I rarely see cashews in traditional American bakeries. This starchy, tropical nut defers to peanuts, pecans, and walnuts in the canon of old school American sweets. But like the macadamia and the pistachio, I think it's time that cashews got another look.
What I like about cashews is their mild flavor. You can add them to a dish without overwhelming it with nuttiness, though on the flip side, that means it can require a flavor booster (like salt) to highlight its taste. The texture is also something to consider with the cashew—they're softer, almost creamier, than many other nuts, meaning you don't have to disrupt a dish's texture when you add them in.
These cookies take advantage of both of those cashewian properties. They add a subtle nutty flavor while still letting the slightly bitter dark chocolate be the star. They add chew to the already chewy cookies as opposed to breaking up the texture with a hard crunch. Just don't forget the flakey sea salt— it ties together the components and makes these cookies more than the sum of their parts.
- There are just enough cashews to add texture without interfering with the overall chewy nature of the cookie
- You can substitute other nuts for the cashews, but I wouldn't. Cashews have a mildly nutty flavor that adds depth to the cookies while still letting the dark chocolate reign. Salt helps highlight the flavors.
- This recipe is scaled to produce just 12 cookies, for those days when you're not feeding a crowd
Recipe is adapted from Cooks Illustrated
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup cashews, cut in half
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- Flakey sea salt, such as Maldon
Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Whisk in egg and vanilla. Change to a wooden spoon and stir in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips and cashews.
Use a cookie scoop to drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto prepared cookie sheets. Sprinkle cookies with sea salt. Bake until golden, about 12 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
mixing bowl, baking sheet, parchment paper, whisk, wooden spoon, cookie scoop