From the Star Tribune, of all places: From Mary Eckmeier of St. Paul.
Makes about 3 dozen.
1. This recipe originally said it must be prepared in advance because of refrigerating the dough. In 2011 and again in 2014, I made it without refrigerating and they came out fine.
2. I used the sel de mer we have. Sel de guerande is a sea salt that is harvested from the salt marshes of Brittany and is available at Cooks of Crocus Hill in St. Paul and Edina.
3. Butter must be room temp.
4. Calls for an electric mixer; probably means standing mixer. I made mine with a handheld mixer to get started, then finished mixing ingredients by hand.
5. Jeanne prefers no chocolate chips in her cookies.
6. Dough may be better with refrigeration, 1 hr or several days, but why wait?
1-1/4 c. flour
1/3 c. natural (unsweetened) cocoa powder (I used Dutch cocoa in 2011h
1/2 tsp. sel de guerande or other coarse sea salt; plus extra for sprinkling on top
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. plus 3 tbsp. (1 stick plus 3 tbsp., or 5-1/2 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 oz. (about 3/4 c.) semisweet chocolate chips, optional
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, sel de guerande (or other coarse sea salt) and baking soda. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine sugars and vanilla. Set aside.
3. In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 1 minute.
4. Add sugar mixture and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes with a handheld mixer.
5. Reduce speed to low, or mix by hand while adding flour mixture; mix until crumbly, just enough so flour is not blowing all over bowl.
5. Using a spatula, fold in chocolate chips if using.
ALTERNATIVE A. Dump mixture onto a clean work surface and knead a few times to finish mixing (the warmth of your hands will help the mixture come together). Move to #7; don't pre-heat oven.
ALTERNATIVE B. Form dough balls in your hand. Put oven to 325 and move to step #10.
7. Divide dough in half and shape into logs about 18 inches in length and about 1 inch in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or for up to 3 days.
READY TO BAKE: Oven to 325
8. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
9. Unwrap refrigerated logs and, using a very sharp knife with a thin blade, slice logs into 1/2-inch cookies (if cookies come apart after slicing, just push dough back together using your fingers).
10. Place cookies about 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets; flatten balls, sprinkle with a bit of sea salt, and bake 12 minutes; do not overbake.
11. Remove from oven, cool for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.