OK, it’s happened. Fall has officially landed. After stretches of sunny, warm weather through October and into early November, it’s now mid-50s, gray, blustery. Leaves have dropped. I’m wearing a coat. Inside.
So it’s officially time for these amazing chocolate chunk sea salt bar cookies. (Did I mention amazing?) Crisper and lighter-textured than your average chocolate chip pan cookies, more like a shortbread studded with chocolate and kissed with sea salt, these are, in fact, yet another chocolate chip cookie recipe that you need.
Time to whip up a batch of these this weekend, no?
salty chocolate chunk bar cookies
(makes about 30, if you're stingy)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (see Note)
1/2 cup chocolate chunks, divided
1/2 cup good quality toasted unsalted pecans, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon good-quality flaky sea salt
Note: Use a combination of dark, milk or semi-sweet chocolate in this recipe. I like Barry Callebaut chocolate chunks from King Arthur Flour; if you don't have chocolate chunks on hand, just use 1 cup of chocolate chips, reserving 1/4 cup for topping as directed below.
Preheat oven to 375°. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a bowl and hand-held mixer), cream the butter until it's smooth; add the sugar and cream together until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in vanilla extract. Add flour and table salt, mix gently to combine thoroughly. Add chocolate chips, 1/4 cup chocolate chunks and chopped pecans; mix to combine—the dough will be more crumbly than your typical cookie dough.
Line a rimmed 12-by-9-inch baking pan with parchment paper (alternately, use a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish, though I'm not sure if that will alter the texture of the finished cookie). Place a plastic baggie over your hand (to prevent sticking) and use that to press the crumbly dough evenly into the paper-lined pan. Scatter the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chunks over the dough and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. of flaky sea salt. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until cookies are nicely browned and pulling away from the pan slightly. Cool for about 30 minutes, then use the parchment paper to carefully lift the cookie out of the pan and cut into squares. (These cookies get crispy, and cutting them after they're fully at room temperature is messy; better to cut them when they're just slightly warm.)