Baked! Sqirl's Fleur de Sel Chocolate Cookies
Yeah so, this is a new one for me. Although I love to bake, it's not something I ever write about. For some reason, this recipe from Sqirl founder, Jessica Koslow's book, Everything I Want To Eat, inspired me to photograph the entire process, and then write about it. When I finally ate the cookie, I was pretty frickin' pleased with myself, and even more pleased that I could share the process with you guys. If you have a thing for sweet and salty type food, and of course, love chocolate, then this recipe is for you.
What you see below is a list of ingredients and a brief how-to, but as I am no pro-baker I strongly suggest you pick up the book yourself! It's packed with incredible, moreish recipes to treat you and your loved ones to. From the day I received the book, as a present from my mum, I went through every single, colourful page, marking the recipes that I intended to make.
All in all, I definitely wouldn't call this a quick and easy recipe book, but, the time and effort you put into it is 100 percent worth it. If you're vegan or trying to be, don't worry: yes, there are meat and other animal products in the book but there are enough vegan options to make the cost of the book worth it. I promise. When it comes to the measurements, I've kept them British, mostly because the recipe references cups but British and US cups are not the same! Also, the recipe says it makes 18 cookies but I baked 19 and put at least a third of the dough into the freezer so I can bake again another day. Not a bad problem to have!
Hover over the image above and click for a slide show that shows you how the dough should turn out...
250g all-purpose (plain) flour
55g unsweetened cocoa powder (I used raw cacao cause I'm fancy, yeah...)
1.5 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
Pinch of sea salt
225g unsalted butter at room temperature
165g dark brown sugar (I used Dark Muscovado)
80g granulated sugar (I used Demerera)
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g 70-80% cacao Valrhona Chocolate chopped up into chips (couldn't find it so I used Dr Oetker's)
Fleur de Sel (my absolute favourite cooking ingredient lately - it's basically fancy salt that you would only use for finishing touches.)
You need two decent-sized bowls. In one bowl mix your flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa/cacao. In the other, cream your butter, sugars and vanilla extract. The recipe calls for a stand mixer but I still don't have one (waaaaaaah) so instead I used a good old wooden spoon and elbow grease.
Next, mix your flour mixture into the bowl containing the sugar and butter, a third at a time, to ensure it's properly mixed in, then chuck in your chipped chocolate. It's a really, thick, solid dough so don't worry! Next the recipe calls for chilling in cling film. I did three hours because I'm greedy, but you can leave it overnight if that's easier - or even a few days.
Preheat the oven to 350/175 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. At this point the recipe tells you to divide the mixture up into ping pong size balls that weigh around 35g each. When I did this I had about 19 cookies and probably a third of the mixture left, so I'm guessing you could easily freeze the rest, make more cookies, or make larger cookies! Place each ball a couple of inches apart and sprinkle with that good old fleur de sel. (Or regular salt will do, I guess.)
Bake for 5 minutes, then swap the trays over and give them another 6 minutes. I followed this to the second and they came out amazingly well, i.e. lovely and gooey! If you want to be super neat you can cut out the cookies with a cutter for a perfect circle but there's really no need.
To serve: I couldn't resist adding vanilla ice cream to a couple of these. So. Good.
*FYI in case you hadn't noticed, this is not my recipe. Let me know if you give it a go!