Salted Chocolate Rye Cookies

Hello again, readers! I’ve been very busy the last couple weeks running around New Zealand and checking out my future home of Melbourne, so despite my best intentions I’m a couple posts behind. Instead I was photographing a friend’s wedding in Wellington and writing for another friend’s blog. And while I did actually bake while I was away, it was only once, and just these old standbys. But I’m back now, and I’ve got a couple cool recipes to share with you.

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These cookies, for starters. I’ve been playing around with a couple recipes from Tartine recently—notably I made a vegan version of these, which for some reason I neglected to photograph—and this was my favorite new find. The rye flour gives these a very distinctive flavor and texture, and while I’ve never been a fan of rye bread, I thought these were delicious.

Salted Chocolate Rye Cookies
(Adapted from Tartine Book No. 3)

450 grams (1 pound) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (55 grams or 2 ounces) unsalted butter
3/4 cup rye flour (the recipe calls for whole-grain dark rye flour; I used the only one my supermarket had)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
flakey sea salt, for sprinkling

1. In a double-boiler or a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring occasionally. Remove the melted mixture from heat and leave to cool.

2. Add the rye flour, baking powder, and salt to a small bowl and whisk together. Set aside.

3. Crack all four eggs into a larger bowl or the bowl of a stand mixture with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed (using either a hand- or stand-mixer; I don’t recommend attempting this by hand). Add the sugar gradually, beating the whole time, until all the sugar is in there. Turn up the mixer to high and beat until the mixture has nearly tripled in volume. It will look a bit bubbly and pale, like this:

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4. Lower the speed on the mixer and add in the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and the vanilla. Beat in thoroughly, then mix in the flour mixture until just combined. The dough will seem very soft at this point, which is fine.

5. Refrigerate dough, covered, until just firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Don’t leave it too much longer than that or it will become very difficult to scoop.

6. Preheat your oven to 175 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and line a cookie sheet or two with baking parchment. Arrange rounded tablespoons of dough on the baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Top each ball of dough with some sea salt.

7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cookies are rounded on top and smooth on the bottom. Let cool slightly on trays, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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