Salted Dark Chocolate Cookies

Made with two types of cocoa powder for deep chocolate flavor, these dark chocolate cookies feature soft, brownie-like centers and crisp edges. They’re studded with chocolate chips and sprinkled with sea salt for a little something special!

salted dark chocolate cookies

You’re in for a quadruple dose of chocolate today! Boasting two types of cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and chocolate chunks, these cookies are for the ultimate chocolate lover. Easy to throw together, we use my base chocolate cookie recipe. They’re as loved as my chewy chocolate chip cookies and as unbeatably rich as my homemade brownies. Let’s get started!

salted dark chocolate cookies on a green plate

These Salted Dark Chocolate Cookies Are:

  • Simple to prepare
  • Like brownies in cookie form
  • Soft, chewy, and crisp in each bite
  • Sprinkled with sea salt
  • Exploding with chocolate flavor
  • Always a crowd pleaser
  • A chocolate lover’s dream!

two kinds of cocoa powder

Best Ingredients to Use

  • Flour: All-purpose flour is the base of these cookies. We don’t use as much as in non-chocolate cookie recipes because the cocoa powder also provides structure.
  • Cocoa Powder: For intense dark chocolate flavor, use 2 types of cocoa powders– natural cocoa powder and Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder. Have you ever used Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder before? It’s deep, dark, and bold. This is actually a cocoa powder that’s a blend of natural cocoa and dutched cocoa (and here is even more information about Dutch-process vs. natural cocoa powder). It really heightens the chocolate flavor in these cookies!
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda helps the cookies rise.
  • Salt & Vanilla Extract: Both add flavor. Try using homemade vanilla extract.
  • Butter: Butter adds delicious flavor and texture.
  • Sugar: We use a combination of granulated sugar and brown sugar for sweetness and softness.
  • Egg: 1 egg helps bind everything together.
  • Milk: Milk smooths out the cookie dough.
  • Chocolate Chips & Chunks: Use a handful of chocolate chips and pure chocolate chopped into chunks– the pure chocolate chunks melt down since they do not contain any stabilizers (unlike chocolate chips) and create pools of chocolate inside and outside of the cookies (!!).
  • Sea Salt: While optional, I like to sprinkle each cookie dough ball with a little sea salt before baking. The sea salt offsets the sweetness and brings out even more chocolate flavor.

hand holding half of a salted dark chocolate cookie

Same Dough, Different Cookie

Though ultra soft-baked with chewy edges and fudge-like centers, these chocolate cookies aren’t anything new or groundbreaking. In fact, you might actually recognize the base dough because it’s been my go-to chocolate cookie for years. The only change in today’s recipe is that we use 2 cocoa powders for a darker flavor. Otherwise, this is the same exact cookie dough as my:

Some of you have had trouble with the peppermint mocha cookies and chocolate crinkle cookies over-spreading as a result of the peppermint extract and sugar coating on top (respectively), so I leave out the milk in those cookie doughs. I also reduced the milk down to 1 Tablespoon for this dough, instead of the original 2 Tablespoons. This reduces spread.

dark chocolate cookie dough balls sprinkled with sea salt on a silpat baking mat

Expect a Sticky Cookie Dough

This cookie dough is sticky, even if you’ve chilled it. Expect to make a little mess on your hands as you shape the cookie dough balls. Have a kitchen towel or paper towel nearby. I usually wipe my hands clean after every few cookie dough balls. Clean hands make rolling easier.

salted dark chocolate cookies on a green plate

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hand holding half of a salted dark chocolate cookie

Salted Dark Chocolate Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 16 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Dreamy salted dark chocolate cookies with soft, brownie-like centers and crisp edges. Made with two types of cocoa powder for BEST chocolate flavor!


Ingredients

  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/3 cup (26g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder*
  • 1/3 cup (26g) Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk
  • 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet or dark chocolate chunks and/or chips, plus a few more for topping*
  • sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, cocoa powders, baking soda and salt together until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in egg and vanilla on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  3. On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be thick. Switch to high speed and beat in the milk, then the chocolate chips. The cookie dough will be sticky. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough. I always chill mine overnight.
  4. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes– if the cookie dough chilled longer than 3 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  6. Scoop and roll balls of dough, about 2 Tablespoons of dough each, into balls. Place on the baking sheets and sprinkle with a little sea salt.
  7. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. My oven has hot spots and yours may too- so be sure to rotate the pan once during bake time. The baked cookies will look extremely soft in the centers when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. During this time, you can press a few more chocolate chips/chunks into the top of the warm cookies– this is just for looks. You can also sprinkle with a little more sea salt as well. The cookies will slightly deflate as you let them cool. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 5. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Here is how to freeze cookie dough.
  2. Cocoa Powder: If you can’t get your hands on Hershey’s special dark cocoa, you can use 2/3 cup of natural unsweetened cocoa powder instead. Do not use purely dutched cocoa in this recipe because you need the acid in natural cocoa. However, I’ve gotten some questions from non-USA readers who cannot get their hands on natural cocoa powder. Easy fix! Just bake death by chocolate peanut butter chip cookies instead. You can used dutched cocoa! And add sea salt on top.
  3. Chocolate Chips & Chunks: I used a mix of chocolate chips and chocolate chunks. You can use all chocolate chips, all chocolate chunks, or a mix of both.
  4. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: dark chocolate cookies, salted chocolate cookies

151 Comments

  1. Hello.. is it possible to replace milk with soy milk?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      That should be fine, Sherlyn!

  2. Can I substitute black cocoa for the dark cocoa?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lisa, We haven’t tested it but it should work to replace the 1/3 cup of special dark cocoa powder. Let us know if you try it!

  3. taste was great, it turned out with a wetter dough and flatter cookie, would probably add another half to whole cup of flour

  4. Do you literally just leave them in a ball shape on the sheet? Or should I press down in the center, similar to snickerdoodles?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Dana, correct. These usually spread enough on their own, but if you find they’re too puffy closer to the end of the bake time, you can certainly use a spoon to gently flatten. Enjoy!

  5. These are absolutely incredible. The chocolate lovers in my family (including myself) could not stop eating them. I will be making these every year. THANKS!!

  6. One more Q, do you think 90% cocoa chunks would be TOO dark and bitter to add in with the semisweet chips? I also have a bar of 70% with cocoa nibs, so that has a little crunch… I’m out of the last bar I had, and am about to bake another batch for a friend. Which one do you think might work better? Or should I stick with just chips?

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