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Crunchy chocolate shortbread with crispy fleur de sel crystals on top. Simplicity at its finest.

San Francisco–based Guittard is the gold standard of chocolate, which is why chefs ask for it by name. The company’s new cookbook is a collection of five generations’ worth of recipes for everyone’s favorite chocolate desserts. When it comes to baking, especially for something simple, like this chocolate shortbread with crispy salt crystals, the best ingredients make all the difference.

My friend Ben harvests sea salt on the Oregon coast. He traipses knee-deep out into the chilly Pacific Ocean to gather buckets of water, and then he carries the salt water home, where time and heat work their slow magic. The result? Beautifully intricate flakes of sea salt. As with anything you cook or bake, using good ingredi­ents is crucial, even if that ingredient has just a small role in the final product. Everything from the cacao beans we purchase down to the fleur de sel sprinkled on top of these cookies is top quality, which is what makes this recipe so good. The Cocoa Rouge adds richness to this short­bread, and the buttery yet crunchy texture can satisfy a craving at any time of day.

Reprinted with permission from Guittard Chocolate Cookbook