In her cookbook “My Two Souths,” chef Asha Gomez added an intriguing twist to the classic chocolate cookie — Nutella. It was an innovative way to introduce nutty flavor to an otherwise straightforward chocolate cookie dough.
Inspired, we wondered what other nutty spreads would work, so for this recipe from our book “Milk Street Tuesday Nights,” which limits recipes to 45 minutes or less, we tried natural almond butter. We were thrilled. Besides injecting the cookie with almond flavor, the natural ingredient gave us more control over the finished texture — moist, fudgy and almost brownie-like.
We made a few other small tweaks — adding cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate to deepen the cookie’s flavor and color without overwhelming the lighter milk chocolate — but otherwise kept the recipe simple and straightforward.
Sliced almonds pressed onto the tops added crunch, and a final sprinkle of flaky sea salt heightened the other flavors. The result was delicious but intense, so we scaled down the cookie’s size, making it a decadent two-bite treat.
When you’re forming the cookies, if the dough is very sticky, allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. As the milk chocolate solidifies, the dough becomes easier to work with.
Start to finish: 30 minutes (20 minutes active)
Makes 30 cookies
8 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
130 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour
160 grams (¾ cup packed) brown sugar
16 grams (3 tablespoons) cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
⅔ cup roasted almond butter, stirred well
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt (such as Maldon Sea Salt Flakes)
Heat the oven to 350°F with racks in the upper- and lower-middle positions. Line 2 baking sheets with kitchen parchment.
Put the milk chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 50 percent power, stirring every 30 seconds, until completely smooth and melted. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Add eggs and mix thoroughly with a rubber spatula. Stir in the melted chocolate, almond butter, vanilla and chopped semisweet chocolate.
Spread the almonds on a large plate. Divide the dough into 1-tablespoon balls, then lightly press into the almonds, coating one side and slightly flattening them. Arrange 15 of the balls, almond side up, on each of the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Brush the tops lightly with the egg white and sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake until the center is set and the edges are no longer glossy, 10 to 13 minutes, rotating the sheets and switching racks halfway through. Let cool completely on the sheets. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more recipes, go to Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street at 177milkstreet.com/ap
Christopher Kimball, The Associated Press