Parisian Cookie Cake
A cross between an American chocolate chip cookie and a French shortbread, this treat was inspired by one created by François Perret, the pastry chef of the Ritz hotel in Paris and its patisserie, Le Comptoir. Chewy and crunchy, this cookie as big as a cake is as much fun to eat as it is to make. The base is sweet, tender and caramel-flavored from turbinado sugar. You also catch a bit of nuttiness: That’s the almond butter that’s mixed into it. It’s delicious and intentionally plain because all the excitement is on the top of the cookie, which is paved with chopped almonds and chunks of chocolate, dabbed with caramel and sprinkled with fleur de sel.
- Serves: 10 persons
- 1 ⅓cups/170 grams all-purpose flour
- 1teaspoon baking powder
- ¼teaspoon baking soda
- 4ounces/113 grams very soft unsalted butter
- ¾cup/150 grams turbinado sugar
- ½teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3tablespoons/54 grams pure almond butter, well stirred
- 1large egg, at room temperature and lightly beaten
- 4ounces/113 grams semi or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- ⅓cup/48 grams raw almonds, coarsely chopped
- About 3 tablespoons/about 60 grams caramel topping, for finishing
- Fleur de sel, for finishing
Step 1Center a rack in the oven and heat to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set the ring of a 9-inch springform pan (without its base) upside down on the prepared sheet. The ridge in the ring should be on top.
Step 2In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda; set aside.
Step 3In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and salt on medium-low speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape in the almond butter and mix for 2 more minutes. Add about one-third of the flour mixture and beat on medium-low until blended. Pour in the egg and mix on low until incorporated. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix on low until they disappear into the dough. Scrape the dough into the center of the springform ring.
Step 4Use a flexible or offset spatula or your fingers to spread the dough as evenly as you can. You don’t have to press it down aggressively, but you should try to get it relatively smooth. Scatter the chocolate over the surface and then scatter over the almonds.
Step 5Bake the cookie for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and immediately — and carefully — open and lift off the springform. Let the cookie cool to room temperature, then dot the surface with caramel sparingly or generously; if you’d like, you can drizzle the caramel. Sprinkle the top lightly with fleur de sel. Cut the cookie into 10 to 12 wedges, or go rogue and cut it into other shapes. Wrapped, the cookie will keep for about 4 days at room temperature.