Tara Jensen's Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies
Tara Jensen is one of our 2021 Cooks of the Year.
Recipe Summary test
After opening Smoke Signals, a bakery centered around a wood-fired oven in Asheville, North Carolina, in 2012, Tara Jensen became known all over the world for rustic loaves made with freshly milled grains and flours and fruit from local orchards. Now focusing on instruction, Jensen spends her days spreading the gospel of artisanal baking. One of her favorite subjects? Sourdough.
Jensen's recipe for Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies calls for ¼ cup of sourdough discard—if you don't have a starter of your own, you can grow one from scratch or see if your local bakery has any to spare. These light, fluffy chocolate chip cookies lean into chewy, cakey territory, while still maintaining crisp outer edges. Creaming the butter and sugar for an extended amount of time (along with the addition of sourdough) gives these cookies their cakey texture and lofty rise. The sourdough discard brings a recognizable tang, complemented by the plentiful dose of chocolate. Baking the cookies halfway, then topping with the chocolate ensures that it stays in place; it also only partially melts the chocolate, so it retains a slight snap once cooled. The finishing touch? A sprinkle of crunchy sea salt on top.