Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies with Olive Oil and Sea Salt

I’ve talked before about my mother-in-law’s family cookbook, a labor of love that includes favorites from over the years. Certain recipes belong to my husband’s family in a way that I’ll always associate with them: beer bread, sachertorte, a particular sweet challah, and the lavishly simple, make-in-five-minutes extravaganza in a crust known as chocolate town pie. All of the fare in the cookbook, in fact, is time-friendly for busy cooks, recipes that have made the grade repeatedly and are savored by the many guests who come through my in-laws’ apartment.

Operating under a tight schedule in a hot kitchen at some fuzzy point in the past - let’s say six months to a year ago - I pulled out the family cookbook to make crinkly chocolate cookies coated in confectioner’s sugar, and on a whim skipped the powdered coating, tossed in a fistful of chocolate chips, tried olive oil instead of vegetable oil, and sprinkled sea salt into the thick dough. The results? Brownie-like cookies, deep and fudgy with cocoa and littered with little goldmines of melted chocolate nuggets, and just a hint of salt playing off of the sweetness and the richness of the cocoa. 

Since then, I’ve made this recipe at least six times. It stirs up in minutes, bakes in minutes more, and offers a big batch of dairy-free deliciousness that’s perfectly suited to potlucks, snacks, or even a cup of morning coffee. The cookies freeze beautifully in a big plastic bag, and taste great out of the freezer for a quick chocolate fix.

Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies with Olive Oil and Sea Salt

Adapted from Kosher by Design: Short on Time via The Looks Family Cookbook

~Yield: 3 1/2 - 4 dozen cookies~

Notes: Either dutch cocoa or natural cocoa will work for this recipe. If you use dutch cocoa, your cookies will spread more and be softer, with a slightly milder chocolate flavor. If you use natural cocoa, your cookies will stay close to their original shape, be a little chewier and more brownie-like, and have a deeper chocolate flavor.

1/2 cup olive oil (I use regular; extra-virgin would give a stronger flavor)
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or tin foil. Grease the parchment paper or tin foil with olive oil or cooking spray.

Mix together all ingredients except the chocolate chips, until a soft dough forms. (The dough can get a little stiff if you’re using natural cocoa - muscles required!) Stir in the chocolate chips.

Wet your hands with cold water, roll the dough into 1 1/2 - inch balls, and place on prepared cookie sheets, leaving room between the cookies. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely before removing from cookie sheet.

*This recipe is being submitted to the Chocolate Chip Cookie Challenge over at 52KitchenAdventures!