There’s a reason why this “Salted Chocolate-Rye Cookies” recipe is one of the most publicized ones from the new “Tartine Book No. 3.”
First, it’s one of the simplest recipes from the book (Chronicle) by Chad Robertson of San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery, of which I received a review copy. If you’re familiar with Robertson’s other two books, “Tartine” (written with wife, Elisabeth M. Prueitt) and “Tartine Bread”,” you know how painstaking his recipes can be, particularly the bread ones. “Tartine Book No. 3” is no exception, especially because it’s all about baking with whole grains such as flax, spelt and kamut. The master method for Tartine loaves spans eight pages alone. Even the fruit scone recipe requires the making of a leaven (or starter).
Second, these cookies are a guaranteed hit. They are extremely fudgey and chocolatey tasting with the perfect sophisticated crunch of sea salt over the top.
The rye flour replaces whole-wheat in these cookies. Rye contains gluten. It also lends a slight malt taste to baked goods. With chocolate, it’s a natural.
When making the dough, you’re instructed to whip the eggs with sugar in a mixer on high speed for a full 6 minutes. That may seem like a long time, but what that does is aerate the mixture. In fact, it ends up looking as fluffy as chocolate mousse.
I think that’s what gives these cookies their soft texture, almost brownie-like but not as dense.
Enjoy a few and you just might be fortified enough to tackle one of the bread recipes next.
Salted Chocolate-Rye Cookies
(Makes about 4 dozen small cookies)
2 2/3 cups chopped bittersweet chocolate (70%), preferably Valrhona
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup whole-grain dark rye flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups muscovado sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Good-quality sea salt, such as Maldon or flaky fleur de sel, for topping
Place a saucepan filled with 1 inch of water over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Set a heatproof bowl over simmering water, taking care that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water, and melt together the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from heat and let cool slightly.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
Place the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed, adding the sugar a little bit at a time, until all the sugar is incorporated. Turn the mixer to high and whip until the eggs have nearly tripled in volume, about 6 minutes.
Reduce mixer speed to low and add the melted chocolate-butter mixture and the vanilla. Mix to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, then mix in the flour mixture just until combined. At this point, the dough will be very soft and loose, which is normal; it will firm up as it chills.
Refrigerate the dough in the mixing bowl until it is just firm to the touch, about 30 minutes (the longer you chill the dough, the harder it is to scoop; if it chills for more than an hour, remove the dough from the fridge to warm up to room temperature before scooping).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge and scoop with a rounded tablespoon onto the baking sheets, spacing the balls of dough 2 inches apart. Top each mound of dough with a few flakes of sea salt, pressing gently so it adheres. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cookies have completely puffed up and have a smooth bottom and rounded top. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let cool slightly (the cookies may flatten a bit when cooling), then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. The cookies will keep up to 3 days in an airtight container.
From “Tartine Book No. 3” by Chad Robertson
Another Recipe Using Rye Flour: Nancy Silverton’s Pizzeria Mozza Pizza Dough