Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Why don’t we put pistachios in cookies more often? Walnuts, pecans, and almonds steal the spotlight, and macadamia nuts have their white-chocolate niche, but pistachios are super delicious yet seem to get little love. They finally get to be superstars in this recipe, transforming otherwise ordinary (though always tasty) chocolate chip cookies into something truly special. You might be distracted by the exoticness of the smoked salt, as indeed I was when I first bookmarked this recipe from Joy the Baker, but it plays a supporting role here, and indeed if you were to use regular coarse sea salt instead, I wouldn’t scold you. I recalled seeing smoked salt in grinders at Trader Joe’s for a few bucks, but of course when I went to actually buy it I found it had been discontinued, as are so many TJ’s products just at the moment you really need them. Thinking that these would just be plain old chocolate chip cookies without the smoked salt, I went to Whole Foods and spent a rather ridiculous sum of money for a container I will now spend the rest of my life trying to use up. Don’t be like me! The smoked salt is great if you can get it, but the pistachios were the real revelation here. We both loved these cookies, to the point that A repeatedly exclaimed how good they were every time we ate one. Definitely a keeper—and not just because I now have a surplus of smoked salt on my hands.

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups dark chocolate chips or chunks (I’ll admit I just used semisweet and it was still great)
1 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
Smoked sea salt for topping

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars together until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the egg and beat in for about 1 minute. Add vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the mixture all at once to the butter mixture. Beat on low speed until just incorporated. Finally, mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.

4. Dollop or scoop cookie dough by the 2 tablespoonful onto prepared baking tins. Leave about 2 inches of room between each cookie. Sprinkle generously with smoked sea salt.

5. Bake cookies for 18 minutes, or until just golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yields: 2 dozen
Time: 40 minutes
Leftover potential: Great, either in a sealed container at room temperature or frozen.

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