Coffee Break…… In Kilkenny

by grainnep

Recipe below…

Weekends away for me are defined by coffee breaks – finding nice little places to have coffee and watch the world go by. We just had a weekend away in Kilkenny and found a few nice places just to sit and sip and watch the tourists, the stags and hens… a very interesting mix – lots of red tutus and devil head bands!. Kilkenny has it right though I think, the mix works, we got no sense of the town being overrun and as a family we still felt welcome and could wander around and have nice meals and not feel out of place. As a medieval city there is a lot to see, Rothe House is standout with its 16th Century house and lovely walled town garden with its resident tame ducks, The Castle and its grounds and a train ride through the town which shows you where all the places of interest are. It’s a great place for food and I’d love to get back for the food festival in October, for now we satisfied ourselves with a vist to Zuni which was great. Anyone with an interest in vintage clothes could while away many hours in Shutterbug on Patrick St, an amazing treasure trove for bags, beaded tops and lots of other great finds…cafe la coco across the road for unamused men!

In the meantime read on for my recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies, with Sea Salt and Thyme so not your ordinary cookies but delicious with a strong espresso or a nice cup of tea!. Gerard Coleman of artisan du chocolate makes his salted caramels with flavors like these so I have based these on the same idea. I think the thyme works really well and imparts kind of almost nutty flavor – the outside of these end up slightly crisp but the inside are gooey chocolate – delicious dark chocolate and just a taste of salt – on paper might seem strange, but delicious in reality.

Sea Salt and Thyme Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 36
Oven at 170C

330gr Plan flour (Gluten free plain mix works for this recipe also)
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp coarse salt
1 tbs fresh thyme leaves
226g unsalted butter chilled and cubed
180gr Coconut palm sugar
1 tbsp molasses
2 large eggs – if you only have small use 3
280gr bittersweet (aound 70%) chocolate chips ( I used a mix of chips and a bar I cut up)
ground Sea Salt for the top

Mix flour, baking soda, salt and thyme leaves together in a bowl
Beat the butter for about 3 minutes until cream and soft
Add the brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy
If you are using a stand mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed
Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition
Gently beat in the flour into the batter until incorporated – don’t over beat as you don’t want to over work the flour
Fold in the chocolate chops until well distributed

Place tablespoons of the cookie dough onto parchment lined baking sheets
Leave room as they really spread
Press down (the mix is a bit sticky)
Sprinkle a tiny pinch of sea salt on to each cookie
Mist gently with water before baking, If you don’t have a mister just pour some water into the palm of your hands and clap your hands over the sheet to sprinkle the water
Bake at 170 for 12 minutes – turn the tray around at half time
Remove from the oven and leave for a couple of minutes to crisp up before moving onto a wire rack to cool

These are delicious – they make about 36 quite big cookies so do as I do and bring them to work to share the love!