixing each time.
- Stir in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
- Use a rounded teaspoon to form balls of dough and drop onto ungreased baking sheets. Splash your hands with water (to prevent the dough from sticking) and gently flatten each ball into a disc.
- Sprinkle a small pinch (5-6 crystals) of coarse sea salt on each cookie.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan before removing cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.