Creativity is a weird thing. More often than not, some of the best creations have come about by accident or under certain constraints. Perhaps it is the expectations that we set, or rather the lack of, which makes the outcome a pleasant surprise.
This story started with an excursion. One day, a packet of malted rye grains found its way to me, accidentally taking the place of something else I was expecting. This unexpected visit meant that I had a new ingredient to play with, and as there was some rosemary lying around, they quickly found each other and made their way into a delicious cookie. The malty aroma of the rye along with the earthy rosemary created a perfect setting for the bitter-sweet dark chocolate, and to finish off, flakes of sea salt for that sweet and savoury interplay. Using dark rye instead of plain flour as the basis also added more chew to the cookie, and if you wanted to go the extra mile, toasting the flour beforehand will give a further layer of nuttiness.
Malted Rye, Rosemary, Dark Chocolate + sea salt Cookies
Makes 24-30 cookies
220g dark brown sugar*
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup cut malted rye grains** (I got mine from Shipton Mills)
225g rye flour (optional toasting)
1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped (roughly 2 springs)
1/2 cup chocolate chunks
Sea salt (as needed for garnishing the tops of each cookie)
Bring butter and eggs to room temperature. Preheat oven to 160˚C fan.
Toast the rye flour on medium heat for 5-10 minutes until fragrant (optional). Let it cool slightly.
Mix rye grains, rye flour, salt and baking soda together in a small bowl and set aside
Cream butter and sugar together on medium speed (in stand mixer or electric hand whisk) until fluffy.
Add the eggs and vanilla extract and continue to mix until smooth and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Gradually add the dry ingredients (from 2) and mix on low speed until mostly combined.
Add chopped rosemary and chocolate, and mix until incorporated.
Portion the cookies out roughly into domed tablespoon-sized balls (I used an ice-cream scoop). Place in a freezer-safe box, and freeze for 5 minutes to firm up slightly.
When ready to bake, place the individual balls onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Make sure to leave plenty of room for these cookies to spread.
Salt the tops of each cookie with a pinch of sea salt.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until edges are lightly golden.
Let the cookies cool partially on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before serving/cool completely on wire rack and store in airtight container.
*Other types of soft brown sugar also works, but after experimenting with a few, I found that dark brown sugar works best. Light brown sugar lack that hint of molasses/caramel flavour, but dark brown muscovado sugar is a tad too strong, slightly overpowering the subtle malty tones of the rye.
**If you couldn’t get your hands onto any malted rye grains, rye flakes also works for the added texture, but maybe play around with the sugar or toasting the flour to get more more maltiness.