Give Santa the shock of a lifetime when he bites into these amazing and delicious cookies. On the outside, they look like a chocolate chunk cookie, but they taste so much better than the classic.
The secret lies in step one, infusing the butter with fresh basil. This important step may sound odd, but the result is a hint of "something" that taste great but remains your little secret. St. Nick will definitely know these are special without being able to put his finger on what makes them so good.
(makes 10 very large cookies)
Large handful of fresh basil leaves
10 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup (230 g) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup + 3 tbsp (140 g) light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel (plus more for sprinkling)
1 egg, beaten
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
Set the fresh basil and butter in a double boiler over a few inches of simmering water. Let the butter and herbs infuse for 30 minutes before stirring in the vanilla and taking off the heat to cool for 10 minutes. Strain the butter through a sieve to remove the solid basil. Push through as much of the browned butter bits as possible through the sieve.
Meanwhile, in a stand mixer combine the next 6 ingredients (flour through to salt). Pour in the butter and mix until it looks like moist clumpy sand with no floury patches. Add the egg and mix in for a few seconds, then the chopped chocolate and mix until well distributed - but not for too long!
Using a 1/4 cup cookie scoop, scoop up the dough and turn out onto a lined cookie tray, spacing each mound 3" apart. Repeat with all of the cookie dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for anywhere between 1 hour and up to 3 days (the longer you wait, the better the texture and flavor).
When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle the cold cookie dough with fleur de sel and shove into the oven immediately! Bake for 10 minutes, until you have set edges, and a puffy, soft center. Let the cookies cool on the baking tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.