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Thursday
Sep102009

Chocolate Chocolate Cookies with Sea Salt

Hyperbole Cookies

Get ready for some seriously hyperbolic language once I start talking about these cookies.  The Exageratress is in her finest form.

First, this.  I haven't dedicated a whole post specifically to my friend (and Wyatt's godmother) Emily because I wouldn't know where to start.  She's been mentioned countless times, as in "Em said such-and-such and I had an epiphany, " or "Wyatt spent the night at Em's house" or "Please kill me kindly before you ask me to think of life without her."  So I'll just continue to talk about her as the giant part of our life that she is, and maybe, slowly, it will all add up and you'll have some inkling of how amazing she is, how loving, how totally essential to my survival.

For now, these cookies are because of her.  And even if she happened to be an annoying, self-absorbed witch, you would like her because of these cookies.  I know she is laughing right now.  She thinks I'm hilarious, which is one of her best traits. A few weekends ago, the two of us attended three potlucks together over two days.  I love a party and I'm the first to suggest it be a potluck, but puh-lease...Both of us were cooking all weekend.  She brought these cookies to two of the parties, and I watched this happen at both:

Partygoer One: The doctor says I have three weeks to live.

Partygoer Two, intently listening:  Wow.  That's intense. [Bites into said cookie]  OH MY GOD!  HAVE YOU TRIED THESE COOKIES?! [Leaves side of stricken cancer patient, begins canvassing the room]  GET A LOAD OF THESE!  WHO BROUGHT THESE, ANYWAY?  OH MY GOD!

These are sleeper cookies, like the indie film that comes out of nowhere to be a box office hit.  They are so unassuming--small, a bit lumpy, they even look a little bit dry at first glance.  One bite, though, and you will slip into hyperbole.  You might even forget bedside manners for suffering friends, and maybe all manners.  One of my pet peeves is when food bloggers slap "This is the best!" all over everything they make. "Best" things are almost always overrated, and I distrust them immediately.  So I'm not calling these The Best. I'm just saying you may cease to care about much else the moment your mouth meets them.

And another thing while I'm not on the subject.  I LOVE it when I'm begging friends for recipes.  Some of my friends would consider themselves foodies, but many wouldn't.  Em is one of the latter, but I've asked her for lots of recipes over the years. I've heard from (honest) friends that they're intimidated to cook for me, and that makes me sad.  I understand it, but I would always rather share Top Ramen (or a tasteless flop, which I'll heartily enjoy) with a friend than induce one tiny ounce of worry about what to cook or how it turns out.  That's for the record, everyone.

So here they are in all their sleepy glory.  Let me know what happens when you pass them around.

P.S. Wyatt is sitting next to me right now watching the Discovery Channel.  In fact, he's sitting really close to me, sharing a blanket.  He had an awesome second day of school, the anxiety seems to have passed, and something has made him all lovey dovey.  Whatever it is, I'll take it.

Hyperbole Cookies (a.k.a Chocolate Chocolate Cookies with Sea Salt)
The original recipe is from Seattle Homes and Lifestyle magazine.  The only things I changed were putting some salt on top and smooshing the tops down a tiny bit so they weren't totally spherical.  You HAVE TO refrigerate these, or they won't turn out.  And you could make these without salt and they will still be delicious.  And I'll try to withhold my judgement if you do that.

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 c. (1/2 cube) unsalted butter
12 oz. (2 c.) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. flour
2 Tb. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tb. instant espresso powder
1/4 ts. baking powder
2 1/2 ts. flaked salt
1 1/2 c. light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ts. vanilla

Heat unsweetened chocolate, butter and 1 cup of chocolate chips in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently.  Cool.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

In another large bowl, beat sugar, eggs, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale and frothy, about two minutes. Whisk in chocolate mixture until blended.  Stir in flour mixture at low speed until blended.  Stir in remaining chocolate chips. Refrigerate batter, covered, until dough is firm, about two hours.

Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350.

Shape dough into 1" balls and arrange 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.  Smoosh down a tiny bit and sprinkled flaked salt on top.  Bake in batches until puffed and set, about 10 minutes per batch.  Cool on baking sheet 10 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Reader Comments (34)

HILARIOUS! I love it and needed a good laugh! I've heard this because I'm partygoer TWO! Sad, huh? I'm so excited to try these cookies. Where do I purchase instant espresso powder without breaking the bank? Thanks for sharing! And glad to hear that Wyatt's had an awesome second day...very sweet and know that I'll be there in 2 years. Well, actually one since I count kindergarten as being a huge transition...new school and all.

September 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMidori

I loooooooooooooove(d) these cookies.

but... um... because I'm lame....

What the hell is "flaked salt"?

September 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpds

Fine! I'll admit it out loud (or at least in print): these cookies are so damn good I broke my fast to eat two of them (well, kinda). Em brought these to a gathering of friends; I happened to be abstaining from a couple key ingredients at the time, so I was politely declining . . . all the while watching this pile of dark, salt-encrusted lovelies decreasing via greedy fists of joy (small and large, young and old, female and male). Somewhere between a full and empty plate Em grabbed a couple for me (more proof of her perfection as a friend -- and that she's a Cancer) -- she slipped them in a baggie, figuring I could throw them in my freezer til my fast was over.

BUT . . .

On a weak day . . .
After 2 weeks of out-of-town visitors . . .
When I was overwhelmed with "it all" . . .

I caved. I ate the cookies.

And I don't regret it!

(Don't worry, Em: it was my sister and donuts that morning that pushed me over the edge. Your cookies didn't officially break the fast -- but they sure made for a luxurious treat! DIVINE.)

September 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

What an awesome way to have sweet dreams before bed. Just one last check of your blog and now I am laughing because I do think you're hilarious and I'm actually tearing up, not just feeling like it, at all this hyperbole about the cookies and me.

AND I'm dying because I was going to write you today and ask you to post about these cookies. I'm making them as thank you gifts for the Cabaret performers this weekend and I was going to tell you I'd put your IPOL cards in the packages if you posted the recipe. You must have received the telepathic message.

I made a couple of things from your blog tonight for dinner. Amity, Derek, and Sue loved it, but I f*d up the galette dough somehow. It turned out like a butter cracker - no one was complaining, but I can't figure it out. I took the butter right out of the frig, but it was like I had melted it or something. The edamame dip looked and tasted great though. I used sauteed spinach instead of arugula.

Sarah and Yancey are serious folks. They've eaten everything I've made for them with genuine gratitude, no snottiness, and if they like it and they tell me with moans and "wow, this is great" statements I feel like I've had food critics visit my dining table and I've proudly passed with flying colors.

Thanks for loving me with such overflowing exageration. You remind me of that line from one of Nora Gallagher's books where she tells someone to "Take Care of Yourself" and the guy she says that too says "i SPEND myself" and he says it with joy. Like it's his calling. I celebrate how you spend your exageratress love, how you give it all away every time you post about someone, something, some moment, some day, some season and how you sign your cards "All My Love." Not just to me, but lots of folks. Like you trust there's more where that came from. Give it all, empty it out and fill up again. You're not stingy with it. Pretty unique. I think I'm typing for a lot of us.

Sarah, I don't want to live without You or Wyatt or LP or Yancey either. I'm glad the MK's come as a package deal.

RD - those cookies and your sister are worth "opening" your fast for :) I'm planning to put a little post-9/20 package cookie together for you on Saturday. xoxo

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEm

I don't know what instant espresso powder is exactly, but I just bought a little bit of bulk ground espresso from Madison Market. Just enough to make a few batches. I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say Leftoverist.

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEm

Not the leftoverist just a fan. I found instant espresso powder in the coffee aisle at safeway. needed it for a brownie versionvery much like this cookie recipe. Yum!!!

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

I'm kind of infamous in my family for constantly using hyperbole for absolutely everything, but I'm sure with these it's well-deserved. I love how the salty chocolate combination is taking the world by storm... I've always loved chocolate pudding with fritos and saltines with chocolate frosting!

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCate

this reciped came just intime. i now can bake by way into the heart of new yorkers.
and everything you said about em -- AMEN.
and everything em said about you -- AMEN.

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjordan

Love the combination of chocolate and salt - too bad I am diabetic, but I think these cookies are insulin worthy! :D

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBiz

Chocolate and sea salt go so well together. Even I tried Fleur de Sel with chocolate cookies and it was delicious. Love the picture.

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHélène

Yowzer, another sensitive post. Sarah-you have a way with words. It's nice to hear how much you LOVE my sister and how much she LOVES u guys. GRATITUDE.

EM-just FYI, I learned not long ago that Esspresso powder is not the same as ground coffee esspresso...I made that mistake in a recipe not long ago, although it doesn't seem to be a "huge" problem.

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

(evidently, gotta work on my proofing skills.)

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjordan

Good to know Jess! These cookies turn out great with the real deal, but other recipes may not.

Amen on the gratitude.

xoxo

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEm

holy smokin ding dongs... i haven't even tasted these yet... just smelling them cooking right now and i feel as if my life will never be the same again... whew...
thanks again
(in advance)
ab

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrunswithscissors

Touching...so good and so yummy, like a hug from your tummy, from the inside out, ask any girl scout. Ah... good times.

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRicky Munoz

holy smokin ding dongs...

Quote of the Day (QOTD) for the win!

p.s. I am so stealing that phrase.

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpds

Em these really do look like "hugs from the tummy" (great quote by the way)......
and "holy ding dongs" between Sarah and you,this is one darn good essay on friendship.
Thanks for showering the MKs with blessings, and for sharing this recipe with us, I'm sure it will end up being a favorite. Every time I make them, I'll be reminded of the ingredients that make for the best friendships, and everytime I eat them I'll think of you & sarah's friendship.
Now this is what I call a SWEET cookie!

September 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermfm

to be used sparingly on occasions such as these "cookies".

September 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrunswithscissors

"Hugs from the Tummy..." awesome. Now a cookie that's salted AND chocolate, I can get behind. How lucky that you+Sarah=lovely.

September 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTheKitchenWitch

Oh yes, they surely look good and have everything to tempt anyone!

September 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbea at La tartine gourmande

Wow, what rich and decadent cookies, they do look amazing!

September 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKerstin

They do look absolutely delicious! I had been thinking today that I don't bake enough cookies, so here you deliver a lovely recipe in my mailbox. Thank you, and how thoughtful of you :)

September 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEralda

Sarah,
I love that you dedicated this one to Emily. As my "oldest friend", the one i used to walk to grade school with every morning and watch "Santa Barbara" with everyday after 5/6th grade (sorry - some secrets have to come out!)....I could not agree more - Emily is a blessing to everyone she knows. I'm jealous that you get her every week! How my life might be so much more sane if i had her in it regularly!!! She's the one person that I can go 1,2,3,5+ years without seeing and when we reconnect it's like not a minute passed. These friends are a rare gift.
I'm happy to think of how wonderfully supportive your friendship is to each other.
I made your monster cookies at Elijah's birthday and they were a ridiculous hit with everyone! I was telling everyone all about your blog site and where they could find the recipe. Now, i will definitely make these chocolate sweeties to impress the next group.
Thank you Sarah and Em! xoxoxxo

September 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeather Gahan

Yes about the "best" phrase overused and yes to it's better sharing a bowl of Ramen than being too snooty & unapproachable. I'll have to try these as I enjoy the baking arena more than the cooking as you mentioned in the chocolate cake recipe.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkamille scellick

You are hilarious. Great post. When are you going to write a book?
I will definitely try these soon because I'm all pumped up from all the compliments I've been getting after making your apple cake last week.
Plus, my sister introduced me to the joy of chocolate+salt a few months ago and now I can't get enough.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMegan Cooley

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