Dark Chocolate Chunk & Darjeeling Tea Cookies

Sunday, September 1

dark chocolate chunk + Darjeeling tea cookies | une gamine dans la cuisine

"september is a month like any other and unlike any other. it seems in september everything awaited will arrive: in the calm air, in a particular scent, in the stillness of the quay. when september comes, i know i'm going to lose myself."

~ Reina Maria Rodriguez, from memory of water

For me personally, September is mercurial. It's my birthday month, it was my dad's birthday month (today would have been his birthday, actually) and it's also the month he died 18 years ago. I was 17, and reckless and carefree...& hopelessly naive. What makes this year surreal is the fact that it's taking me past the halfway point...my dad has been gone longer than the amount of time I knew him. That's a surreal concept - a prickly pill that the throat refuses to swallow. Later this month I'll traverse, hesitantly, into the murky mid-30's. *eep!* Where does the time go?

When I'm over-thinking, second guessing or making an all out fuss over the quality of my food photos (too exposed? too 'green?'), I think of my dad. More than likely he would say, in his low gravelly voice; "Ne t'inquiète pas, mon petit chou." Then he'd grumble something else in French and ask if I was finally finished taking photos already!  ; )

dark chocolate chunk + Darjeeling tea cookies | une gamine dans la cuisine

You're probably thinking 'tea and chocolate...4 realz, Valerie?' Yes, totes. These cookies are one of the best chocolate cookies I have ever made - and you know I don't toss that phrase around lightly.

I can't take all the credit for this recipe. The idea of browning butter with stuff came from Izy's mad-genius blog, Top with Cinnamon. She used basil and verbena in her recipe. I didn't have either herb, but I did/do have a stockpile of loose leaf tea. Originally I was going to use Chai tea, or gunpowder or rooibos (I doubt that my beloved Lemon Zinger would play nice with cookie dough). I finally decided on Darjeeling - it smells lush, I knew the chocolate would fall head over heels in love!

The tea adds a certain...oh, what to call it...a smouldering...smokey...sweetness. I don't think anyone would be able to pin point the Darjeeling, but they would know there's something wonderfully different about these chocolate chip cookies. The chill time is excruciatingly long, but I promise it's worth the wait! The resulting texture is spot-on c.c.cookie perfection; chewy, soft and downright knee-buckling. Definitely add this recipe to your cookie repertoire. xo

dark chocolate chunk + Darjeeling tea cookies | une gamine dans la cuisine

Dark Chocolate Chunk & Darjeeling Tea Cookies
makes about 9-10 very large cookies

ingredients
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup Darjeeling loose leaf tea
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup + 3 Tablespoons firmly packed, light brown sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 oz dark chocolate chunks (or chips)
Fleur de sel - for sprinkling

method
Have a strainer or sieve placed over the bowl of a stand mixer; set aside.

Brown the butter with the tea leaves: In a large saucepan, combine 10 Tablespoons of butter with the loose leaf tea. Melt the butter over medium-low heat. Increase the heat to medium and, stirring occasionally, cook the butter until it turns golden brown and develops a nutty aroma. Depending on the stove's heat it can take 5-8 minutes for the butter to brown properly. Be sure to give it a good stir now and then so that the butter doesn't burn. {Note: With the tea leaves in the way it's difficult to see what's going on with the butter - when it starts to foam, you will be able to see the butter changing colour...just keep a close eye on things.}

Once butter has browned, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla - allow the mixture to rest for about 10 minutes. Using the sieve, strain into the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the back of a large spoon or a spatula to press down on the leaves (you want to *squeeze* out as much butter as possible!).

Melt the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter in the microwave and add it to the Darjeeling/brown butter mixture. Cool for 15-20 minutes at room temperature.

Add both sugars and, using the paddle attachment, beat on med-high speed until well combined (about 5-8 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and beat for about 2 more minutes.

Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Beat on low speed till just combined.

Add the chocolate chunks and beat on low speed again until evenly dispersed.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

For each cookie measure out about 1/4 cup of dough. Roll the dough into a ball and slightly flatten between the palms of your hands. {Note: The dough will probably be on the greasy side, but don't worry - once chilled it will come together beautifully.}  Place the measured out cookies onto prepared cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 10-12 hours (or up to 24 hours).

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a separate baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place about three cookies on the fresh sheet - you might be able to fit more than three, just take note of how much the first round spreads. Sprinkle the cookies with desired amount of fleur de sel.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges have set. {Note: The centers will look undercooked - they will firm up as the cookies cool, promise.} Remove the sheet from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. Allow the cookies to rest on the sheet for about 8-10 minutes before removing/inhaling.

adapted from Top with Cinnamon

32 comments:

  1. Decadent cookies! They look terribly tempting.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. They look absolutely delicious..
    Little teasers.

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  3. Browned butter that's been infused with tea. I can only imagine. I want everything I bake to be baked with that! The cookies are perfect looking! The texture is absolutely perfect & you captured it so well in your photos! Pinned of course.

    And your dad and what you wrote. And this month. Thanks for sharing. Will be thinking of you. And happy bday month!

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  4. I adore these cookies! You know I'm all about browned butter anything, but infusing it with tea is perfection.

    Thinking of you - sending big hugs your way (and many cookies, of course :)). xo

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  5. I know I will lose myself when summer leaves.
    I don't like fall or winter; I'm already sad.
    And yes, tea infused in cookies is something I would love to try.
    Never thought of.
    I'm a september girl too--Libra's rule!

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  6. I remember the feeling when I realized my father had been gone for more than half my life. It's a sad feeling, and I'm sending loving thoughts your way. Take care, and I hope your September is full of good memories. (Gotta admit, the mid-30s sound pretty good.)

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  7. I am sure your Dad is watching over you and probably wishing he had one of your delicious cookies! These look and sound simply divine!

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  8. Harney & Sons is one of my favourite brands, excellent choice!

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  9. 1. The cookies....WHOA! That whole tea and chocolate thing is fine by me...buhlieve me!
    2. That is why I call them dirty-thirties... it's all good while you're like 32 or 33, but dude, 35 comes and you're thinking, holy mother, I am going to be 40 in only 5 years!!!
    3. I am sorry about your Papa, sweetheart... hugs to you!

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  10. You seriously always make the most incredible cookies in the world! I am consistently amazed!

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  11. These seriously look like the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Crackled and puffy! I have been craving a good ol' chocolate chip cookie lately, so perhaps these will be the ones.

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  12. Beautifully written, I can only imagine how real such a huge loss is even after all these years. Also, I love Memory of Water and that quote. These cookies sound knee-buckling indeed.

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  13. What a beatiful post and sorry for your loss. A friend of mine lost a parent at a similar age to you and I know the pain never goes away completelu, you just get better (mostly, not always) at dealing with it.

    Beautiful photos and recipe too - I remember the initial post on Top with Cinnamon and I have been experimenting with tea more and more. I clearly need to put some tea-infused cookies on my to do list!

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  14. So sorry for your loss but great that you can still honor you father in this way. Very interesting idea of using darjeeling tea in a chocolate chip cookie, and they look fantastic!

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  15. I can relate to your story about your dad....my dad also has a September birthday and I do miss him dearly.

    He loved CC cookies and tea both so I have to try this recipe in his honor...I will be thinking of you and your dad as I start up my mixer!! :)

    Carol

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  16. I also share September as a birthday month. I know how you feel about thinking about your dad. I find myself thinking about mine constantly. Send you hugs and just love these cookies, Val xx

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  17. you are THE cookie master Valerie, these look perfect! By the way I am September girl too!

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  18. Your post is beautiful Valerie. I always feel that it is such a privilege to share experiences with blogging friends. Thanks for sharing about your father with us. Life definitely moves fast. You are a strong, talented and beautiful woman and I am certain that he would've been so proud of your path in life. I adore Izy's blog. She makes such wonderful sweet treats... positively drool-worthy! This is a fantastic interpretation of her recipe though Valerie. Love the idea of adding the tea infusion - very, very special, and perfect for afternoon tea! Definitely trying this. Love your photos of the soft cookies with the perfect chocolate chunks! xx

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  19. I hope that your have a happy birthday month despite how bittersweet it can be. Sending you a hug and lots of cookies:-)

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  20. I am also a member of the Childhood Dead Parent Club, my dad died when I was little. For me, it's January, I dread it all year. Something about walking around on The Day and being irritated that the rest of the world doesn't feel the loss too, like everyone else should at least be able to feel it in some way.
    My heart goes out to you, eat some cookies, drink some wine. Hope September passes with more good moments than sad ones.

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  21. Chocolate chip cookies seem too much like a Christmas thing (especially since it will be 108 here, and the chocolate always melts on your fingers at that temp). But perhaps worth a try . .

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  22. I need to take a page from your book and bake these wonderful looking cookies!
    I'm sure your father would have loved your baking and the way you express yourself in your blog, in photos and with your writing-quite nice Valerie ;)

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  23. I am dreading the time when my mom will have been gone longer than I knew her...I agree with you, it' a terrifying concept.
    These look ultra rich and mysterious, the combination of flavors is really tantalizing.

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  24. What a beautiful, bittersweet post. September brings it out in many of us, but surely you have a special reason to feel that way. Thank you so much for sharing a bit about your father -- and these cookies. I'm so inspired by the idea of infusing browned butter with herbs and tea. I can see that as part of many recipes. Thank you... and happy birthday month!

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  25. What a smart recipe. They look so delicious! I've wanted to try the same cookie recipe from Top With Cinnamon, but I never really have verbena, and when I have basil I forget. Using tea sounds even better to me.

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  26. YUM. These look incredible!! :)

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  27. Scored a toasty Darjeeling today in anticipation of making these. But pray tell, please: WHERE do you get those jaw-droppingly gorgeous chocolate chunks??!?

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  28. @Unknown: They're actually Nestlé dark chocolate chunks. (But if you're not as lazy as I was (am?), it's actually better to chop your own chocolate from a solid bar...much tastier.) :D

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  29. Thanks, Valerie! I *do* have my ambitious moments interspersed amongst my lazy ones, so I suppose I'll go with how I feel at the time I make these!!

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  30. Lovely cookies, that I know I could polish off rather quickly :)

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Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie

 

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