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Thousand-Layer Chocolate Chip Cookie

Stack of 10 chocolate chip cookies, each topped with sea salt on an aqua piece of wood
These thousand-layer chocolate chip cookies are made from just about the same ingredients as their compatriots. The difference, though, (and it's a significant one) is portions of dough are stacked on top of each other to create layers of flavor and texture. The tops are then sprinkled with fleur de sel. The resulting treats are flat, crispy, and chewy.
Sarah Copeland

Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 1 hr 30 mins
Dessert
American
20 cookies
282 kcal

Ingredients 

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for the work surface
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (stashed in the freezer for ease of chopping)
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten, for brushing (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel for sprinkling (optional)

Directions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set it aside and forget about it for a moment.
  • With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, 2 at a time, followed by the vanilla.
  • With the mixer on low speed, beat the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until just combined. Stop and scrape down the bowl to make sure all the butter is evenly incorporated, then give the dough a final stir.
  • Divide the dough into 3 portions. Place each portion on a large piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and pat it into a 4-by-6-inch rectangle. Wrap and refrigerate until chilled through, about 30 minutes. (This helps to set the butter and to make the dough easier to work with. Chilling the cookie dough also helps the cookies retain their shape during baking. Now you know the secret of many a bakery!)
  • Meanwhile, chop the chocolate into thin shards using a serrated knife.
  • Unwrap 1 portion of chilled dough and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle half the chocolate evenly over the dough and top with another unwrapped portion of dough. Repeat with the remaining chocolate and dough to create a sort of towering triple stack of dough and chocolate. If any chocolate spills out the side of the slabs of dough, just poke the chunks back in place. Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly and evenly with flour and gently roll it with a rolling pin into a 9-by-6-inch rectangle about 1 1/2 inches thick, again tucking any wayward chocolate chunks back into place.
  • Using a 2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter or a thin-rimmed glass, cut out 10 rounds of dough. Gently gather the scraps together, pat them lightly, and cut out as many cookies as you can.
  • Divide the cookies between the 2 prepared baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between cookies. If desired, brush the top of each cookie with the beaten egg. Sprinkle each cookie with a few grains fleur de sel using a very light hand.
  • Bake until the cookies are set, 12 to 15 minutes. Let the cookies cool slightly on the baking sheet, about 3 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely or just slide the parchment paper and the cookies directly onto the cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Notes

*What is fleur de sel?

Traditionally (but not exclusively) from the French coast of Brittany, fleur de sel is collected from the salt that rises to the surface of shallow pools of seawater. It's expensive, yes. Because it's harvested by hand skimming and only forms under very specific weather conditions, it's unlike most other salts available. You can, however, find flake salts from other parts of the world that will be similar. The appearance and flavor of fleur de sel (and the price) means that it's mostly used as a garnish or finishing salt for recipes like these cookies. A little goes a long way.