Sunday, April 1, 2012

You Just Need To Try New Things

Cori and I have been trying to be better vegetarians.  More veggies, less pastries.  Clearly it's not working all that well.  Remember that vanilla I bought?  Well, I've been putting it to good use.  CRAZY good use.

The other day I was immersed in the the glory of the internet and I found soy sauce in cookies.  SOY SAUCE.  That goes on my sushi.  Why are we putting it in cookies??  Someone explain their madness to me!

I can't even begin to tell you how weird it sounded, but then I like odd pairings together in pastries... so I gave it a try. 

*moment of silence*

Oh. Em. Gee.

If you like sweet, salty, and good crisp cookies with just the littlest hint of chewiness... these are going to speak your language.  And if you don't... well, I may just not tell you I made them with soy sauce until after you tell me how great they are.  I totally did this to Cori (and she made a weird face after I revealed my secret ingredient), but I eventually won her over.

Cookies don't always need anything extra, but every once in awhile you just gotta mix it up.  If you don't try new things every so often, you get in ruts.  Do you know what I mean?  I'm talking about the pb&j you can't seem to get away from every breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I'm talking about the same Special K cereal you have every. single. morning.

Break the habit.  Throw your taste buds a curve ball.

Yes, there's soy sauce in here.  But do you taste it?  Well that's a complicated question.  Have you ever seen the fridge light shut off before you closed the door?  Very rarely.  This is kinda like that.  Just 1 teaspoon of soy sauce gives these cookies their rounded, almost sweet smoky flavor.  Then coarse sea salt on top brightens it up and makes your mouth water.  It's tantalizing what these flavors will do with dark chocolate.

Also... there was a kitten who wouldn't leave the kitchen.

Kittens and cookies, man...  Like moths to a flame.

Sweet and Salty Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from Joy the Baker... who else??

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon soy sauce (not the low sodium kind)
2 tablespoons dutch chocolate sprinkles
1 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped
sea salt, for sprinkling

*Here's a tip!  Don't worry about pre-heating the oven until later.  You gotta chill 'em first!*

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.  In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy, about 3 minutes on med-high.  In separate small bowl, lightly whisk together the egg, egg yolk, vanilla and soy sauce.  Add all at once to the butter and sugar mixture, mixing completely.  Add all of the dry mixture at once, stirring only until the flour disappears.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the sprinkles and dark chocolate chunks.

Refrigerate the dough, in its bowl, for 45 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees when you have 15 minutes left of chill time.  Maybe make yourself a chiller while you chillax.  Okayi'mdone.

Line two rimless cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Place course sea salt in a shallow dish.  Using a cookie scoop (or a tablespoon), scoop dough into golf ball sized balls.  Roll them in between your palms until uniform.  Lightly press the top of each ball into the salt, just barely getting any to stick (we're going for a delicate flavor).  Once all the balls have been dipped (I can't believe I'm writing this), bake on the cookie sheet for 12-15 minutes, when the edges are golden.  Let set on the cookie sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  Enjoy for up to three days (assuming they last that long!).

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