Salted Dark Chocolate Cookies

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

Here’s how it’s going down on this Monday:

Chocolate

chocolate

chocolate

and more chocolate.

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

Chocolate is showing its not-so-basic face 4 times in today’s cookies. Well, maybe only 3 but I do encourage you use two different types of cocoa powder so that’d make it 4. Not sure if that’s cheating, but I’m pretty sure it’s always good form when salted dark chocolate cookies are involved.

I made these for my friend’s birthday this weekend. She adores chocolate in any intense way you can get it and maybe I even bought a tiny 6-inch double dark chocolate cake for her because I ran out of time and couldn’t make one from scratch. Now THAT definitely is cheating, but the frosting tasted like straight-up fudge so we’re all good. For the cookies though, Kristen loves these salted caramel dark chocolate cookies so I started from there.

First, let me rewind to that cocoa powder business.

Cocoa powders for salted dark chocolate cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This is actually my favorite chocolate cookie base. Remember when we chatted about that? I’ve used it more times than I can count and there’s a few different variations I’ve made right here on my blog. The chocolate flavor comes from natural cocoa powder. When mixed with both granulated sugar and brown sugar (soft cookies!), butter, and other ordinary cookie ingredients– the cookies taste like brownies. The edges get a little crisp while the centers are soft and tender, absolutely exploding with intense chocolate flavor. To amp things up, I used both natural cocoa powder and Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder today. Have you ever seen that stuff on shelves? It’s really good. It’s deep, dark, and bold. This is actually a cocoa powder that’s a blend of natural cocoa and dutched cocoa. Not to get all nerdy on you or anything, but there’s a huge difference between natural cocoa and dutched cocoa and you can break a recipe if you go around swapping. You can read all the nerdy stuff right over here if you’re interested.

But the special dark cocoa made by Hershey contains both natural and dutched. This makes it a little tricky to use in baking recipes, but I’ve actually had a lot of success swapping it in recipes like cookies and brownies. But today, I’m using half natural and half special dark in this chocolate cookie recipe. (So I guess you could say 3/4 natural and 1/4 dutched since special dark is already a blend!) I realize how confusing all of this is. Too much for Monday morning? Here, have a cookie.

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

I really like the heightened flavor the special dark brought these chocolate cookies. Like I said, I’ve made them hundreds of times with just natural cocoa powder but the slight addition of the dark stuff really transformed them into something even better. I had no idea it was even possible to make this chocolate cookie dough even richer! The chocolate flavor is deeper, darker, and much more brownie-y. That’s the official term. Brownie-y.

The cookie dough is quite sticky, so make sure you’re chilling the cookie dough for at least 3 hours. In fact, I always make this particular cookie dough 1 day in advance to ensure it’s perfectly solid and sturdy. Your hands will get messy when you’re rolling the cookie dough, but that’s the only price you’ve gotta pay!

How to make salted dark chocolate cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Since Kristen is a bonafide chocoholic, I added both chocolate chunks and chocolate chips. This is the 3rd and 4th time chocolate is used. You don’t have to be that crazy and can easily just use chocolate chips. I simply chopped up some pure chocolate– I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate baking bar– and added the chunks to the cookie dough, along with a handful of chocolate chips. 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. Pools of melted chocolate is right where we want to be this morning, right?

At this point, I know you love salty sweet as much as I do. I sprinkled the cookie dough balls with a little sea salt before going into the oven. I finished them of with a little more sea salt before serving. The sea salt brings out the chocolate flavor… as if the cookies needed any help… as well as softening the sweetness.

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

So…. quadruple chocolate cookies. Let’s do this, Monday.

Print

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. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing 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 these chocolate 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. Check out my top 5 cookie tips before beginning. It includes how to prevent cookies from over-spreading and why room temperature makes a difference.

Keywords: salted chocolate cookies

Another dark chocolate favorite:

Dark chocolate rum truffles on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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

106 Comments

  1. These have my mama’s name written all over them…I think I will make them to help her with her “back to school blues” that she always gets about this time every summer 😉
    On another note, I am in LOVE with your kitchen! That backsplash is beautiful! I have the same cabinets as you, and I have lived in my house for 6 months now and have still not chosen a backsplash. Yours has inspired me! Maybe I can finally choose one!

    1. I’m so glad it is an inspiration!! Now I feel even better about the cabinet choice. I’ll be sure to post even more pictures when it’s completely done next month 🙂

  2. These are what I need to get through my Mondays all the time 🙂 it’s a beautiful thing to say you’ve made these chocolate cookies hundreds of times – I’m sure you’ve made hundreds of people SO HAPPY by showing up with a plate (or seven) of these guys.

  3. Sally you are the bomb girl! You know how to give us what we want with that chocolate abudance and referring you as a baking Goddess from now on . Thanks hun 🙂

  4. boo-hoo 🙁 Here all the cocoa powder up for sale is alkalized. What’s an Italian girl supposed to do? Swap the baking soda for baking powder? How much? Thanks for your help 🙂

    1. I’m unsure exactly how much without doing some testing. Let me know if you try anything though. Sorry I’m not much help now!

  5. These look great! I feel like I need milk just by looking at them 😉 I bet they’d be really good with orange extract instead of vanilla…or those cherry chips added! Ah, so many delicious options!!!

  6. I literally just read the difference between the cocoa’s yesterday. I love the Hershey Special Dark. Their recipe on the back of the container is perfect for all chocoholic cake lovers.  It is also takes no bake cookies to a whole nother level.  My dad is a chocoholic so I cannot wait to mail these cookies to him.  So excited about this recipe.

  7. Best way for Monday to go down. Like, ever. 😉 Leave it to you to use TWO different kinds of cocoa powder, Sally! You’ve reminded me that I’ve GOT to step up my cocoa game! 😉 I like to buy cocoa powder in bulk anyways, so I’m just gonna go ahead and bring two different tubs with me to the bake room (kitchen sounds so boring, you know?)
    Alright, now I can make it through Monday, quadruple chocolate cookie style. My brother-in-law would love these! I’m gonna have these lined up for my next thank you gift to him. 🙂 Happy Monday, Sally! Thanks for kicking off the week so deliciously. 🙂 Oh, and Happy belated Birthday to Kristen! <3

      1. Ahhh, you saw them AND you loved them?! My life’s work is complete. 😉 Lololol. No, but seriously tho. 🙂 Are these the chocolate-covered strawberry ice cream bars or the strawberry coconut popsicles? 🙂

  8. Sally these look amazing!! My favourite type of cookie, but you mention not to use purely dutched cocoa, I can’t get Hersheys cocoa here is Australia and my understanding is that the Special Dark is just “extra” dutched to get the darker colour. Thanks 🙂

    1. Oooops just re-read the recipe and saw you use both types of cocoa, now makes more sense! I might just try to sub the Special Dark with Dutch cocoa and see what happens. 

      1. Hey Anna! You can use all natural cocoa in these cookies. 🙂 I just wouldn’t use dutched.

  9. Sally, thanks for another great recipe. I am making the dough now so I can bake them in the morning. These will be a great way to start the day. They look amazing.

  10. Is there possibly any way to substitute natural cocoa powder with dutched, or something else? I live in Austria, and I think I’ve only ever seen dutched cocoa powder, I’m not sure anything else is available here.

  11. Sally… Sally… Sally. I made these yesterday afternoon, and they are just… [deep breath]… loss for words wonderful. Haha! I actually used all Dutched cocoa in place of the special dark (risky I know, but I had to try!!!) and I didn’t experience any issues! Yay! Also mixed some white chocolate chips in with the semi-sweet, and they are absolutely heavenly! I may have eaten four for breakfast this morning… maybe… (Sooooo good with coffee, lol!) Thank you as always!!! <3

    1. That’s FABULOUS! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know how they turned out. I’m glad they were a huge hit. I love the deep dark chocolate flavor!

  12. Wow, these are good! I left off the extra salt (sorry). They are so soft! I microwave them 5 seconds to melt the chocolate inside or 10 seconds to achieve fall apart softness and melty goodness. I made them small and have been eating 3 a day! Worth indulging as I bake whole grain low sugar 75% of the time. These will be my go to chocolate cookie recipe for years to come.

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