Another wonderful Fourth of July has come and gone. The husband and I started the day with a delightful morning bike ride around Lake Murray, which, fortunately, wasn’t crowded at all (likely a side effect of the big sign at the entrance that read “No fireworks at Lake Murray this year”). After, it was time to get cooking in the kitchen. I contemplated deviled eggs, then pondered providing the burgers and dogs, but in the end, I asked myself who would I be if I did not come armed with dessert. I couldn’t let down the masses, so I made a big batch of Hello Dolly bars, which are so easy, I could surely make them half-asleep. For my second act, I wanted a bit of a challenge, which Smitten Kitchen’s recipes always are. Deb’s Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies are among the best cookies I’ve ever made. Her recommendation to add a couple of tablespoons of turbinado sugar is not to be missed, as the added crunch on top of gooey puddles of chocolate on top of salty sweetness is oh-so-good.

Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies
A http://www.smittenkitchen.com recipe adapted from Ashley Rodriguez’s Not Without Salt and Date Night In

Makes about 18 to 24 cookies

1/2 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (25 grams) turbinado sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (165 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon (or, technically, 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon) fine sea or table salt
1 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 pound (225 grams) semi- or bittersweet chocolate, cut into roughly 1/2-inch chunks with a serrated knife
Flaky sea salt, to finish

Heat oven to 360°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beating until incorporated, and scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in salt fine sea or table salt and baking soda until combined, then the flour on a low speed until just mixed. The dough will look crumbly at this point. With a spatula, fold/stir in the chocolate chunks.

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Probably the most sinful cookie batter I’ve ever sneakily sampled. I could eat an entire bowl of this deliciousness and the terrible stomach ache that would result would be well worth it.

Scoop cookies into 1 1/2 tablespoon (I used a #40 scoop) mounds, spacing them apart on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each with a few flakes of sea salt. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, until golden on the outside but still very gooey and soft inside. Out of the oven, let rest on baking sheet out of the for 5 minutes before transferring a cooling rack.

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Mounds of cookie dough dotted with sea salt. Try to resist leaving the mounds of dough undisturbed on their mat instead of in your mouth – I dare you!

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And there you have them. They might not look like anything special, but one bite and you’ll be delighted with a puddle of warm chocolate oozing into your mouth. Pure cookie heaven.

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