The Salt and Chocolate Combination
Salt and chocolate seem, at first thought, to be an icky kind of combination... but it actually works pretty well, especially in cookies
When you think about it, salt and chocolate offers a more physically accessible combination than chocolate and sugar, despite the fact that the latter is surely one of the world's tastiest culinary interactions. After all, the Native Americans who first discovered the charms of cacao had no sugar at all.
Oddly enough, adding honey didn't seem to have occurred to them; they preferred flavoring their cocoa with chili peppers. History's silent on whether or not they ever mixed chocolate with salt, though salt would surely have been a possibility.
Not Bad At All...
Nowadays, we've discovered that the sweet-and-salty combo works pretty well. You many have encountered it occasionally in items like Chex mix, or perhaps in more trendy snacks like the Vosges chocolate-covered bacon bar, where the salt is incidental as a preservative for the pork.
You may even have heard of the salty chocolate used in certain spherical cacao products promoted by Chef on the cartoon South Park.
But where does the choco-salt combination taste best in portable form? Why, in cookies. Especially the kind with nice, dark bittersweet chocolate chips. Oatmeal cookies, if you really want to get texturally exciting.
You're unlikely to find salty choco-cookies in your local crockery store, and good luck at the bakeries. You're better off making your own... and why the heck not? Cooking, especially cooking with chocolate, can be nicely extreme. Let's look at a great option.
Cookies taste best in mass quantities with or without salt, so this recipe will cover about three dozen. Here's what you'll need for your salty, chocolate-chippy, oat-rich treasures:
3 cups of rolled oats
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of regular sugar
1 cup of unsalted butter
2 cups of bittersweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of table salt
2 large eggs
After pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees, mix together the butter and sugar until they're light and fluffy, then fold in the eggs, one at a time. Next, add the vanilla to the sugar/butter mix until it's completely combined.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and regular salt thoroughly, then mix that into the main sugar mixture. Finally, mix in the oats and choco-chips. After you've thoroughly combined everything, drop rounded teaspoons full of the goop onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Press the nascent cookies down flat, and then sprinkle a few grains of sea salt on the top of each. Bake 'em for 10-12 minutes, then let them cool for a bit before snarfing. You'll love the subtle salt and chocolate combination that results!