Last summer, the summer of the New York Times Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, was the first time we read (or at least remembered reading) about adding sea salt to the tops of baked goods. Now we're old pros. Most recently, we've been sprinkling it on our toffee.
It's not really a stretch to understand why this would be good. A love of sweet and salty combinations is what drives us to do things like put bacon in our fudge.
A few of our favorite cookie recipes call for sea salt, which is exceptionally flaky and seems to hold its integrity in the dough once it's baked. So you can really taste that delightful little twinge of salt every other bite or so. As salt does in any dish, it heightens the complexity and makes the sweet taste even sweeter.
But you don't have to guess about how much to add to batter or dough. We'd recommend sprinkling a little sea salt on top of cakes, cookies, or candies once they're finished. We made a version of Chocolate Toffee Matzo Candy (above) a few days ago and scattered some flakes of sea salt on top of the chocolate, which was delicious. Now we're thinking of putting sea salt on top of cupcakes or a frosted layer cake—a little adult addition to counterbalance all the sugar.
Related: Five Essential Ingredients for Baking
(Images: Sur La Table; Nina Callaway)