Chocolate Chip Cookies With Black Sesame and Seaweed
This complex and earthy cookie comes from Zoe Kanan, the pastry chef at Simon & the Whale restaurant in New York, and proves the notion that ingenuity is often born of necessity. While working in Hong Kong on a collaborative dinner with Yardbird restaurant, Ms. Kazan found herself with a glut of specialty ingredients at her disposal. Inspired by the experimental flavor combinations for which her mentor, Christina Tosi, is known, Ms. Kanan added black sesame paste, seaweed and sesame seeds to a tahini chocolate chip cookie recipe she’d been developing. Deeply chocolatey and extremely savory, the result —this cookie, created for the 2019 NYT Food Festival — is perplexing at first bite and addictive after that.
- Serves: 22 persons
- 1 ½cups/190 grams unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 ½cups/140 grams dark rye flour or pumpernickel flour
- 1teaspoon baking powder
- ½packed teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½teaspoons fine sea salt
- ¾cup/165 grams dark brown sugar
- ⅔cup/135 grams granulated sugar
- ½cup plus 2 tablespoons/140 grams unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2large eggs plus 1 yolk
- ⅓cup plus 1 tablespoon/105 grams black sesame paste, such as Kevala Black Sesame Tahini, or regular tahini
- 1tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 13ounces/370 grams 65 to 70 percent dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- ½cup/5 grams kizami nori (toasted and shredded seaweed) (see Tip)
- 1cup/120 grams black sesame seeds, to coat
Step 1In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and rye flours, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt; set aside.
Step 2In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat both sugars together on medium speed to blend. Add butter and beat on medium until beginning to lighten and starting to become creamy, about 2 minutes.
Step 3Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time to the butter mixture, beating until incorporated, then add the black sesame paste and vanilla, and blend just until combined.
Step 4Add the flour mixture all at once, and use a sturdy rubber spatula to fold it into the butter mixture until about halfway combined, and the mixture goes from a shaggy mess to a semi-combined dough. Scatter the chocolate and seaweed on top and fold just until dough forms. (A gentle touch is necessary, as overmixing can cause the dough to separate and crumble.)
Step 5Add the black sesame seeds to a shallow bowl. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, portion the dough into about 22 balls (60 grams each). Working with one portion of dough at a time, roll it between your palms until rounded, then gently roll it into the sesame seeds until coated all over. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet and transfer to the refrigerator to chill at least 4 hours. (You can prepare the dough balls up to one week in advance; transfer to a lidded container or loosely cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
Step 6When ready to bake, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the cookies a few inches apart on a large baking sheet and bake until they have spread out slightly but are still puffed in the center, about 12 minutes. Once you’ve removed the baking sheet from the oven, gently tap the center of each cookie down using the bottom of a ladle, pressing just until you’ve created a slightly indented crater. (This technique helps ensure a gooey and chewy center.)
Step 7Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store, covered, at room temperature, up to 2 days.