My first memories of the taste of salt came as a child in Barbados when I would swim in the sea on the south coast. As I air dried playing in the sand, for some reason I managed to lick my skin. I remember it well because I remember thinking that it tasted good, in a weird way. Salty and sweet. Hard to describe. At the time, little did I know that I inherited from my maternal grandfather a precious gift. Like him, I have low blood pressure. Generally speaking, on any given day it is roughly 90/60 which is on the low end of the norm. When I was pregnant with my kids, it rose to a mere 100/70. Consequently, I fainted twice from simply being in a rush. But with this gene came an upside. Salt is my secret best friend. So when my cousin’s wife introduced me to the notion of sweet and salt, i.e. chocolate with sea salt, I instantly felt nostalgic. It reminded me of my childhood and also of my grandfather, Papa.
This recipe I cannot take credit for because it was printed on the side of the Wilton “Comfort Grip” Cookie Press as “Chocolate Spritz Cookies“. My only spin is that instead of adding colourful sprinkles or icing, I add cracked Mediterranean Sea Salt.
“Nostalgic Sea Salt Chocolate Cookies” by loopylocks
Makes about 7 dozen (cookie press) cookies
1 1/4 C butter, softened
3/4 C sugar
2/3 C brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 C flour
3/4 C cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
For the topping:
Cracked Sea Salt (I used Mediterranean)
Set the oven to 375 degrees F. Soften butter in the microwave if taking directly from the fridge. To do this, I cube the butter on a microwave safe plate and put on 30% power for 2 minutes. Scrape into a stand mixer with the flat paddle attachment. Add both sugars and mix on medium/high until light and fluffy.
Add each egg separately, mixing well between each addition. Sift all the dry ingredients together (flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda) and gradually add to the mixture until the mix is combined and no dry spots remain in the mixing bowl.
The consistency should be like Playdoh when you shape the dough with your hands into a log to fill the press. If you find it too soft (sticking to your fingers), put bowl in the fridge for 5-10 minutes and try again. Don’t add any flour to stiffen it.
Add your favourite press shape. Mine happens to be the heart (or tree during the holiday season) because according to my youngest, cookies are made with love. Tip – make sure your baking sheet is ungreased and wipe with a paper towel and cool the tray between batches. Bake cookies for 11 minutes. Chocolate cookies are hard to tell if they are done as they are brown to begin and brown to end. The cooking range is 10-12 minutes so I go with 11 to be safe (Spinal Tap throwback…”one louder”). Enjoy!