Chocolate Chip Cookies With Black Sesame and Seaweed

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This chocolate chip cookie has such an unusual combination of ingredients that I simply had to try it out for myself. Rye flour, black sesame, and SEAWEED?! Granted, it took me multiple grocery stores to amass this collection of bizarre ingredients (rye flour from Whole Foods, seaweed from Chinatown, and tahini from Trader Joe’s – yes I could’ve gotten all three from the same place, but I wasn’t in a rush.)

Personally I’m not sure the seaweed really added much to the cookie. Granted, I did NOT use salted seaweed snacks. While wouldn’t call it a savory cookie, it certainly had a nutty and unctuous quality, that tasted not too sweet and very grown-up and gourmet.

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To me, the best thing about the cookie is actually the bake. It’s baked at a slightly higher temperature of 400F, and cooling it on the tray allows the crust to firm up and stabilize while keeping the cookie soft and gooey in the middle. Not to mention the fun crunchy bits the black sesame seeds on the outside lend to the cookie.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies with Black Sesame and Seaweed
Makes 22 cookies
From The New York Times

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups/190 grams unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups/140 grams dark rye flour or pumpernickel flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ packed teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup/165 grams dark brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup/135 grams granulated sugar
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons/140 grams unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon/105 grams black sesame paste, such as Kevala Black Sesame Tahini, or regular tahini
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 13 ounces/370 grams 65 to 70 percent dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup/5 grams kizami nori (toasted and shredded seaweed) (see Tip)
  • 1 cup/120 grams black sesame seeds, to coat

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and rye flours, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt; set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat both sugars together on medium speed to blend. Add butter and beat on medium until beginning to lighten and starting to become creamy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time to the butter mixture, beating until incorporated, then add the black sesame paste and vanilla, and blend just until combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture all at once, and use a sturdy rubber spatula to fold it into the butter mixture until about halfway combined, and the mixture goes from a shaggy mess to a semi-combined dough. Scatter the chocolate and seaweed on top and fold just until dough forms. (A gentle touch is necessary, as overmixing can cause the dough to separate and crumble.)
  5. Add the black sesame seeds to a shallow bowl. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, portion the dough into about 22 balls (60 grams each). Working with one portion of dough at a time, roll it between your palms until rounded, then gently roll it into the sesame seeds until coated all over. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet and transfer to the refrigerator to chill at least 4 hours. (You can prepare the dough balls up to one week in advance; transfer to a lidded container or loosely cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
  6. When ready to bake, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the cookies a few inches apart on a large baking sheet and bake until they have spread out slightly but are still puffed in the center, about 12 minutes. Once you’ve removed the baking sheet from the oven, gently tap the center of each cookie down using the bottom of a ladle, pressing just until you’ve created a slightly indented crater. (This technique helps ensure a gooey and chewy center.)
  7. Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store, covered, at room temperature, up to 2 days.

Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

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You may think a chocolate chip cookie cannot be improved upon, but what if I told you it could just have a little bit of pizzazz by adding tahini paste? Tahini is sesame ground up, until it reaches a creamy consistency. It adds a bit of nuttiness and savoriness to your standard chocolate chip cookie without a distinct sesame taste.

This recipe should be followed as-is with no substitutions and changes – even the size of the cookie and the timing has been perfectly calibrated to give the cookie a soft, chewy interior. Beware if you use silicone baking mats like I do – your cookies won’t get to a golden brown but they will be done after the designated amount of time.

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Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies
From the NYTimes
Makes 12-18 3-inch cookies

4 ounces/113 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
½ cup/120 milliliters tahini, well stirred
1 cup/200 grams granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons/150 grams all-purpose flour, or matzo cake meal (See tip)
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ¾ cups/230 grams chocolate chips or chunks, bittersweet or semisweet
Flaky salt, like fleur de sel or Maldon

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, tahini and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla and continue mixing at medium speed for another 5 minutes.

Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt into a large bowl and mix with a fork. Add flour mixture to butter mixture at low speed until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to fold in chocolate chips. Dough will be soft, not stiff. Refrigerate at least 12 hours; this ensures tender cookies.

When ready to bake, heat oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick baking mat. Use a large ice cream scoop or spoon to form dough into 12 to 18 balls.

Place the cookies on the baking sheet at least 3 inches apart to allow them to spread. Bake 13 to 16 minutes until just golden brown around the edges but still pale in the middle to make thick, soft cookies. As cookies come out of the oven, sprinkle sparsely with salt. Let cool at least 20 minutes on a rack.