Sea Salt, Toffee and Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies / by Chelsea Zwieg

It's almost Halloween! Truthfully, I'm not sure why I put an exclamation point after that because I've never really been a big Halloween person. Of course I dressed up like a pumpkin when I was 3 and went trick-or-treating and I've been to my share of haunted houses. But as far as favorite holidays go, Halloween is stuck somewhere towards the bottom. I think it's because it's so close to Thanksgiving and Christmas that I have a hard time getting psyched about a zombie jumping out at me when my all-time favorite holidays are just around the corner. Mind you, I have a hard time getting psyched, not a hard time getting scared. Put me in a haunted house and I will pee my pants. It's fact. 

However there is one thing about the 31st that I have no problem getting behind and that is Halloween candy. 

All of my favorite candy bars in cute little mini packages and pumpkin shapes. It's the best. But have you ever gotten to that point in halloween candy eating where you feel like your teeth are about to fall out if you don't get something non-sweet in pretty soon? 

That is why the combination of sweet and salty is my absolute favorite. You never run into that problem. Chocolate covered pretzels, french fries dipped in ice cream, m&m's mixed into popcorn. I'm pretty sure whoever invented the sweet and salty combo just finished up a major round of trick-or-treating. 

These cookies are the height of salty, sweet perfection. They are crispy around the edges and chewy in the middle and the salt, both in the dough and sprinkled on top, gives just the right balance to the toffee and chocolate. They make a fairly big batch, which is perfect for Halloween parties. Or, if you end up with piles of leftover candy, you can chop it up and sub it for the toffee. Sweet is sweet, but it's nothing some good sea salt can't handle. 

Have a great Halloween weekend! I'm going to be dressing my dog up as a hot dog and I have a feeling that my Johnny Raincloud indifference to Halloween will be no match for a 110 pound dog stuffed into a hot dog costume answering the door for all of the trick-or-treaters. 

Toffee, Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies 

Adapted from Bouchon Bakery 

Note: If you refrigerate the dough before baking it, let it return to room temperature before baking. My first batch were still very cold from the refrigerator and they were not nearly done in 15 minutes. Also, when I chop chocolate for cookies, I always sift it before mixing it into the batter. This gets rid of all the tiny pieces and the chocolate dust that leaves you with chocolate cookies instead of chocolate chunk. Not that there's anything wrong with fully chocolate cookies! 

| Ingredients |

  • 2 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped (I use Ghiradelli 60% cacao baking bars) 
  • 1 cup Heath toffee baking bits
  • Maldon salt, for sprinkling

| Instructions | 

  • Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
  • In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside
  • In a mixer, beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition
  • Add flour mixture in 3 parts, mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the chocolate pieces and toffee bits
  • Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, shape the dough into balls. Arrange cookies on prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between them. Bake 12-15 minutes, until the tops are no longer shiny and the edges begin to firm up. Allow to cool on pans for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely
  • Sprinkle cookies with Maldon salt