I apologize if this messes with any diet resolutions, but here is a recipe that is worth the indulgence. This is no ordinary chocolate chip cookie. It has all the delicious aspects of a traditional, chewy Toll House-style cookie, but then notches it up a level with almond butter, chocolate chunks and sea salt.
The almond butter does wondrous things to the cookie dough, adding an extra layer of melt-in-the-mouth flavor. It's not as pronounced as peanut butter, which, in my opinion, can overpower a cookie. Almond butter is mellower -- enhancing rather than dominating the cookie, adding a toasty golden backdrop to the dough with the subtle hint of roasted nuts.
Chopped dark chocolate replaces tried-and-true chocolate chips. This is a good thing, because you can choose a good quality dark chocolate (I like 70 percent). When you chop the chocolate, you will be left with chunks and a good amount of chocolate dust -- this is the equivalent of chocolate gold dust -- so swipe all of the dusty bits into the batter along with the chunks to infuse the batter with the chocolate.
A pinch of sea salt flakes is the final touch, which balances out the cookie's inherent sweetness. A little salt makes everything taste better -- even sweets -- especially when chocolate is involved.
Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Active time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 25 minutes
Yield: Makes about 36 cookies
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsalted creamy almond butter (not raw)
7 ounces chopped dark chocolate
Sea salt flakes for garnish
Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Add the almond butter and mix until smooth.
Dump the flour into the mixing bowl and mix until all of the ingredients are incorporated, without overmixing. Stir in the chocolate, including all of the little pieces and dusty bits (they will melt into the batter). Refrigerate the batter for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drop rounded tablespoons of the dough on baking sheets lined with parchment. Add a tiny pinch of sea salt flakes to each cookie. Bake until light golden, 12 to 14 minutes.
Slide the parchment and cookies onto a wire rack to cool. The cookies will continue to firm up while cooling. The cookies can be stored covered at room temperature for up to three days -- if they last that long!
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