Recipe: Elevating the chocolate chip cookie

Lynda Balslev | TasteFood

This is no ordinary chocolate chip cookie. While it has all the luscious aspects of a traditional chewy Toll House-style cookie, this cookie notches it up to another level with roasted almond butter, chunky dark chocolate and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Almond butter does wondrous things to the cookie. It's not as pronounced in flavor as peanut butter, which (in my opinion) easily overwhelms the flavor of a cookie. Almond butter is stealthier; it adds a mellow, toasty, golden-buttery backdrop to the dough.

Meanwhile, chunks of dark chocolate stud the cookie, replacing the go-to chocolate chip. Many chocolate chips read "sweet" more than "chocolate." By chopping up a quality bar of dark chocolate, the overkill of sweetness is avoided, while the flavor of the chocolate shines through. Not only that, but when you chop a bar, you will be left with a pile of chocolate shards and dust. Be sure to sweep all those little bits into the batter along with the chunks to infuse it with more chocolate.

The final flourish is a pinch of sea salt flakes to balance the cookie's inherent sweetness. A little salt tends to make everything taste better, even sweets -- especially when chocolate is involved.

Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Makes about 24 cookies

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon table salt (or 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt)

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup unsalted creamy almond butter (not raw)

7 ounces chopped dark (70% to 75%) chocolate

Sea salt flakes for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.

3. Cream the butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Add the almond butter and mix until smooth.

4. Add the flour to the mixing bowl and mix until the ingredients are incorporated without overmixing. Stir in the chocolate, including all the little pieces and dusty bits (they will melt into the batter).

5. Drop heaping tablespoons of the dough on baking sheets lined with parchment. Add a tiny pinch of sea salt flakes to each cookie. Bake until light golden in color, 13 to 15 minutes.

6. Slide the parchment and cookies onto a wire rack to cool. The cookies will continue to firm up while cooling.

Lynda Balslev is an award-winning writer, cookbook author, and recipe developer based in northern California. Visit TasteFood at


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