As you are all too aware by now, one has to get creative in how to pass time constructively during this stay-at-home lockdown period. So I decided to treat us to something decadent like these Salted Double-Chocolate Olive Oil Cookies. The Hubster, an olive oil fanatic, actually discovered this recipe online weeks ago and it was the perfect foil to pass some time over the weekend.
They were inspired by a recipe for Olive Oil and Sea Salt Brownie Cookies that Phyllis Grant found all over the Internet. She traced it back to Ashton Epps Swank from the blog Something Swanky. Phyllis removed the brownie component by taking out the baking soda and one egg. Less sugar, flour, and cocoa were included; but more salt and vanilla were added. Then Phyllis snuck in a bit of butter (because even though these are olive oil cookies, she claims butter makes everything better). Who’s going to disagree?
Once upon a time, salt was just salt. Not so in this case. It’s important that you use Maldon Sea Salt as the topping. Maldon is, first, a place—a town in the county Essex on the River Blackwater, an estuary in the east of England. As for the ingredient, it is loved by chefs and shoppers the world over because the soft flaky texture of the sea salt crystals and the cleanness of the salt flavor they deliver make all the difference.
As for the taste, Maldon is considered less bitter, less salty than other salts. There’s a quick savory zing that doesn’t overpower or overstay, it’s almost sweet. Plus, it’s a good finishing salt on almost anything—I use it nearly everyday. Many grocers do not carry it, but you can order it online pretty easily.
And to make sure the cookies were the best, I used and entire 10-ounce bag of the large Ghirardelli premium baking bittersweet chips. End result? They were friggin’ amazing and some of the richest and most flavorful chocolate nuggets we’d ever eaten! After one bite, Hubby labeled them “little chocolate bombs.” I dare you to eat just one…
Use an olive oil that is mild and affordable. Save your fancy herbaceous olive oil for drizzling.—Phyllis Grant
Salted Double-Chocolate Olive Oil Cookies
- 2/3 cup non-alkalized unsweetened cocoa
- 2/3 all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (mild)
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup dark or light brown sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 10 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon Maldon sea salt (to sprinkle on top before baking)
- Sift together the cocoa, flour, and salt. Sift again. Set aside.
- In a standing mixer (or by hand) beat the sugars, olive oil, and butter on high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides.
- Add your egg. Beat at medium speed for 8 seconds. Scrape down the sides.
- Add your vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 5 seconds. Scrape down the sides.
- Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and beat for 8 seconds on low speed. Scrape down the sides. Add the second 1/3 of the dries, beat for 8 seconds on low. Scrape down the sides. Add your final 1/3 of the dries, beat on low for 5 seconds.
- Add the chocolate chips and stir with wooden spoon until incorporated. If there are any pockets of flour remaining, mix them in by hand. Refrigerate the dough for about an hour (it will be easier to handle).
- Heat the oven to 350° F.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment or a Silpat. Scoop the dough into half spheres. Or you can scoop with a spoon and quickly roll with your hands. They will spread a bit so leave a few inches between the cookies.
- Sprinkle each cookie with sea salt (amount is up to you). Bake them for 4 minutes. Spin the tray around 180 degrees (to cook evenly) and bake for another 3 to 4 minutes. You want the centers to still be glistening. Don’t worry—they will firm up quite a bit as they cool. (I must admit, I was very concerned with this, but after a few hours, they did indeed get firm.)
- Remove from the oven and allow them to cool on the sheet pan for at least 15 minutes.
- Being very careful, remove them to a cooling rack for at least an hour to firm up.
- Eat right away, or store in an air tight container. You could also freeze for a few months.