Amazing Salted Chocolate Rye Cookies from Tartine No. 3

February 14, 2014

Master baker and cookbook author, Chad Robertson, is known for his innovative bread baking and experimental spirit.  In Tartine No. 3, he explores the role of whole grains in baked goods.  He goes beyond multi-grain loaves and includes recipes that use nut milks, alternative sweeteners and whole grains in a variety of baking applications.  Salted chocolate rye cookies is one such recipe.  Whole-grain dark rye flour replaces traditional all purpose flour to create a more healthful and flavorful cookie.

Salted Chocolate-Rye Cookies

Rye has proven a fine substitute for wheat in cookie applications, adding a distinguishing flavor that is naturally complementary to chocolate and a tender texture. Rye doughs can be especially delicate to work with; this fudgy cookie seasoned with salt is an easy place to start.

454 g/2 2⁄3 cups chopped bittersweet chocolate (70%), preferably Valrhona
57 g/4 T unsalted butter
85 g/3/4 cup whole-grain dark rye flour
1 t baking powder
½ t salt
200 g/4 large eggs, at room temperature
340 g/1 ½ cups muscovado sugar
1 T vanilla extract
Good-quality sea salt, such as Maldon or flaky fleur de sel, for topping

Place a saucepan filled with 1 in/2.5 cm of water over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Set a heatproof bowl over simmering water, taking care that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water, and melt together the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

Place the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed, adding the sugar a little bit at a time, until all the sugar is incorporated. Turn the mixer to high and whip until the eggs have nearly tripled in volume, about 6 minutes.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the melted chocolate-butter mixture and the vanilla. Mix to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, then mix in the flour mixture just until combined. At this point the dough will be very soft and loose, which is normal; it will firm up as it chills.

Refrigerate the dough in the mixing bowl until it is just firm to the touch, about 30 minutes (the longer you chill the dough, the harder it is to scoop; if it chills for more than an hour, remove the dough from the fridge to warm up to room temperature before scooping).

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge and scoop with a rounded tablespoon onto the baking sheets, spacing the balls of dough 2 in/5 cm apart. Top each mound of dough with a few flakes of sea salt, pressing gently so it adheres. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cookies have completely puffed up and have a smooth bottom and rounded top. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let cool slightly (the cookies may flatten a bit when cooling), then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. The cookies will keep up to 3 days in an airtight container.

Yield: Four dozen small cookies

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