Chocolate chip cookies are a truly American invention, and they’re still a treat this country knows how to do well. Better than me, perhaps, until I recently figured out some of the secrets behind a truly great cookie. I’m not a native, but I’m definitely a full-fledged immigrant Brooklynite, and that really must count for something. Another thing I must admit – I’m not a huge chocolate lover. I’ll eat chocolate sometimes, and I know when it’s quality. I’ve always been one of those people who choose white chocolate over “real” chocolate. That’s actually one of the reasons why I love this recipe. I use 100% crunchy cocoa nibs mixed with chunks of the whitest, least-chocolatey chocolate. And, of course, everything in between. Eating one of these cookies speckled with purple lavender or green tarragon and chunky grey salt is like going on a tour of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. It takes you for a ride. You’ll see.
Yield: makes about 3 dozen
1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks butter, room softened (1 cup, 8 oz., 226 grams)
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon molasses (regular, unsulphured or blackstrap)
1 teaspoon (boring) salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups assorted chopped chocolate (a combination of white chocolate, milk chocolate, bittersweet, unsweetened & cocoa nibs)
2 heaping teaspoons dried lavender (or fresh tarragon)
Pinch of Maldon, Sel Gris or Murray River Salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2-3 trays lined with baking paper. In a small bowl whisk together both flours, the baking soda, boring salt and the lavender. In another bowl (or, an electric mixer would make life easier) beat together the butter, sugar and molasses until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, eggs and mix well. Then add the flour mixure. Stir in the chocolate.
Using two spoons, drop heaping tablespoon of the dough about 2 inches apart on the trays. Add 1-3 flakes of your choice of fancy salt on the top of each cookie.
Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on baking 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
These cookies won’t last long, but just so you know, they can last in a container for a few days and they also freeze well.