molten chocolate cookies with sea salt, rosemary, & orange zest

December 3, 2012

molten chocolate cookies with sea salt, rosemary, and orange zest Christmas cookies sometimes get a bad rap. Sugar cookies of the typical variety can be bland and easily overcooked. Zealots with a tub of frosting and colored sugar can do serious damage to an otherwise innocuous treat. While I admit to enjoying a candy cane-shaped treat or two, this year I wanted to try dressing up my cookies in a slightly tastier style. And just to keep things interesting, instead of sticking to sugar dough, I’ve leaped right to chocolate. These might not be the most classic Christmas cookie on your tray, but they’ll definitely be the most delicious. sea salt, rosemary, orange zest Molten chocolate cookies don’t really need any dressing up. They’re stunners in their simplicity–a perfect marriage of chewy and crispy. The addition of sea salt and a sprinkle of fresh rosemary and orange zest merely catapult these puppies from excellent to extraordinary. Best of all–and like every single thing I ever bake–they are incredibly easy to make. Fool proof and then some, I promise. chocolate chips

Molten Chocolate Cookies
adapted from a recipe by Guittard Chocolate Co.

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla (I use two for good measure)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Finely chopped fresh rosemary
Sea salt (Maldon or any other fancy salt as you prefer)
Zest from one orange


Melt chips and butter in a heavy-bottomed pan over low heat (Use a double boiler if you have one, use low heat and a careful eye if not. Rest assured, I do not own a double boiler). Stir until smooth and thick.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, sugar and salt until pale yellow and slightly thickened. (If you have a mixer and don’t mind lugging it out, do. If not, a whisk and some elbow grease’ll do it).

Combine chocolate mixture with sugar and egg mixture.

Add flour and baking powder until just incorporated. (Don’t worry about over doing it. Just stir until you have delicious chocolatey dough). Cover dough and chill for 15-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Scoop 2 inch mounds onto cookie tray, leaving 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes, and then add a sprinkling of sea salt, finely chopped rosemary, and orange zest, to your liking. You might have to press the salt slightly with your fingertips to make sure it sticks. Bake for another 2 minutes or until the cookies have formed a nice crust on the outside but are gooey in the center. 12 minutes will do it. You will likely think you need another minute or two. You do not. Let them be gooey! Serve warm! (Makes about 16 cookies).
molten chocolate cookies with sea salt, rosemary, and orange zest If you’re feeling adventurous and don’t mind offending small children or fussy Aunt Prunella, consider swapping out the sea salt for crystalized sugar and dressing your sugar cookies with a sweet version of the same Christmassy mixture of orange zest and rosemary. It’s so delicious it’ll make your head spin and much tastier than those hard silver balls.
molten chocolate cookies with sea salt, rosemary, and orange zest What about you? How will you be dressing your cookies this holiday season?

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  • Reply Ana Cooks December 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    i'm in love…and hungry! šŸ™‚

  • Reply Harri Davison December 3, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    What beautiful images and don't they look absolutely delish!

  • Reply leyla. December 3, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    my birthday is coming up and i'm looking to try out new recipes for the birthday party. thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Little Kitchie December 3, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    these look so gorgeous and sound like they taste even better! stunning pictures!

  • Reply Amy December 3, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    these look so good! i plan to try them for sure.

  • Reply ocombe December 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    It's decided. I'm making these after work.

  • Reply Amy Powell December 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    looks lovely! Love the little rosemary kick šŸ™‚

  • Reply Abby December 3, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Looks delicious. I'll definitely try them for an upcoming cookie swap.

    I made orangettes last week, and we topped our more traditional Christmas cookies with cream cheese frosting and flaked coconut. Tasty.

    • Reply Erin December 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      orangettes?? what are those? sounds like something that i'd like!

  • Reply Love me if ya dare December 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    I have to try these, it looks so simple to make šŸ™‚

  • Reply adrienne yancey December 3, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Oh man. These cookies sound delicious!

  • Reply Rachel December 3, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    You can also make your own double boiler by placing a heat proof mixing bowl over a sauce pan of boiling water – so much easier because you can then mix right in the bowl and you don't have to try to scrape the chocolate out of the pan. I will NEVER buy a double boiler.

    • Reply Erin December 4, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      v. smart woman. i usually just make it all in the same pot anyway…though i understand the risk of cooking the eggs, etc. so i don't recommend to the inexperienced/less lazy!

  • Reply Ann December 3, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Looks delicious! Love the orange and the green!

  • Reply Rebecca D. Martin December 3, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Oh-ho-hoooo! – as my daughter would say. I am SO making these. My holiday favorites are a chocolate gingerbread cookie. This looks like a fantastic variation (and I'm needing some variety this year).

    • Reply Erin December 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      chocolate gingerbread! yum!

  • Reply Tara Celeste December 3, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    These sound AMAZING! Definitely making them for my friend's annual Christmas party in a couple weeks.

  • Reply Linda Zimmerman December 3, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    CANNOT wait to make these, along with an old family favorite… Rocks

  • Reply Alice December 4, 2012 at 2:33 am

    They look SO good! Now I'm craving cookies…

  • Reply Spencer December 4, 2012 at 2:45 am

    Looks awesome! I would so love to try some. I am sure it tastes great.

  • Reply ashley maureen December 4, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    these sound so delicious. i am not a chocolate lover as much as some, but with the added flavors i think i could be into these. maybe i'll try this weekend!

    • Reply Erin December 4, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      i hope you like them! be warned: the added flavors are lovely, though subtle. no doubt this is a chocolate cookie!

  • Reply Danielle Carroll December 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Yum! Those look amazing and so different! What a great holiday cookie. I may have to give them a try!

  • Reply Abby December 5, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Just made these tonight and LOVE them. Thank you for posting!

    • Reply Erin December 5, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      hooray! so happy to hear it!

  • Reply Erin December 8, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    UPDATE: add vanilla in with the eggs, sugar, and salt!

  • Reply Carole Ann December 10, 2012 at 12:02 am

    I made these this weekend, and they turned out perfect! Thanks!

  • Reply tinteratoid December 27, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Hello! I've just discovered your blog and can't help reading back over your posts – your writing is lovely. I just wanted to say thank you for the inspiration you gave me with this post and the next (about tea) to run downstairs, make myself some tea and grab a cookie. I'm enjoying this moment – thank you.

  • Reply Miss Carter September 28, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Wow! I used your recipe last night to make cookies for a snack day at work. I'm not kidding when I say that people went CRAZY for these. One girl said they were the best cookies she'd ever had. Big call! Lots of requests for the recipe so I will be forwarding on your blog. šŸ™‚ Thanks!

  • Reply April December 23, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    I’ve been making these every Christmas Eve since you posted this recipe. Thank you for giving me my signature special treat, now in the backdrop of all my kiddos memories. – April from Nashville

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