I realize that a lot of you are probably all cookie’d out right about now, but I just had to squeeze one more cookie recipe in before the end of the year.
I’d say that I’m sorry, but no one should every apologize for making cookies.
I gathered the makings of this recipe with the intention of making them on Christmas day, but it didn’t really work out that way.
The days leading up to Christmas tend to be pretty stressful in my world, so when it comes to the actual holiday itself I try to take it pretty easy. Russell and I spent the day at home with the dogs, opening presents, calling friends and family, watching Murder, She Wrote, and eating everything in sight. Since it’s just the two of us, I thought that making some cookies would be a fun activity we could do together during the day. I didn’t want to do anything too fussy or involved like cutouts, but thought a fancied up chocolate chip cookie could be the perfect holiday treat.
The ham I was making for dinner, along with some roasted broccoli and sweet potato gratin, had other plans though. I was not thinking ahead at all and didn’t take the fact that the ham would be cooking at a low temperature for several hours into consideration.
We weren’t yet ready for cookie time when the ham went into the oven, and when it came out we feasted and immediately fell deep into a food coma, so our cookie plans were (temporarily) abandoned.
Later that evening we aaaaaalmost rallied and went for it, but opted instead for another glass of wine and mouthful of chocolate from our stockings.
In the end it may have been a good thing that we didn’t make these on Christmas day. For one thing, we had plenty of chocolate in our stockings. For another, making them a few days later also meant that I was able to photograph the process and share them with you. These babies are so delicious and perfect that I’m actually pretty thrilled to get to share them.
This post was brought to you by a salty little Christmas ham and a holiday food coma.
Browning the butter for this recipe requires some extra time since it needs to firm back up after it’s melted and browned, but I promise you it’s worth it. Browning butter deepens and intensifies everything that’s already great about butter, and then adds a toasty nuttiness. Taking the time to toast the pistachios before adding them to the cookies also helps to intensify the nutty goodness. It’s all about building layers of flavor here.
When it comes to chocolate chip cookies, I’m definitely of the “go big or go home” school of thought. I usually like to use a #24 portion scoop, which works out to 1.5 oz (or 3 tablespoons) of dough. I love portion scoops for drop cookies because it makes it really quick and easy to get all of your cookies the same size and shape. If you don’t have a portion scoop, you can certainly measure out 3 tablespoons of dough to see how it should look and then try to make the rest of your cookies match that size.
You can easily use a smaller portion scoop, or make smaller cookies if you want, you’ll just need to adjust your baking time accordingly to avoid over-baking.
I know there are a jillion chocolate chip cookies out there on the internets, but I beg you to give these a try. You can thank me later.
I brought some to work with me and two of my coworkers separately came to tell me that these cookies have the perfect texture for chocolate chip cookies. They’re soft and chewy in the center, with perfect crispy crusty golden edges.
The brown butter and toasted pistachios are the perfect rich nutty compliment to the sweet and bitter dark chocolate, and the briny minerally crunchy fleur de sel is the perfect finish to every bite. They’re buttery, chocolatey, sweet, salty, and completely wonderful. I could go on, but you’re just going to have to make them and see for yourself.
Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Brown Butter and Fleur de Sel
18 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks + 2 tablespoons)
1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (about 10 to 12 ounces) roughly chopped good dark chocolate, or good quality dark chocolate chips or chunks
1 tablespoon (ish) fleur de sel or other crunchy finishing salt
In a small heavy-bottom saucepan, brown the butter over medium high heat until golden to deep brown, should take about 10 or 15 minutes. Watch carefully once it starts to brown to avoid burning. Pour out into a heat-proof dish, trying to leave the burnt solids behind, and refrigerate until soft but beginning to firm. If it solidifies, you can remove and leave out until soft.
If you want to skip this step, you can simply use 2 sticks of softened unsalted butter.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange pistachios on a baking sheet in a single layer, and toast for about 5 or 6 minutes, or until they smell toasty and nutty. Cool and roughly chop.
Whisk together the flour and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside. Combine the cooled brown butter with both sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate and toasted pistachio.
Scoop dough out using a portion scoop and place about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. I used a #24 scoop, which works out to about 3 tablespoons of dough per cookie. If you make smaller cookies you’ll need to reduce the baking time by a few minutes, but you’ll have more cookies in the end. Sprinkle each cookie with a small pinch of fleur de sel.
Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, around 11 to 13 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.