Chocolate Chip Cookies are my favorites. They were one of the first recipes that I learned to bake. I was twelve years old and my sister-in-law was living with us while my brother was in Vietnam. She decided to teach me how to make cookies. We used the recipe on the back of the Nestle Chocolate Chip morsels.
They continued to be my go-to cookie in college. I would make them and take them to my calculus class. My good friend R and I made a trip to Phoenix to see her boyfriend (later to be her husband). He was living with G in a small rental that used to be an office. It had three rooms, a living room/bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. There were three of them living in the house while they went to a technical school. We flew down to visit her boyfriend and helped him move back to the Valley to enlist. His number had been drawn on the draft.
I knew the recipe by heart by then and we made a batch for the boys. It was challenging because there wasn't a real good thermostat on their oven. We kinda just had to warm it up, stick a batch in and check every few minutes. I think they were some of the best if not the most memorable batch.
G and I were not dating at this time. We went along with my friend and her boyfriend to a couple of items but we did not really click. G stayed in Phoenix since his draft number was over 300. It was almost a year later that he returned to the Valley and we finally went on a real date.
I came across this recipe from Joy the Baker. Using the smoked salt caught my interest. I had read another salted chocolate chip cookie recipe on Slow Travel but this was the first I had seen that used smoked salt.
First challenge was to find smoked salt. We went to downtown Seattle so I was on the look out for it and we found it at DeLaurenti. The second was to find Nestle dark chocolate chips. I wanted to use those instead of chipping up a bar. They are not at my usual store - part of the Kroger chain but I did find them at Safeway. The third was to get shelled pistachios. I went to Trader Joe's.
I made these today and they are quite tasty. They are baked at a lower temperature and come out crispy and with a little caramel flavor. I wasn't certain how much salt to use - so I just crumbled a pinch of flakes over each cookie. The smoked flavor is real subtle. I'm not crazy about the shelled pistachios that I got at Trader Joe's. They were a little stale (soft). They were also dry roasted and I should have probably found regular salted shelled nuts. The Nestle chips were okay - not real dark and still a bit milky. I will definitely try a different brand of dark chocolate chips next time.
I also used half the amount of chocolate chips and pistachios but you may want to use the full amount if you love a cookie full of goodies. If you are a lover of chocolate chip cookies - definitely give these a try.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (I used 3/4 cup)
1 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped (I used 1/2 cup)
smoked salt for topping
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Cream butter and sugars together until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until smooth. Add vanilla extract.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the mixture all at once to the butter mixture. Beat on low speed until just incorporated. Finally mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.
From a tablespoon, drop the cookies onto the prepared cookie sheet. For smaller cookies, use about 1/2 tablespoon. Use full tablespoon or two if you want a larger cookie. Leave about 1-2 inches of room between each cookie depending upon how large a drop you are using. Sprinkle generously with smoked sea salt.
Bake cookies for 18 minutes, or until just golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will last, well wrapped at room temperature for up to 4 days.