I’ve become nostalgic about it lately, missing those mornings I had there alone. I’d drive the little back alleyway of the row of small 2 story buildings and pray that I could manage to get the car into the tight parking spot, managing not to hit the flower shop van, the short Argentinian jeweler’s Jeep Wrangler or the motorcycle parked perpendicular to my spot. My small VW would barely make it in and out when it would snow. I’d walk through the buildings to get to the front of the shop where traffic on Queen East would be fairly quiet at 7:30 AM. Before anything else, I’d turn the oven on to pre-heat. The low hum was almost comforting. We still had power.
CUE THE COFFEE.
After that it was a whirlwind of sheet trays being stacked with cookie dough and transferred to the hot oven. At any point, we had several wholesale orders to fill, cookie dough to mix, and all 10-12 flavors of cookies to bake before the store opened. Some of my personal favorites were the chocolate chip (obvi), oatmeal coconut choc chip, snickerdoodle, and the salted caramel dark chocolate cookie. It was so chocolate-y that it was basically black and was filled with semi-sweet chocolate chunks and small Skor toffee bits. After it was baked, we salted them and barely had time to set them out before they sold out.
Valrhona makes these blond chocolate féves called Orelys. They’re slightly nutty with a hint of maple notes with sort of a molasses-y flavor. They immediately reminded me of those caramel Skor toffee bits… but chocolate. *Drool*. It inspired me to create an ode to the Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Moo cookie. You have to use a 100% good quality cocoa powder or else this cookie will be just mehhhh and boring. I added a bit of tahini for a deepened flavor. You wont notice it! It’s strictly there for a hidden nuttiness. By the way, this post is not a sponsored one. I’ve just fallen in love with Valrhona chocolate ever since the day I made my first batch of Jacque Torres chocolate chip cookies from the New York Times years and years ago. When these are eaten warm, they’re reminiscent of a molten chocolate cake but if you have the patience to wait, once the cookies are cooled, the flavor of the cocoa powder really shines through.
SUPER DARK CHOCOLATE COOKIES
WITH ORELYS CHOCOLATE AND SEA SALT
MAKES 20 COOKIES
226 g (2 sticks) room temperature unsalted butter
100 g (1/3 cup) sesame paste (tahini)
300 g (1 1/3 cup) sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
220 g (1 2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
125 g (1 cup) 100% unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
250 g (2 cups) Valrhona BLOND ORELYS baking chocolate féves
Maldon Sea Salt
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter, sesame paste and sugar together on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add the eggs and vanilla extract and continue mixing on medium speed for another 5 minutes.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and combine. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low until just combined.
Add the chocolate discs and mix them in by hand with a rubber spatula.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 2-ounce (60ml) capacity ice cream disher (scoop with release), scoop out 18-20 dough balls and place them on the baking sheet. Wrap the baking sheet with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for no less than 12 hours. This will allow the glutens in the flour to relax and will give you a tender soft cookie. Do not skip this step.
At this point you can bake 1 or bake all 12. Keep the cookie dough balls in a zip-top bag in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Pre-heat the oven to 325˚F (160˚C) and line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat. Space the cookie dough balls at least 3 inches apart to allow for them to spread. Bake for 13-16 minutes until just golden brown around the edges. They will still look fairly unbaked in the middle, which is perfect. Each oven is different and baking time and temperatures will vary depending on your oven. Sprinkle each cookie with Maldon Sea Salt when they come out of the oven.