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!

The best dark chocolate cookies! Made with two types of cocoa powder for incredible chocolate flavor! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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!

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

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!

Cocoa powders for salted dark chocolate cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

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

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.

How to make salted dark chocolate cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

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

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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

The best dark chocolate cookies! Made with two types of cocoa powder for incredible chocolate flavor! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

137 Comments

  1. Hi Sally, Im writing from Haiti….and we are currently dealing with a lockdown because of political problems and it has already been 10 days. Yesterday I made this recipe for my family because i wanted to see a smile on everyone’s face at least for a couple of minutes. I had all the ingredients except the Hershey’s dark chocolate and the large egg (I used a medium egg and the Natural unsweetened cocoa powder). The recipe was a huge SUCCESS. They came out with a weird shape because I couldn’t chill them for 3 hours. Thank you for those amazing recipes.

  2. I can only find Hershey’s 100% cacao not cocoa (I found the Special Dark no problem). Can I substitute the cacao for the unsweetened cocoa powder without making any adjustments to the liquid measurements?

    1. Hi Kelly, using 100% cacao shouldn’t be a problem. Make sure you chill the cookie dough. The cookies will have a wonderfully dark flavor.

      1. Hi Sally, I have a quick question: can I add orange zest to your recipe? About 1-2 tbsp + orange extract? I love the combination of dark chocolate and orange

  3. I am looking for a recipe to use black cocoa from King Arthur. Do you think it would work in these cookies?

  4. Can you use sweetened cocoa instead of unsweetened?

    1. I don’t recommend it.

  5. Hello! Do you think I’d have a problem trippling this recipe? Or honestly, is it ok to triple any of your cookie recipes? I need to make large quantities for a grad party. Thanks!

    1. Hi Andrea! For best taste and texture, especially if you’re serving for an event, I strongly recommend making separate batches of the cookies.

  6. Hi Sally, will adding cornstarch like you do with your other soft cookie recipes work with this one?

    1. Absolutely. But trust me– they are so soft already!

  7. OUTSTANDING!!! Sally, these cookies are absolutely fantastic! Wow!!! I followed your recipe exactly, read all your “tips” on cooking making…amazing results!! Everyone RAVED. I’m 51 years old and have been making cookies my entire life and I think this is the best batch I ever made. What a thrill to find your site. I could not be more appreciative for all your hard work and dedication. Just excellent in every regard. Thank you so much. Can’t wait to keep learning from you and keep trying your recipes.

    1. What a sweet compliment, Diane! Thank you so much for your positive feedback- I’m thrilled you enjoyed these cookies! 🙂

  8. Hi, Sally. I’m a huge fan and have already made a bunch of your cookies, each batch a huge success! With these cookies, for best results, do you recommend light or dark brown sugar?

    1. Either is totally fine! I usually use light brown sugar. 🙂

  9. without the cornstarch in this recipe, will the cookie still be chewy within? Thanks!

    1. Yes, these are VERY soft and chewy chocolate cookies.

      1. Another of Sallys foolproof cookies. Not overly sweet.. so nice coffee accompaniment for adults.

  10. These worked great! I haven’t tried one yet but everyone loved them and came back for seconds I only chilled them for an hour and then stuck them in the freezer for 30 minutes and they spread perfectly! I also didn’t have a mixer (haha) so I just used a wooden spoon and it worked fine I used half dark chocolate chips and half semi sweet chunks and they are melty and wonderful!

  11. I’ve made this recipe 2x and they are AMAZING! I also put some activated charcoal into the dough for an even darker color. Thanks for the recipe!

  12. These were easily some of the best cookies I have ever made. I was blown away by the rich chocolate flavor! Instead of chocolate chips I used the new Nestle espresso chips, which I HIGHLY recommend doing. Thank you Sally– I love your blog!!

  13. JUST finished making these, they came out fantastic. So glad I found your blog!

  14. Rachelle Hijazi says:

    How easily could I get them to stay the shape of a cookie mold? Thoughts? I’ll trying to make an awesome dark chocolate cookie to look like a penguin. I was gonna drizzle w white chocolate for the belly after.

    1. Hi Rachelle, this cookie isn’t idea for molding/shaping. You can try my chocolate sugar cookies instead.

  15. notedicioccolato says:

    Hi Sally, I’d like to add some pretzel pieces instead of a part of chocolate chips. I saw your recipe https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/chewy-chocolate-covered-pretzel-cookies/ but I’d prefer this one with cocoa for a more chocolaty taste. What do you think about this?
    Thank you very much 🙂

    1. You can definitely add pretzel pieces to this cookie dough.

      1. Thank you, I’ll try 🙂

      2. Hi Sally, I finally tried them adding some pretzel pieces and the sweet-salty was amazing. I had some problems in rolling the cookies because the dough was sticky but the result was absolutely terrific. All my friends said “THE BEST COOKIES EVER” 😀 This will become one of my favorite recipes.
        Thank you very much, I’m in love with your blog 🙂

  16. CAROLYN WALDEN says:

    Thoughts on adding espresso powder to these? How much?

    1. You can definitely add espresso powder. I recommend 2 teaspoons to really have that flavor stand out.

  17. was wondering if it is okay to use regular 70% dark chocolate bars ,chopped up for cookies….as opposed to baking choc bars?

    1. That should be just fine.

  18. Have you ever added instant coffee or espresso granules to this recipe? If so, how much?

    1. Sure have! I recommend 1-2 teaspoons of espresso powder.

  19. Hi Sally, this recipe looks great but I prefer crunchy cookies- would it work if I baked these for a longer duration? If so, what baking temperature and timings do you recommend?:)
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Kit! Absolutely. I recommend keeping the oven temperature the same and baking each batch for a few extra minutes.

      1. Thank you! I’ll definitely try it out :’)

  20. Hi Sally, if I want to incorporate some dutch processed cocoa powder into this recipe (I like the dark flavour dutch cocoa adds), what proportions of natural and dutch processed cocoa powder would you recommend?
    Understand that hershey’s special dark is about 50% dutch processed, so would it be ok for me to use 1/6 cup of dutch processed and 1/2 cup of natural cocoa powder? Or what proportions would you recommend?
    Thank you!:)

    1. Hi Sophia! Here’s what I would do if I were making the cookies that way– you can likely get away with 6 and 1/2 Tbsp natural and 4 Tbsp dutch process. I feel confident in that!

  21. Hi sally! I actually only have the Hershey’s special cocoa powder — can I use 2/3 cup of this instead of the natural unsweetened? Thanks so much!

  22. Hi Sally, I just tried the recipe but my cookies turn out to be too soft! How do I fix this?

    1. Bake for a few extra minutes. Always helps!

  23. I love love love this recipe! I made it for the first time while in COVID 19 quarantine and completely unprepared, so I had to substitute Dutch Coco powder with 3/4 regular chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder and Dutch hot chocolate mix powder that I had in the pantry. Also, I had to use a hand mixer and no paddle so it took a lot of elbow grease to get the consistency and mixture just right. Still in spite of all of that hands-down the best cookie I’ve ever made…. and I used to work in a bakery all summer break while in college.

  24. These are outta bounds incredible. as a dark chocolate nut – a DREAM. Up the anty – make them ice cream sandwhiches (using Peanut Butter ice cream). Mom had to send Hersheys special dark in a care package (current situation wiped the NYC stores of baking supplies). Easy to make in a small NYC apartment and easy to freeze for just one!

    Thanks!

  25. Hi, I’ve just made these and realised about the cocoa and have used all dutch processed! I’m hoping the dark brown sugar will balance it out but wish I had have added buttermilk or some form of acid now! The dough is chilling in fridge and I’m hoping I haven’t messed up too much and that they still work out!

  26. Hi Sally, can I substitute dark chocolate powder with dark chocolate compound? Thanks in advance 🙂

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Veli, That would take some additional recipe testing and changing other ingredients since chocolate compound is a mixture of cocoa powder, sugar, fat, ect. It’s best to stick with cocoa powder here!

  27. Okay thank you so much Stephanie!

  28. This recipe is my new favorite!

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