Five years ago, we hosted 10 staff members of our website, The Kitchn, for a weekend retreat in the country, and I was in charge of the cooking.
We were hungry worker bees, stretching our brains all day, decoding the secrets of site design, traffic analytics and reader satisfaction. I did try to push healthy snacks on my co-workers, but the dark chocolate walnut cookies won for best snack.
Digging back into the archives, I found the post about these cookies with one of the worst food photographs I ever made. Five years on, they are still one of my favorite tea-time snacks.
I want to emphasize what a difference it makes to use high-quality cocoa, bittersweet chocolate chips or pieces, and fresh nuts in this recipe. Ingredient quality and freshness always make a difference, but in this case, with such intense flavors, it is even more the case. Always give walnuts a sniff before using them; they can go rancid quickly if not stored properly, even in the grocery store.
The tiny sprinkle of salt on top of the cookies before they bake is the crowning jewel, the pop of flavor that ties it all together. Besides, aren’t you eating salt on all your desserts these days?
Sara Kate Gillingham is the founding editor of TheKitchn.com, a website for home cooking.