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 V.18 No.35 | August 27 - September 2, 2009 

Bite

We don't bake much. But we threw ourselves into baking a sweet creation for a beer tasting and a radical birthday dinner party. The goal was to find a treat that would stand up to the awesome power of dessert beers and high-octane stouts.

After reading competing canons on cookies, we experimented with a technique we found: resting the dough for a full day and a half, which vibed well with our current obsession with bread. The (essential) finishing touch is a hefty pinch of smoked salt.

Smoky Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from Jacques Torres
Makes 3 dozen

Ingredients:

1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup bread flour
1 cup minus 1 tablespoon cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup plus 1/8 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 stick butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 ounces bittersweet couverture chocolate pistoles (discs, not chips)
1 tablespoon finely ground smoked salt
Instructions:

1) Sift together the flours, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt (not the smoked stuff yet) in a medium-size bowl. Set aside.

2) Using a countertop mixer, blend the sugars and the butter together with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes on medium speed until creamy. Add the egg and the vanilla extract and continue to mix for another three minutes.

3) Add the flours and slow the mixer to low speed: Make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl so that everything gets incorporated. Add the chocolate pistoles and mix for another three minutes.

4) When the chocolate is totally embedded in the dough, stop the mixer. Turn the dough out onto some plastic wrap and form the dough into a square shape. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap (you can double-wrap so that it doesn't absorb the flavors from your fridge) and chill in the ice box for at least 24 hours.

5) Preheat your oven to 375 F. Take a 2-tablespoon piece of dough and roll it into a ball a little less than 1 inch in diameter. Repeat. Place the dough balls, spaced about 4 inches apart, on a Silpat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

6) Sprinkle a hefty pinch of smoked salt on each cookie ball; don't be afraid.

7) Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until they're settled but not brown on top. Allow to cool on the pan for at least 10 minutes before serving.
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