Chocolate chip cookies are beloved for many good reasons. They are portable, chocolatey (obviously), and almost infinitely customizable to your preference through different techniques and ingredients. Small or large, crispy or chewy, chips or chunks, there is a chocolate chip cookie recipe out there for everyone.
Contrasting flavors and textures often inspire folks to try new combinations, and it is particularly easy to do so with chocolate chip cookies. It is relatively common these days to see recipes call for a sprinkling of flaky sea salt to top off the cookies before they head into the oven. But what if you were to crank that salty-sweet idea up to eleven and incorporate even more salt in via salty snack items? Think of potato chips, crispy pretzel bites, or even peanut butter cups, the perennial ready-to-go salty-sweet snacks.
This concept of sweet-meets-salt is not novel, yet the idea of mashing up sweet cookies with salty snacks remains compelling. Armed with the salty snack of your choice, as well as some chocolate chip cookie dough, you can make the stuff of dreams.
Salty Mix-In Ideas
Getting started with chocolate chip cookie experiments is relatively easy to do: Simply select your preferred recipe for a basic chocolate chip cookie, then use that as a base to add in other ingredients. Line up your options for this important research. Aside from the aforementioned chips and pretzels, other potential mixes to consider are bar nuts, trail mix, popcorn, or even bacon bits.
The next step is to work out an appropriate size for these mix-ins. Not only are whole potato chips impractical to work into individual cookies, but they would get crushed anyway during the mixing process. The trick is then to pre-crush these ingredients prior to folding them in. Use the size of the chocolate chips (or chunks) as your guide, and crush or chop the salty snacks into similar portions. This will make it easier to mix into the dough -- and easier to eat the cookies afterward.
Consider holding back some of the crushed salty snacks until after you have scooped the cookie dough onto the sheet tray, so you can sprinkle them over the top of the cookies. Gently pat them down so that the dough holds on to the snack pieces, or the bits will fall off more easily. This is a fun way to tell folks what the added ingredients of the cookie are; placing larger or whole pieces on top of the cookies is also a good idea if this is your intent.
Push Boundaries And Try Something New
Why do many people like contrasting flavors and textures? A point mentioned in Smithsonian Mag is that it is likely because we can explore new flavors through a familiar medium. In the case of chocolate chip cookies with salty snacks mixed in, our tastebuds are grounded in the comfort of chocolate while being safely introduced to the salty surprise of the added ingredients. Some people may balk at it, a sort of betrayal of their "safe" home ground, but others will undoubtedly love it.
Chocolate chip cookies make for a dependable base for flavor experiments, as chocolate shares flavor compounds with many, potentially surprising items. If you want to venture beyond conventional salty snack food items, look to ingredients often added to savory dishes, like seaweed, black olives, and even crispy fried anchovies. Is it unusual? Yes. Will it be interesting to find new and craveable combinations of flavors? Also yes.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.