Sea Salt, Cashew and Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sea Salt, Cashew and Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies | browneyedbaker.com

A few years ago, we started a new gift-giving tradition on my mom’s side of the family. Instead of everyone buying something for everyone else, we pared it down to a “secret Santa” where everyone picks someone else’s name, and buys just for them. In addition, we have a small “fun” gift exchange – everyone brings a $25 generic gift, wrapped, and we pick numbers. Whoever gets #1 picks out a gift and opens it. Whoever has #2 can choose to “steal” the gift from person #1, or pick a new gift… And on it goes. Some people refer to this as a “white elephant grab bag”. We have so much fun with this, and always end up laughing until our stomachs hurt.

While we were out finishing up our Christmas shopping this year, my Chief Culinary Consultant was putting the final touches on his grab bag gift and picked up a 3-pound bag of sea salt cashews. Seriously? I almost busted them open in the car on the way home. I literally have not stopped thinking about those cashews since December 20th. While I never got a bag of my own, I decided to take my cashews, throw in some chocolate and flaky sea salt, and turn them into cookies.

Sea Salt, Cashew and Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies | browneyedbaker.com

Naturally, I thought the best way to accomplish this would be with absolutely ginormous cookies. The only time I make compromises with cookie size is for Christmas – so many cookies to eat; smaller cookies means I can eat more!

I took my all-time favorite cookie, and switched it up to include big milk chocolate chips, chopped roasted, salted cashews, and the requisite sprinkle of fleur de sel before hitting the oven. I had a fabulous sample of salted caramel cashew chocolate bark at a Godiva store a couple of years ago, and the combination of those flavors have been a favorite ever since.

Sea Salt, Cashew and Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies | browneyedbaker.com

These cookies are big, beautiful and utterly delicious. The dough has a slight bit of sweet caramel-y undertone to it, and it’s loaded with crunchy, salty cashews and sweet milk chocolate.

Maybe next year I’ll stuff these cookies in a stocking for someone? I’m sure my family will approve :)

Sea Salt, Cashew and Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies | browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: Bourbon Pecan Pralines
Two years ago: Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake
Three years ago: Sausage Dip
Four years ago: Cappuccino Cinnamon Squares
Six years ago: Homemade Granola

Sea Salt, Cashew and Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 18 HUGE cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 24 hours

One of my favorite cookie doughs repurposed with roasted cashews, milk chocolate chips and a sprinkling of fleur de sel.

Ingredients:

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8½ ounces) cake flour
1 & 2/3 cups (8½ ounces) bread flour
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1¼ cups (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 & 1/3 cups (20 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
Sea salt, for sprinkling

Directions:

1. Sift together the cake flour, bread flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and set aside.

2. Cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed until very light, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then add the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low, gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips and chopped cashews.

3. Press plastic wrap against the dough and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

4. Scoop 3 1/2-ounces of dough, roll into a rough ball (it should be the size of a large golf ball) and place on the baking sheet. Repeat until you have six mounds of dough on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer the parchment or silicone sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies onto another cooling rack to cool a bit more, until just warm or at room temperature. Repeat with remaining dough (or keep some of the dough refrigerated for up to 3 days, and bake cookies at a later time). Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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43 Responses to “Sea Salt, Cashew and Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. Michelle C. on February 5, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Ummmmm YES PLEASE!

    Question though……you used milk chocolate…I tend to always use a mix of semi sweet and 60% cocoa chips. What’s the reasoning with this? Can I use my mix or do you recommend the milk over the others?
    Thanks!!! :-)

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 5th, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      Hi Michelle, I used milk chocolate because I thought it would be a good balance for the saltiness of the cashews and the sea salt. You could definitely use semi sweet and/or dark chocolate if you prefer.

      Reply

      • Michelle C. on February 5th, 2014 at 8:51 pm

        Awesome!! I think I’ll have to make a few batches with the different chips

        Reply

  2. Laura (Tutti Dolci) on February 5, 2014 at 12:27 am

    I love cashews, they are so rich and buttery. These are cookie perfection!

    Reply

  3. Ellen @ The Baking Bluenoser on February 5, 2014 at 12:37 am

    mmm What a delicious combination of flavours!

    Reply

  4. Pieliekamais on February 5, 2014 at 3:08 am

    I like the idea!

    Reply

  5. Averie @ Averie Cooks on February 5, 2014 at 3:51 am

    Ahh the good old jacque torres/NYT base. It’s a good one and I bet with the cashews, the chewy factor of that buttery dough, with the buttery cashews, it’s a perfect base! I don’t make it a whole lot but need to remember it! Your cookies are GORGEOUS! I love salted cashews, so, so much! If you have any left, they make awesome nut butter! They blend up even faster & creamier than PB does. Pinned

    Reply

  6. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on February 5, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Yum! I love sea salt on my chocolate chip cookies and with cashews, double bonus. What a great cookie recipe!!

    Reply

  7. Taylor @ greens & chocolate on February 5, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Cashews are by far my favorite snacking nut but I never use them in baking…not sure why! These look fabulous!

    Reply

  8. Katrina @ WVS on February 5, 2014 at 7:59 am

    I love the cashews in here! Definitely one of my favorite nuts :)

    Reply

  9. lori on February 5, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Michelle – I made the cider caramels and was disappointed with them. It was my mistake…I think I used the wrong sea salt…what brand do you use for these salted caramel recipes you love. thanks.

    Reply

  10. Cate @ Chez CateyLou on February 5, 2014 at 9:25 am

    If I got these in my stocking, I would definitely approve!! They look fabulous. I have never baked a cookie using cashews, but I am going to try it! It sounds like a delicious flavor combo!

    Reply

  11. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on February 5, 2014 at 9:46 am

    These look too good to be true!! Question about the bread flour – can you find it easily at grocery stores? I know I’ve seen cake flour but I can’t remember spotting bread flour.

    Reply

    • Gayle on February 5th, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      Yes, bread flour is readily available in the grocery stores

      Reply

    • Michelle on February 5th, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Hi Liz, Yes, bread flour is a very common product at grocery stores; it’s usually stocked right next to the all-purpose flour.

      Reply

  12. Lynne on February 5, 2014 at 10:07 am

    That gift-giving exchange is called a Yankee Swap in our neck of the woods. I thought a “white elephant grab bag” was a straight grab (no swapping), and could include items that you found around your house, at a yard sale, or regifted.

    Reply

  13. TERRY on February 5, 2014 at 10:17 am

    We call it “Dirty Santa” and it is so much fun ~ always amazed at what item becomes the “HOT” gift everyone wants!! One year it was a Chia Pet (so oldschool)!!!

    Reply

  14. Zainab @ Blahnik Baker on February 5, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Oh yeah!!! I can eat a dozen of these. They look so chunky and saltry.

    Reply

  15. Jamie on February 5, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    DROOLING! Printing, baking soon!!

    Reply

  16. Arthur in the Garden! on February 5, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Oh, wow! I am in love- with this cookie!

    Reply

  17. christina on February 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    I saw these on pinterest and literally outloud was like “Oh YES!!!” so ya these are now on my list.

    Reply

  18. Becca @ Crumbs on February 5, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    These look TO DIE FOR!

    Reply

  19. Chad on February 5, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Yummm! Gonna make this one as a change from our usual sugar drop cookies for the kids. Thanks.

    Reply

  20. Rebecca @ Dorm Room Baker on February 5, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    These look so good! I adore cashews, but I can’t keep a bag around because before I know it the entire thing will be gone. Definitely going to try out these cookies, although I think I’ll probably downsize them so I don’t feel as guilty if I decide to eat two.

    Reply

  21. Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody) on February 5, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Yes! Finally, some cashew love. They’ve been so rejected in the cookie arena. These cookies sound and look beautiful!

    Reply

  22. Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers on February 5, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    These look beautiful! I am overdue for making cookies. These would be perfect.

    Reply

  23. Tracy | Pale Yellow on February 5, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    A 3-lb bag of cashews sound like a fantastic Christmas grab bag gift! I always get my dad cashews for Christmas, these cookies would be perfect for his birthday or father’s day!

    Reply

  24. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent on February 5, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Sea Salt and Cashews… I’m drooling. They look absolutely delicious.

    Reply

  25. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie on February 5, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    Sadly can only think of one time I have baked with cashews, and it was in a brownie. It blew my mind yet I somehow haven’t tried it elsewhere such as in cookies. Love these!

    Reply

  26. Hari Chandana on February 5, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    Looks absolutely perfect and tempting.. beautifully prepared!!

    Reply

  27. Abbie @ Needs Salt on February 6, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    These cookies look so perfect, chewy and delicious! Just… everything a cookie should be – the end.
    Pinning!

    Reply

  28. Mari @ Oh, Sweet & Savory on February 6, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Cashews are my favorite nut, but I’ve not baked with them before. Thanks for the idea – looks delicious!

    Reply

  29. Alexe @ Keys to the Cucina on February 6, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Wow these look amazing, loving the sweet and salty combo you’ve got going on. Must make these asap!

    Reply

  30. Kira - HealthAble Old Soul on February 6, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    I love making my own ‘milks.’ I have made almond milk and turned out delicious…I imagine cashew milk is very similar!

    Reply

  31. linda on February 8, 2014 at 6:07 am

    absolutely delish, thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

  32. Justin gore on February 8, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    This is the same recipe as Jacque Torres famous cookie with the addition of cashews. A very good cookie

    Reply

  33. Ann on February 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    3 1/2 C flour? Is this correct?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 10th, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      Yes, that’s correct!

      Reply

  34. Diane on February 11, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    I am thinking these cookies would make a great “favor” for an upcoming baby shower I’m helping with, I so love milk chocolate, sea salt and cashews!

    Reply

  35. Ingrid on February 11, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    These were the most fabulous cookies I have baked! Endorsed by friends and children alike! I used regular flour, dark chocolate chips, salted cashews (skipped the sea salt), and goat butter. I wasn’t sure if they would work with all these substitutions but the sweet/salty combo was irresistible!

    Reply

  36. Audrey on April 7, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Would it be ok to substitute reg.flour for the bread flour? I have all the ingredients to get started except bread flour….want to get these to my grand kids soon.
    Thanks

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 8th, 2014 at 10:47 am

      Hi Audrey, The bread flour helps to create a thicker, sturdier cookie, so I definitely recommend; you can use all-purpose, but the texture of the cookie will come out a bit different.

      Reply

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