Dark Chocolate, Pistachio and Sea Salt Cookies

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Because I can easily turn into a Complain-o-saurus Rex without realizing it, I try really hard to focus on the positive. Whether it’s a friendly smile and a wave from fellow runners in the morning, catching the train right on time on my way to work or a funny GIF from a friend, I like to keep track of these small “wins” rather than count the guy who ran right into me on the street or that email I sent with the minor typo or any of the other seemingly-earth-shattering-but-actually-meaningless “losses” of life.

But some weeks, it’s really hard. The Internet in my apartment is completely dead, I have jury duty, and oh by the way, I have both a cold and pink eye, quite possibly the ickiest combo of diseases ever. Not to mention work has been crazy busy, but I’ve been in and out of the office all week so I feel really swamped there too. It’s been a perfect storm of frustration and stress and that is not a good look for me.

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One thing that Mili, Milan and I often end our calls with is “three things,” in which each of us expresses three things we’re grateful for that day. We get so bogged down in the minutiae of our lives that taking a step back to appreciate what we have is a really great way to end our conversations. So, since I’ve been a complaint-ridden mess all week, here are my three things:

1) I’m thankful to have friends/fam who listen to me complain all day, giving me a much-needed kick in the pants when I start to get too annoying.

2) I’m thankful to have a boss who’s flexible about my schedule and a job that allows me to work from home as needed.

3) I’m thankful that if I feel sick, I can walk into an Urgent Care and walk out an hour later with a diagnosis and a prescription, which is unfortunately not a reality for many people.

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And I’m thankful for these dark chocolate, pistachio and sea salt cookies, which got me through this long week one chocolate chip at a time. I take that back — dozens of chocolate chips at a time. These things are so crammed with deliciousness that the dough almost can’t hold it all. Toasted pistachios and smoked sea salt* add a layer of fancy to the everyday chocolate chip cookie, making these feel like a special treat — much needed during this blah week.

The best part of these cookies is that they’re a cinch to make, so you can easily whip them up, bad day or not. And, having eaten a whole batch (for “research” obvi), I can wholeheartedly say they work wonders for turning a frown upside down.

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*Smoked sea salt is one of those really random ingredients that I usually avoid. I found some at Whole Foods in the cheese section of all places, and given that it costs $40 a pound(!!!) I asked the dude for the smallest amount he could give me. (Turns out, that amount is worth $3 + a massive eye roll, and is way more than what you’ll need for the cookies.) If you can’t get away with that / don’t care enough to try, regular sea salt should be just fine.

Dark Chocolate, Pistachio and Sea Salt Cookies
Recipe from Joy the Baker
Makes 30 1-1/2-inch cookies

– 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

– 1/2 cup granulated sugar

– 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

– 1 large egg

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

– 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

– 1/4 teaspoon salt

– 1-1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

– 1 cup shelled pistachios

– smoked sea salt, for topping (if you can’t find smoked, regular coarse sea salt is fine)

1) Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper and set aside.

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2) In a dry skillet, toast the pistachios on medium-low heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the nuts begin to brown slightly. Let cool, then chop coarsely.

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3) Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the egg for an additional 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.

4) With a wooden spoon or spatula, add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and pistachios.

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5) Shape the dough into generous 1-tablespoonful balls, then place onto the prepared baking tins, leaving about an inch of room between each cookie. Sprinkle generously with the sea salt.

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6) Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until just golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days the 20 minutes it takes to vulture the entire batch.

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