There are few things I love more than I love salt. There are few things that I love without salt — or any sort of seasoning.
Tomatoes. Avocado. Watermelon. Toast. Pasta.
Salt enhances the basics. Like my friend Angela says, salt is the one thing that makes everything else taste more like itself.
In my earlier days as a semi-serious runner, I quickly discovered the consequences of electrolyte imbalances in your system. The three main ones you need are sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Deficiencies or imbalances between the three, combined with dehydration, caused excruciating side stitches for me — and my uncle taught me to keep bananas and magnesium supplements close by.
Sodium, well, we generally get a little too much of that in our diets as Americans.
Too much, yes, I guess there is such thing as too much sodium. But that doesn’t really stop me.
The combination of saltiness and sweetness when you salt chocolate is a flavor unlike any other I know — the chunks of salt accentuates the sugar in the chocolate. It’s crack-like. Not that I know what crack is like.
Knowing I am easily addicted to activities and substances, I should walk with caution. But for everyone else’s benefit, apply salt generously.
Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies, adapted from the New York Times recipe
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 and 2/3 cups bread flour
1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 and 1/4 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs
t teaspoons vanilla extract
1 and 1/4 pounds milk chocolate chunks or chips
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Coarse sea salt (pictured: Parisian gray salt) for garnish
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars with the whipping attachment, until light and fluffy. Add each egg one by one, and then combine the vanilla extract.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients: both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until evenly mixed.
Add the dry ingredients slowly to the butter and sugar mixture — I broke the batch into thirds, making sure each third of the dry ingredients was fully incorporated before adding the next third.
With a wooden spoon or spatula, mix in the chocolate chunks and the pecans by hand.
Roll the dough into 1.5 inch pieces, and give a few inches between each piece on your baking sheet for spreading. Sprinkle a few chunks of your salt on each cookie. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges are a golden brown.