Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fleur de Sel Chocolate Chip Blondies

As most of you know I’ve recently changed careers. In my new career as a Cheese Monger (official title is Cheese Master), I not only get to spend my day working with cheese and awesome team, but I also get to work with salts from around the world. Now I have gotten on my salt box and denounced the over use of salt, but when you have control of salt, and use some of the best from around the world, salt is an AWESOME flavor.

For this sweet treat I have used Fleur de Sel. You ask, what is that? Well, Fleur de Sel or flower of salt, in French is a hand-harvested sea salt collected by workers who scrape only the top layer of salt before it sinks to the bottom of large salt pans. Traditional French Fleur de Sel is collected off the coast of Brittany, most notably in the town of Guérande, but also in Noirmoutier, Île de Ré and Camargue. Fleur de sel is often slightly grey due to the sand collected in the process of harvesting the salt from the pans. Fleur de sel has more mineral complexity than common table salt. Fleurs de sel are moist salts.

So I came across this recipe in my email, and it really struck me as something I needed to make. This week at work we are doing a bunch of training, and I thought I would treat my team, and co-workers to this yummy salty chocolate treat. 
And you’ll notice that I found a limited edition red and chocolate chip package. Great for Valentine’s Day!

Fleur de Sel Chocolate Chip Blondies

2 & 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 & 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch fine sea salt (optional)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 to 1 & 1/2 tablespoons fleur de sel
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 9″x 13″ baking pan with butter or cooking spray.
Whisk flour, baking soda, and pinch of salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add both sugars and mix until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
Spread dough into prepared pan. Sprinkle top of dough with fleur de sel.
Bake 30-35 minutes, until center is set and top is golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack before cutting into bars.

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