Thursday, October 22, 2009

Salt of the Earth

{Chocolate + Salt}

There are several instances of magnificent and unusual pairings that really do it for me. The collaboration between Led Zeppelin's screaming banshee Robert Plant and bluegrass songbird Alison Krauss is one of them. Bittersweet dark chocolate accompanied by a hint of salt is another. If you're a fan of the hedonistic Vosges chocolate bar with bacon, you understand what I mean. I know, I know- yesterday I wrote that only vegetarian items should be pickled, and now I'm championing a chocolate bar with bacon in it.  Take the bacon bar or leave it, but what I'm saying is that a little sprinkling of gourmet sel de mer can turn a rather pedestrian chocolate chip cookie into a gustatory marvel.

If you live in a place with a gourmet market or a Whole Foods I urge you to take a gander down the spice aisle and note the plethora of exotic salts there. My mother recently discovered a pink river salt that comes from the Murray River of Australia. The marvelous pink crystals are flat and delicate, with a ticklish, brackish taste. I wish I had some pink salt in my kitchen, but the common Mediterranean sea salt I got from the grocery store still did the trick for these chocolate chip cookies. Give it a shot; I guarantee you'll be pleasantly gobsmacked.


Preheat the oven to 375. Grease or line 2 cookie sheets.

Whisk together:
1 cup plus 3 Tbs all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda

Beat in a large bowl until well-blended:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

Add and beat until well combined:
1 large organic egg
1/4 tsp fine salt + 1/4 tsp course fancy sea salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Stir in the flour mixture until well-blended and smooth. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.

Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets and sprinkle a few course salt crystals on top. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until the cookies are just slightly golden on top and the edges are brown, about 8 - 10 minutes. Let stand briefly, then remove to a rack to cool.

Bon appetite!



  1. I am very, very hungry now, Lily. Yep. Think I'll have to make these this weekend.

    I have some wonderful deep reddish brown salt from Hawaii. Wouldn't work with these lovely cookies, but it's a lot of fun to cook with.

    xoxo Gigi

  2. Yuck. My mom used to make salty cookies. I think I will forever eschew that particular combination because of a joke my grandpa once played on me - unwittingly. I was tiny, and liked to eat cereal while watching TV on Sunday nights. My grandpa was babysitting me and, as a coal miner, he's not so good in the kitchen. So when he made me my cereal, he poured a heaping lump of what turned out to be salt in the bowl.

    I took a giant bite and started bawling.

  3. OHHHHH YUM...I love the salty/sweet combo!!! MMMM, I will have to try these!!!

  4. you are such my soul mate. will you marry me? my neighbor just came back from Japan and brought us a little precious jar of green tea salt. we tasted it and asked, "what would this be good with?" decisions: grilled eggplant or any grilled vegetables, watermelon and...chocolate! (well i said that, my hubs said "what?" i'm sending you some mint salt i have way too much of...

  5. oooo-and guess what got sent yesterday?

  6. You've had Fran's sea salt caramels, right? Because you will *die.* Salty-sweet madness.

  7. Please, may I have one?

    Good to see you yesterday, my dear friend!

  8. are you going to be serving these at the studio tours? i made homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies last night. you would of DIED! xx

  9. k so. i don't usually bake; but this might change things.

  10. oh I love love love Vosges, and I love sea salt with sweetness, {chocolate} {carmel} you name it! I think i will be making these! Thanks for coming by my blog and leaving your sweet comment. I love your blog too!


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