During the Lunar New Year, my friend Evie who is based in Norway, brought me a lot of Norwegian chocolate. Anyone who been to Norway knows the must-buy souvenir is Freia chocolate. I rarely like milk chocolate but the ones Freia are sick good. My favourite is Walters Mandler.

Freia goodness!

Freia’s Walters Mandler is made up of milk chocolate and salted almonds. While you are chewing on the milk chocolate, you get the sudden hit of salt and the crunch from the nuts. This combination is lethally good. And this got me thinking if I could translate this into a cookie. The answer is yes and it is dead simple to do.

Salted hazelnuts?

All you need is your favourite chocolate chip cookies (CCC) recipe and some sea salt flake. My current favourite CCC recipe is from David Lebovitz. The recipeis simple and the best part is you don’t have to bake everything. You can keep some of the dough in the freezer and use it as and when the craving strikes.

Salt on cookie dough

Walters Mandler Chocolate Chip Cookies

Walters Mandler Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert)

I would like to thank David Lebovitz for answering my message on recipe sharing. I caught him at a bad time (he was (or is) moving house and I am grateful that he took the time to reply my message. Thanks David!

Makes about 48 cookies

Ingredients
1)      350g all-purpose flour
2)      ¾ teaspoon baking soda
3)      1/8 teaspoon of (kosher) salt or ¼ teaspoon of fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt flake (and more for sprinkling)
4)      225g unsalted butter at room temperature
5)      190-200g brown sugar
6)      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7)      2 large eggs at room temperature
8)      225g nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnut*), toasted and coarsely chopped
9)      400g bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or 340g chocolate drops

Methods
-        In a bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda.
-        Using a stand (or hand mixer) with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar and vanilla together at medium speed until smooth.
-        Add in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly incorporated, then stir in the flour mixture, nuts and chocolate.
-        Once mixed, cover and keep the dough in fridge for at least 2 hours.
-        Divide the dough into the quarters. Line the work surface or a chopping board with cling wrap, and shape each quarter into a log about 23cm long and wrap it in cling wrap. Repeat the same for the remaining dough. Refrigerate until firm, preferably for 24 hours. I like to keep my dough in the freezer and use what I need.
-        Preheat the oven to 175oC and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.
-        Slice the logs into discs of 2cm thick and place them 8cm apart on the prepared baking sheets. If the nuts or chips or dough crumbled out, push them back in. Sprinkle a tiny pinch of fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt on top of the disc (I have not try putting (kosher) salt on top as I assumed it will just dissolve once baked).
-        Bake and rotate the baking sheet midway until the cookies are very lightly brown in the middle. This takes about 10 minutes. If you are using the dough directly from the freezer, you might need a longer baking time of 12-15 minutes**.
-        Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until firm enough to handle, then use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.
-        The dough can be kept in the fridge for a week and in the freezer for a month. The baked cookies will keep well in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

*To make the cookies saltier and stay true to the “Walters Mandler” style, you can use salted almonds.
**The baking time really depends on how you like your cookies. I tend to like them under-baked and chewy. What I do is I will put in one cookie in the oven, bake it until instructed time, cooled, and taste and see if I like the texture. From there, you can adjust the baking time accordingly.